New regulations regarding cannabis extracts may be on the way soon as over 50 people in Utah have been poisoned by fake synthetic CBD during the winter of 2017. The CDC is urging states to get a handle on cannabis extraction, especially Utah where this particular synthetic extraction was legal for patients with epilepsy, however there were no regulatory processes overseeing the safety of the product. These bottles have been labeled “CBD” while testing positive for a compound called 4-CCB or “Yolo CBD Oil.” The effects of 4-CCB which could be bought at many smoke shops around the state are quite the opposite of what CBD is supposed to do. Some victims experienced effects such as “altered mental states, seizures, confusion, loss of consciousness, and hallucinations.”
This as well as the 70 cases of severe bleeding and 2 deaths in Illinois regarding “K2” or “spice,” a legal synthetic cannabis alternative that’s had its share of news coverage over the past few years because of the inherent dangers of using it compared to the real thing.
Thankfully, this year, Utah legalized CBD for use by the general public and put new regulations for testing the safety of the product which should be finalized by the end of the year. However, the biggest concern for many people is that unlike K2, the fake CBD oil is actually falsely marketed and labeled as being CBD. However, an analysis by the Utah Poison Control Center confirmed it had many similarities to K2. In 2015, the FDA tested 18 products from 5 different companies and in 2016, they tested 22 products from 8 different companies. They found that none had the amount of CBD they claimed to. 9 didn’t have any CBD at all. On average, the products tested came to about 20.9 mg of CBD while the average claim was 330 mg. The biggest problem is, the FDA won’t release any information regarding how they tested these products or how many they tested in total which makes it impossible for anyone to determine just how widespread this issue is. However, most companies tested closed shop after their malicious practices have been revealed.
CBD exists in a legal grey area in many states. While, it may not be legal, authorities tend to accept CBD as it is non-psychoactive which allows real and fake CBD extracts to hit shelves across the country. Unfortunately, since manufactures are lying about what is actually in their product, it’s hard for consumers to tell what they’re actually taking. As of right now, Utah has not filed any legal repercussions against any smoke shops, or manufacturers selling fake CBD.