A University of Wisconsin-Madison study finds many cannabidiol, or CBD, products sold in southwestern Wisconsin don't deliver what they promise on the label. One of the study's authors says a lack of regulation and oversight is to blame. In matters involving business law, real estate, estate planning or other areas, the attorneys at Murphy Desmond S.C. are committed to exceeding your expectations.
‘Buyer beware’: Many CBD products in Wisconsin not accurately labeled, new study finds
A University of Wisconsin-Madison study finds many cannabidiol, or CBD, products sold in southwestern Wisconsin don’t deliver what they promise on the label. One of the study’s authors says a lack of regulation and oversight is to blame.
The study was published in the medical journal Epilepsy & Behavior earlier this year. It analyzed 39 CBD products, ranging from oils to beverages to chocolate bars.
The results found only six products were accurately labeled, meaning they contained anywhere between 90 and 110 percent of the levels of CBD indicated on the label. Many more products didn’t specify levels at all, and some products even had detectable levels of THC, the main psychoactive compound of cannabis.
Barry Gidal, a professor of pharmacy and neurology with UW-Madison’s School of Pharmacy, is the study’s senior author.
“I am not anti-cannabis, I’m not anti-CBD,” Gidal said. “I really think the medical community and patients would greatly benefit if there was some sort of approval process and oversight and regulation, because it would help us make sure that the products that are being used out there at least have what they’re supposed to have.”
Wisconsin businesses have been able to sell CBD since 2017, under an industrial hemp pilot program. CBD and other hemp-derived substances have been legal at the federal level since the 2018 Farm Bill became law, but the guidance around how CBD can be labeled and sold is limited. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has sent warning letters to certain companies that have marketed unapproved CBD drugs for therapeutic use or treatment of diseases.
“I guess the bottom line we’re reinforcing is: Buyer beware,” Gidal said. “Just because they’ve got a label printed on them, may not necessarily have what they think they have.”
Only one cannabis-derived medication has been approved by the FDA, which Gidal said means it’s gone through a development and quality assurance process. Epidiolex, which is used to treat seizures related to certain epilepsy syndromes, has a purified form of CBD.
“My concern is a lot of these other products, these over-the-counter type products, are kind of playing off of that,” Gidal said. “They’re saying, ‘Well, look, there’s an FDA approved drug, we’re the same thing.’ Not really.”
Tim Murphy owned the Viroqua-based CBD shop Kickapoo Kind, which shuttered at the end of last year owing to dwindling sales of CBD products during the pandemic.
CBD Oil in Wisconsin – It’s Not Simply Legal
Cannabidiol, or CBD oil, is increasingly available in stores across the state of Wisconsin.
Under federal law, CBD oil is an industrial hemp product, and it is legal to possess and distribute.
However, because CBD oil contains a detectable quantity of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, it is still illegal to possess in Wisconsin unless you have a certification from a physician pursuant to Wisconsin statute 961.32(2m)(b).
Possession of CBD oil without a certification could be prosecuted as a misdemeanor criminal offense. Delivery or supplying of CBD oil to individuals who do not have a certification could be prosecuted as a felony offense.
So why is CBD oil being sold all over Wisconsin? Because cannabidiol’s legal status conflicts with Wisconsin’s industrial hemp law. As a result, the Wisconsin Attorney General has advised Wisconsin law enforcement not to enforce the law as written.
Still, because it is illegal in Wisconsin, it is advised that if you use or distribute CBD oil that you have (or your customers have) a clinician’s certification or prescription to avoid possible criminal charges.