By Bill Melugin, FOX 11
Posted Feb 26 2019 06:28PM PST
Video Posted Feb 27 2019 10:17PM PST
Updated Feb 28 2019 11:15AM PST
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (FOX 11) – A joint investigation between FOX 11 Los Angeles and the Dr. Oz show has produced alarming results when it comes to what’s really inside unregulated CBD products being sold around the nation.
After FOX 11 and Dr. Oz had professional testing done on more than a dozen CBD products purchased by our separate teams, our investigation found one CBD product was contaminated with a deadly strain of E. Coli bacteria, two samples contained potentially dangerous levels of ethanol, five samples had no detectable traces of CBD, and only one of the products actually contained what was claimed in its labeling.
CBD, or cannabidiol for short, is one of the most prominent components of the hemp plant. Unlike marijuana, CBD has little or no THC, the psychoactive part of the plant that gets you high.
Sellers are infusing CBD into almost everything you can imagine, and it’s being marketed as a miracle cure all. Proponents say CBD has all the benefits of medical marijuana without the intoxicating side effects, able to help with pain, anxiety, insomnia, epilepsy, even cancer and heart disease.
Sales have been exploding, but there is almost no government regulation, which can open consumers up to the unknown.
So what are you really getting when buying CBD?
In an undercover investigation, FOX 11 joined forces with Dr. Oz to purchase CBD at different locations in Los Angeles and New Jersey to have it professionally tested, and the results were startling.
“This investigation is going to be eye opening because it’s going to give us a glimpse into an industry with little regulation,” Dr. Oz said. “I’m excited to partner with FOX 11 to pull back the curtain on what you could really be getting when you purchase CBD products.”
While Dr. Oz’s team purchased various CBD products in New Jersey for testing, FOX 11 went undercover to several different locations across Los Angeles to purchase our own CBD products for testing.
We purchased a mix of CBD infused products, ranging from edibles, to liquids and creams.
FOX 11 dropped the products off at Nascient, a premium Cannabis testing lab in Chatsworth that was also in the process of testing the products Dr. Oz’s team had bought.
Less than 24 hours later, the results were in.
Five of the products had no detectable levels of CBD in them, despite their labeling.
“If you have a consumer that’s trying to take it medicinally, then it’s basically snake oil,” said Dr. Leah Shaffer, Chief Operating Officer of Nascient.
Only one product had what it claimed. Two other products were close to what they claimed. Four products had significantly less CBD than advertised, and one product had more CBD than advertised.
Some of the products had major health concerns.
One of them was a CBD lemonade shot FOX 11 purchased in Hollywood. Testing showed it contained no CBD, but it did test positive for potentially deadly levels of ethanol.
CBD gummy bears purchased by the Dr. Oz team also tested positive for dangerous levels of ethanol.
But it was CBD gel caps brought into the lap by a concerned customer that had the most startling results.
They did have CBD in them, but they also tested positive for a strain of E. Coli that produces the deadly bacteria known as shiga toxin.
“Not only is the consumer not getting any medicinal value form it, they’re actually introducing toxins into their system,” Dr. Shaffer said.
“As you know, a lot of people take CBD because they have cancer,” said pediatrician Dr. Pedram Salimpour. “The last thing you want to do to an immunocompromised person is introduce a whole bunch of microbes.”
Testing showed those same gel caps also had almost 3 milligrams of THC per cap, when it’s supposed to have zero THC.
“3 milligrams is a lot, 3 milligrams is enough to get a grown man or grown woman high,” said Dr. Salimpour. “A child that weights ten or twenty kilos would definitely get very high for a very long time with that amount of THC.”
FOX 11 Los Angeles
Published on Feb 28, 2019