Is it possible to have a self-regulating CBD industry?
Can the cannabis industry be self-regulating and what are companies doing to lead by example?
The rise of the UK cannabis industry has awakened a new era of cannabis products for British consumers. Following the harrowing publicity surrounding the stories of epileptic children whose lives were saved by cannabis oil, the UK government moved to allow the British public to have access to a select range of cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) products. This has given the public access to an array of new health products, enabling an exciting young industry to flourish.
Although the law change has increased the accessibility of cannabis products, new issues have predictably emerged. What we have is a entirely new range of products arriving on the shelves of British retailers, being sold to a public with no knowledge around consumption. We have seen very little consumer guidance from the government which has left consumers to navigate a mine field of unregulated and poorly controlled products.
One issue from the governments perspective is the presence of THC in a wide range of CBD products. The government has maintained a hardline stance against THC.Interestingly, THC and CBD are near identical molecules, with very similar pharmacological profiles, even sharing the same precursor. Given this, the government's position seems to be a rather simiplistic approach to cannabis safety.
Approaching public safety conversation from an educational capacity would perhaps have had more of an impact on social safety. What's also been overlook in this conversation are the additonal factors of the endocannabinoid system in humans but also the consumer education side of this. Companies are not compelled to provide education on their products, although some do, there is little in the way of standardisation. Regulatory minutia aside, We raise this point not to perpetuate THC fear but to highlight the nuances of the conversation that businesses and consumers should be aware of. There facts and figures around cannabis are clear but there are wildly different interpretations of that research. Depsite the number of functioning models that we have to learn from we have chosen an unreasonably binary approach to public safety.
Whether we agree or not with the governments guidance, THC is still an illicit drug in the eyes of the law. For companies not adhereing to this guidance there are measures in place that can make life difficult for groups who are non-compliant. A lot of businesses are small to medium businesses that are unaware of some of these potential threats. What's worrying is how many livlihoods are potentially at threat due to this misalignment.
A suitable quality controlling system has yet to be established, leaving the industry to self-regulate. Although in an ideal world the market would be self-regulating and accountable, there are large number of companies and CBD merchants that choose to avoid testing their products infavour of reducing production costs and increasing profits.
Why is testing important? Its not becuase of THC but instead the prevalence of contamination associated with concentrated cannabis products. Cannabis is a highly bio-absorbent plant, meaning it draw in a great deal of nutrients and chemicals from the soil it is grown in. The cannabinoids within these plants are then extracted and then concentrated down into oils. During this process, heavy metals, pesticides and other unwanted elements absorbed through the plant can be concentrated alongside the therapeutic cannabinoids.In the absence of regulations that should ensure quality controlling procedures, many of these unwanted elements find their way into over thecounter CBD products.
Further to this, the three cannabinoids THC, CBN and THCV are illegal and are in the eyes of the law, controlled drugs. These three compounds are commonly found in UK CBD products and present a potential legal risk to unsuspecting consumers. All three drugs are still illicit substances and according to UK law, the distribution and possession of quantities of these substances is still a criminal act. Some companies even advertise the fact that their products contain 0.2% THC!
Insignificant as this may seem, CBD companies that are distributing CBD oils with THC, are breaking the law and endangering their customers livelihoods. This is placing their consumers in harm’s way by leaving them unknowingly in possession of quantities of controlled drugs. This extends to the cannabinoids of CBN and THCV, which are still also illicit substances. This isn't to say that these drugs are dangerous to health but the law is such that the criminality of cannabis still remains.
Consumption of products containing THC, CBN and THCV by drug tested professionals could also result in the loss of a career or disqualification from sports. These are significant risks, and companies knowingly distributing these products are only damaging the cannabis industry and the adoption of cannabis medicine into society.
Global Cannabinoid Solutions recently advised for the now renowned UK cannabis company, Bud & Tender.
Mark from Bud & Tender states:
“Bud & Tender from the get-go wanted to ensure we were fully compliant with UK regulation. Our focus was to not only make a better tasting and more effective oil, but to ensure it was safe, clean and legal for ourcustomers to consume.
This is where we had the absolute pleasure of working with Global Cannabinoid Solutions.
We worked closely with their highly qualified lead consultant Christopher Tasker, he was able to provide us with key scientific insight into procedural and strategic issues. This added crucial scientific rationale to our product development process resulting in countless savings.”
Bud & Tender is a premium CBD oil producer that prides itself on offering consumers the purest and most refined CBD oil on the market. This has been done utilising a quality controlling and filtering procedure that uniquely guarantees that their products contain zero THC, zero CBN and free from any contaminants.
Although there are no regulatory obligations Bud & Tender offer certified laboratory reports on their website for: Cannabinoids, Terpenes, Pesticides, Heavy Metals and Microbiologicals. By leading the industry in this way, Bud & Tender have and continue to demonstrate their market leading ethos which has resulted in their widespread recognition across the UK. With 1000+ CBD brands in the UK it is hard to stand out. Bud & Tender have distinguished themselves as market leaders by adhering to strict ethical and moral principles which will see them succeed long into the future as other CBD companies fall short.
The CBD industry must self-regulate and hold itself accountable to its consumers or face heavy restrictions and over regulation. A great number of CBD companies unfortunately lack respect for their consumers and are happy to perpetuate the issues of contamination and misinformation so as to turn quick profits.
THC, CBN and THCV are not bad cannabinoids, they are just currently illegal in the view of the law. If the CBD industry can prove they can safely and responsibly work with CBD, they can demonstrate that they are responsible enough to also manage THC, CBN and THCV when the times comes.
Ultimately access to all cannabinoids in a safe and informed way is what we must all strive for.
Is it possible to have a self-regulating CBD industry?