A recent study conducted by CBD product reviewer Leafreport found that brand transparency, quality and safety in the CBD industry are seemingly "stagnating and deteriorating in several critical respects," the company stated in a press release.
The study, which examined 4,384 products from 188 CBD brands, found that only 7% of brands tested all their products for microbes, pesticides and heavy metals. That number represents a 1% increase compared to Leafreport’s 2021 study, which reviewed 2,946 products from 136 brands, according to the company.
The study also found that 20% of brands do not engage in any purity tests to check for microbes, pesticides or heavy metals—a 5% decrease compared to 2021.
The number of brands that test nearly all of their products for potency and make their third-party lab tests available for consumers remained at 42% from last year, demonstrating that the industry's commitment to potency and purity testing remains stagnant.
Furthermore, Leafreport found that roughly 22 of the 188 brands had all their "products fall within acceptable potency variance levels.”
Other key findings reported by Leafreport include:
- 28% did not engage in any testing for pesticides;
- 26% did not test for any heavy metals;
- 24% did not test for microbes;
- 88% of brands–compared to 84% last year–had at least one product test beyond the 10% variance for potency;
- and company officials from two brands said they carry out no lab testing for purity or potency. This number decreased by one from 2021.
"It's unacceptable that so many CBD companies do not do the most basic tests to ensure that their customers' health is not jeopardized," said Gal Shapira, product manager at Leafreport. "Leafreport's mission is to get in front of issues like this so consumers can be conscious of their buying power. Robust third-party testing is something that needs to be a priority for all CBD companies that take transparency and customer safety seriously."