HealthDay News — Among cannabidiol (CBD) products sold online, there is a wide range of CBD concentrations, and many products are under- or overlabeled, according to a research letter published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Marcel O. Bonn-Miller, PhD, from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues examined the label accuracy of CBD products sold online. They identified CBD products that were available for online retail purchase and included CBD content on the packaging. Eighty-four products were ordered and stored according to packaging instructions or in a cool, dry space. Product labels were replaced with blinded identifiers within 2 weeks of receipt and sent for analysis of cannabinoid content.

The researchers found that the observed CBD concentration varied from 0.1 to 655.27 mg/mL (median, 9.45 mg/mL); the median labeled concentration was 15 mg/mL. Overall, 42.85%, 26.19%, and 30.95% of the products were underlabeled, overlabeled, and accurately labeled, respectively, with regard to CBD.

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There was variation in the accuracy of labeling depending on product type, with vaporization liquid and oil most frequently mislabeled and accurately labeled, respectively. The concentration of unlabeled cannabinoids was generally low, but Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabibolic acid was detected (up to 6.43 mg/mL) in 18 of the samples.

“These findings highlight the need for manufacturing and testing standards, and oversight of medicinal cannabis products,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Bonn-Miller MO, Loflin MJE, Thomas BF, et al. Labeling accuracy of cannabidiol extracts sold online. JAMA. 2017; 318(17):1708-1709.