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CBD / Hemp Science & Testing

CBd Hemp Science and Testing

As part of the Informed Choice CBD certification process for each product, 3 samples across 3 production runs/batches are tested at one of LGC’s accredited CBD lab testing laboratories. This CBD testing includes an extensive analysis of more than 250 prohibited and/or harmful substances. LGC has published multiple papers demonstrating the prevalence of contamination in dietary supplements. The hemp/CBD testing includes, but is not limited to, compounds such as anabolic agents, stimulants, narcotics, beta-2-agonists, diuretics, and more. The methodology is continually reviewed to ensure that the CBD lab testing is inclusive and appropriate for new and emerging threats in the dietary supplements industry. The Informed Choice program provides more than just a snapshot of a product's integrity. In addition to the testing conducted at certification, each product is routinely tested for compliance with the program giving consumers continued assurance in their choice of dietary supplements.

For certification and compliance with Informed Choice, each batch of CBD / hemp-derived product is tested for CBD content. The test result must be within +/- 20% of the claimed CBD content per serving. In a 2020 study using a +/- 20% tolerance threshold, 55% of the products contained CBD concentrations outside of this threshold.(1) Since no regulatory standard currently exists for label accuracy of CBD products, Informed Choice adopts a +/- 20% tolerance to assess label claims – this tolerance reflects a balanced approach allowing for manufacturing variations and analytical measurement uncertainty while establishing acceptance criteria which reflects the quality expectations of the Informed Choice program.

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In addition to testing for CBD, the Informed Choice program CBD testing requirements include that CBD / hemp-derived products undergo testing for ∆9-THC. Each Brand provides serving information (recommended maximum daily usage information) which is used to determine the daily consumption of ∆9-THC with proper usage of the product. For certification and compliance, each batch of a product must have a consumption limit of less than 0.083 mg per day, a limit which takes into consideration consumer safety and the management of risk with regards to workplace drug testing. 

Through a toxicological risk assessment, focused on consumer safety, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has established a safe consumption limit for ∆9-THC of 0.083 mg per day.(2) This consumption limit also provides an appropriate level of risk management and control for those subject to workplace drug testing - this being supported by literature reviews focused on ∆9-THC consumption at levels <1 mg per day and the subsequent evaluation of urine samples.

Use of multiple CBD / hemp-derived products:

When assessing the risk of using products, consumers should be aware that using multiple CBD / hemp-derived products may lead to accumulation of ∆9-THC, which could result in an increased risk of a positive drug test. Informed Choice recommends that if you are considering using a CBD/hemp-derived product, that only one certified product is used (not exceeding the maximum daily recommended use) at any given time.

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Professional / Elite athletes:

Athletes should be aware that CBD and/or hemp-derived products may contain low levels of other naturally occurring cannabinoid compounds, other than CBD and ∆9-THC, which may be prohibited by certain regulatory bodies (e.g., WADA – the World Anti-Doping Agency). Prior to consuming CBD / hemp-derived products, athletes should check with their relevant governing body regarding their policy relating to cannabinoids and CBD / hemp-derived product usage.

LGC makes no claims as to the efficacy, safety, or other risks associated with any products listed herein. LGC makes no assurance as to the legal status of any products.

  1. Dubrow, G.A., et al., A survey of cannabinoids and toxic elements in hemp-derived products from the United States marketplace. Journal of food composition and analysis, 2021. 97: p. 103800.
  2. EFSA CONTAM Panel (EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain), 2015. Scientific Opinion on the risks for human health related to the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in milk and other food of animal origin. EFSA Journal 2015;13(6):4141, 125 pp.