It's 'Buyer Beware' When Purchasing Medical Pot Extract Online

From Drugs.com - November 7, 2017

It's 'Buyer Beware' When Purchasing Medical Pot Extract Online

TUESDAY, Nov. 7, 2017 -- People buying a medicinal marijuana extract over the internet often do not get what they paid for, a new study warns.

Nearly 7 out of 10 cannabidiol (CBD) products tested did not contain the amount of marijuana extract promised on the label, researchers report.

"We wanted to see if they are accurately describing what is in their product," said lead researcher Marcel Bonn-Miller.

"We found that generally speaking, no, they are not. There are some people that are doing it right, but the majority of people in the industry are not," said Bonn-Miller. He is an adjunct assistant professor of psychology in psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

What's more, 1 in 5 CBD products also contained THC, the active intoxicating compound in marijuana, the researchers found.

Cannabidiol is a naturally occurring non-intoxicating chemical found in marijuana. Research has shown that CBD can help control epileptic seizures and spasms related to multiple sclerosis. People also use it to relieve anxiety or pain.

Cannabidiol "does not get people high, but according to the (U.S.) Drug Enforcement Administration it's still classified as a schedule 1 substance," because it is a marijuana extract," Bonn-Miller explained.

As a result, CBD products fall into a regulatory gray area. They can be purchased in the 29 states where medical marijuana is legal, but are not being regulated by a federal government that deems them an illegal drug.

Bonn-Miller and his colleagues tested 84 CBD products purchased online to see if they contained the amount of extract promised on the label. The products included oils, tinctures and vaporization liquid for use in e-cigarettes.

"You were considered accurately labeled if you were plus or minus 10 percent," Bonn-Miller said. "We are giving people essentially a 10 percent room for error, and looking for people outside that."

Nearly 43 percent of products contained too little CBD, while about 26 percent contained too much, Bonn-Miller said.

Patients buying these CBD products to treat epilepsy or multiple sclerosis may not be getting the proper dosage, Bonn-Miller said, either not enough for the extract to work or too much.

More disturbing, about 20 percent of the products also contained the intoxicating pot chemical THC.

"THC has a different side effect profile altogether from CBD," Bonn-Miller said. "THC has been associated with development of psychosis and schizophrenia for people that have genetic vulnerabilities. If I had a first-degree relative that had schizophrenia, the literature would suggest stay away from THC." A first-degree relative is a parent, sibling or child.


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