The University of Pennsylvania CBD Study
Containing no psychoactive properties, CBD does not affect brain functioning like THC, the “high”-producing cannabinoid found in marijuana. CBD’s sudden surge in popularity has rushed products to market and hasn’t given consumers adequate time to get up to speed on CBD offerings.
Even as CBD purchases continue to rise, customers are asking, How much CBD should I take? What’s the difference in brands and forms? How much CBD is in the products I use? Are all CBD products created equal?
In 2017, the University of Pennsylvania released a study from its medical school, Penn Medicine, that discusses the lack of regulation overseeing CBD products, finding “that nearly 70 percent of all cannabidiol (CBD) products sold online are either over or under labeled, causing potential serious harm to its consumers.” At best, consumers aren’t getting the efficacious dose they were promised. Apart from mislabeling the active ingredient in a CBD product, separate studies also show many CBD products contain high levels of pesticides and solvents. So why are people so confused and what can be done to educate ourselves about the CBD products we purchase? Let’s start at the beginning . . .
Where has CBD been?
In 1937, the Marihuana Tax Act essentially banned hemp production. In 1970, President Nixon signed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, classifying the cannabis sativa plant, which includes hemp, as a Schedule 1 narcotic, making it illegal to grow or possess.
Travel forward 44 years, and things started to change in seemingly record time, beginning when President Obama signed the Farm Bill and resting four years later with hemp’s federal legalization across all 50 states.
- 2014: President Obama signs the Farm Bill, allowing hemp farming for research.
- 2015: The Industrial Hemp Farming Act is introduced in the House and Senate with the aim of fully legalizing hemp.
- 2018: President Trump signs the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) into law on December 20, allowing for the federal legalization of hemp in the U.S. This amendment removes any part or derivative of the cannabis sativa L. plant (hemp) that contains less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in dry weight from the Controlled Substances Act. https://www.hallrender.com/.
Where is CBD going?
Since 2018, CBD products have shown a meteoric rise, grossing approximately a half-billion dollars with products expected to reach 950-billion dollars by 2024. There were more than 50 CBD products on the market in 2019 and hundreds of companies selling various other products that included CBD as an ingredient.
The following graph shows U.S. cannabidiol (CBD) consumer sales from 2014 to 2022 (in million U.S. dollars)
University of Pennsylvania findings
The fact that the manufacturing of CBD products is still in its infancy might explain the discrepancies found by the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school when they researched the accuracy of CBD products. Led by Marcel Bonn-Miller, Ph.D., Penn Medicine made the following discoveries:
- 84 products were purchased and analyzed from 31 companies of which more than 42 percent were found to contain higher concentrations of CBD than what was written on the label.
- 26 percent of the products purchased and analyzed were found to contain lower concentrations of CBD than described in the label.
- 30 percent of the products purchased and analyzed were found to contain CBD concentrations that were within 10% of what was written on the label.
What’s concerning about these findings is that customers should be able to trust product labels. While large doses of CBD have not been found to be harmful, using too much or too little might not be as effective for alleviating symptoms. Moreover, the discrepancy makes it difficult for users to ascertain a proper dose.
What should also be troubling is that some companies are selling CBD products that contain higher percentages of THC than what is listed on the label. This is a concern for parents whose children use cannabidiol (CBD) for treating seizures. Parents may unknowingly be giving THC to their children.
In light of Penn Medicine’s findings, customers should be careful about where they purchase their CBD products. But how do you know which companies are reliable, respectable, honest and transparent about their products and what they contain? We’ve got some answers.
How to find the best CBD company
Look for the total amount in milligrams of CBD displayed on the product’s label. Milligrams is the measurement by weight of CBD in the product. Remember, hemp oil products will not contain CBD. Hemp oil products are misleading in that people assume hemp oil contains CBD. (Hemp oil comes from the seed. CBD comes from the plant material of hemp.) For more information about hemp and CBD, read our blog The Difference Between Hemp and CBD.
More important is to know if the products’ chain of custody is intact. This refers to the list of companies that have a hand in the making of your product, from seed to sale. The many steps it requires to make a product puts the end products’ accuracy and purity at risk if the company outsources the jobs, like the growers, extractors, distillers, formulators, manufacturers, etc. Because you likely won’t be able to trace the chain of custody, you won’t really know what’s in your CBD products.
Most importantly, is to make sure that your CBD product batch has a Certificate of Analysis from a third party lab. WHen the product is tested, you can see exactly how much CBD is in it and also helpful terpenes. Look for “no trace” of pesticides and solvents. Every ALL G CBD product comes with a COA, so you can confirm that the product and its label are a match!
Why ALL G Essentials makes all the difference
From seed to sale, ALL G employs its own exclusive chain of custody. So, purchasing CBD and hemp products from ALL G gives customers peace of mind, knowing their products come from a reliable seller that includes a consistent chain of custody that follows pure processing practices and offers a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) on every product. With ALL G Essentials, you know exactly where your product comes from.
As a member farm of the Growers Hemp Network and proud supporter of the NC Industrial Hemp Association, we raise hemp by hand in the U.S. Starting with industrial hemp genetics suitable for our southern climate, all industrial hemp that’s extracted is cultivated, grown, and harvested in compliance with U.S. regulations.
Instead of low-cost and non-selective (Ethanol) extraction methods, ALL G uses a highly selective Sub-Critical CO2 extraction platform. This results in a golden-color, full-spectrum pure extract, Carolina Sweet Crude, that doesn’t require additional post-processing and is the ideal starting point for further refinement and purification. Our process doesn’t use any solvents either, only naturally-occurring CO2, which we recapture (95% on avg.) and reuse through the process.
Distillation and processing
We are one of only few U.S. companies to own and use RotaChrom technology, an industrial scale centrifugal partition chromatography. It yields superior efficiency, is highly scalable, and environmentally and economically sustainable. The RotaChrom easily removes chlorophylls, waxes, and pesticides, isolating desired compounds at 85-90% recovery for 99% purity.
Manufacturing and retail
ALL G Essentials also owns its own manufacturing lab and production facility located in Tampa Bay, FL, where we make our creams, elixirs, breath sprays, and all of our ALL G products. ALL G also employs its own full-time chemist and formulation staff.
Certificate of Analysis (COA)
We pledge to sell pure, clean products and prove it by offering two COAs on every one of our CBD products. Each one of our products is tested by third-party, external laboratories and provides information on what’s in your product, how potent your product is, and importantly, what’s not in your product– like contaminants and fillers. Our products are all-natural, non-GMO, gluten-free, science-based and ALL Good.