Some CBD vapes may be spiked with cheap, illegal synthetic marijuana, leading to dozens of hospitalizations over the last two years, according to an investigation published by The Associated Press on Monday.
The outlet commissioned laboratory testing of 30 types of vape products sold as CBD around the country and found that 10 of those 30 contained types of synthetic marijuana while others had no CBD at all.
“It’s Russian roulette,” said James Neal-Kababick, director of Flora Research Laboratories, which tested the products.
AP reporters bought brands that had been identified as spiked by law enforcement or online discussions. The outlet points out the results are not representative of the overall market that includes hundreds of products.
The spiked products are included in the vaping products marketed as CBD as well as gummy bears and other edibles, according to the AP.
The CBD market has boomed with a variety of products since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved CBD-based medicine for treating seizures associated with two forms of epilepsy. But regulators rarely test products, leaving quality control to manufacturers and making it difficult for consumers to know if they are really getting CBD, the AP reports.
The industry also promotes unproven claims that CBD can reduce pain, calm anxiety, increase focus and prevent disease, the AP notes.
The lab conducting the AP’s study found that eight of the 28 tested vapes had no detectable level of CBD. Another 14 had less than 3 percent CBD by weight. The other six ranged between 1.07 percent and 8.87 percent CBD by weight.
Marielle Weintraub, president of the U.S. Hemp Authority, an industry group that certifies CBD cosmetics and dietary supplements, told the AP that synthetic marijuana is a concern but that the industry does also have reputable companies.
“People have started to see the market grow and there are some fly-by-night companies trying to make a quick buck,” she said.