Over one-third of CBD products on shelves of Irish shops exceed safety limits - survey

Over one-third of CBD products on shelves of Irish shops exceed safety limits - survey
Stock imagery.

A national survey of CBD products by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has found that consumers are being put at risk and, in some cases, misled.

The majority of products analysed were in breach of various articles of food law and some posed potential safety risks for consumers.

Some 38 products were tested. Every one of them was found to have at least one regulatory issue that needed to be addressed. These ranged from poor labelling to unauthorised nutritional, health or medicinal claims.

There is also an issue with discrepancies between declared and actual levels of CBD in many products.

Some 37% of the products tested were deemed to be unsafe as they had levels of THC that exceeded safety limits set by EFSA. THC is Tetrahydrocannabinol, a psychoactive constituent of cannabis.

Among the other main findings of the survey are:

  • 34% of the samples are classified as novel foods and require authorisation before being placed on the EU market. These products should not be on the market.
  • 36% of samples classed as food supplements had not been notified to the FSAI before being placed on the market, as required by law. Many of those that had been notified also had issues to be addressed, such as notifying changes of labels.
  • 41% of the products tested contained CBD levels which differed by more than 50% compared to the level stated on the label. Some 92% of products differed by at least 10%. Some products had barely detectable levels of CBD.
  • 50% made misleading claims about being lactose-free, gluten-free or non-GMO, along with unauthorised health claims. Some of these could be considered medicinal claims.

The FSAI said that consumers are being grossly misled by these claims and that people could be at risk from ingesting relatively high levels of THC.

Most of the products tested were manufactured outside Ireland.

Dr Pamela Byrne, CEO of the FSAI, said it is impossible to estimate the number of CBD products available in Ireland as many are traded online:

People consuming CBD products where the quality control is poor may not be getting what they are paying for and also could unwittingly be exposing themselves to psychoactive THC.

"Also of concern is that people consuming CBD products containing significantly high levels of THC could fail a drug test and the implicated batches of the products identified in the survey are now subject to a product recall.

"We are working with the Environmental Health Service of the HSE in relation to other products identified in the survey and further appropriate action will be taken."

More on this topic

Frank Lipman: Small steps to big changeFrank Lipman: Small steps to big change

Study shows Dublin hospital has third highest number of drug-related medical emergenciesStudy shows Dublin hospital has third highest number of drug-related medical emergencies

Call for Waterford fire service to respond to cardiac emergenciesCall for Waterford fire service to respond to cardiac emergencies

CUH still putting girls on wards with men after assaultCUH still putting girls on wards with men after assault


More in this Section

Methadone patients four times more likely to overdose in month following treatment ending, study findsMethadone patients four times more likely to overdose in month following treatment ending, study finds

John Delaney joined as notice party to ODCE application in relation to seized FAI documentsJohn Delaney joined as notice party to ODCE application in relation to seized FAI documents

Court upholds decision to issue deportation order against man convicted of smuggling cocaineCourt upholds decision to issue deportation order against man convicted of smuggling cocaine

Gardaí warn public of 'banking' scam which can empty accounts in minutesGardaí warn public of 'banking' scam which can empty accounts in minutes


Lifestyle

Bonnie Ryan couldn’t be happier.On a roll: Why Bonnie Ryan couldn't be happier

Laura Harding goes on location to see where the new adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma was shotBehind the Scenes: Getting the inside story on the movie Emma

More From The Irish Examiner