Study finds inaccurate labelling on some cannabis oils in Ontario

| David Brown

A study from researchers in Ontario says that some cannabis oils on the market in Canada are inaccurately labelled for THC and CBD.

While there have been many studies looking at the accuracy of labelling on cannabis flower and edibles, and some extracts, this is potentially the first study to look at legal cannabis oils. 

In a case series study, researchers at McMaster University and St Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton tested 30 cannabis oil products available on the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) website. 

The amount of THC and CBD in those products was then tested by the Centre for Microbial Chemical Biology at McMaster University for comparison against the amounts listed on the product label.

While none of the products contained significantly more THC than the labelled amount, 12 of the 30 tested products were found to be outside of the allowable variable limit for THC, and three products were outside the variability limit for CBD. 

Of the 16 cannabis oils tested that had a label amount of 2.5 mg/g THC or greater, seven of them had amounts that were lower than what was labelled by more than the 15% allowable variance. 

In addition, the study found discrepancies between the amount of THC and CBD listed on the OCS website’s product description for 10 of 30 oil products.

Five products were also found to be labelled with inconsistent listings of active THC/CBD and total THC/CBD, with one product being labelled as having 5 mg/g CBD but found to be 26 mg/g total CBD upon secondary testing. Unlike products like dried flower, cannabis oils of the type the study looked at should generally have the same active and total THC/CBD amounts. 

The researchers involved argue that their findings merit greater quality control efforts by the industry, while also noting the limited scope of their research. The OCS currently lists around 50 cannabis oil SKUs online.

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