What’s really in cannabis-based healt... - Fibromyalgia Acti...

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What’s really in cannabis-based health products?


Article from Trust me I am a doctor series. bbc.co.uk/programmes/articl...

"Dr Arno Hazekamp, a Dutch expert on cannabis products, told our presenter Dr Javid Abdelmoneim; “We have done studies in other countries and they are not always what they seem – they don’t have the amount of CBD that’s claimed, no-one is checking what’s actually in them.”"

"One key issue is the lack of internationally recognised, standardised laboratory tests to determine these levels, so results can vary from lab to lab. This is something that Dr Arno Hazecamp has raised – he believes that governments should do more to standardise testing. This concern was also raised by the companies whose products we tested, all of which questioned our results and assured us that they take care to ensure their products contain appropriate levels of cannabis-derived compounds."

Iplayer episode with it in the second half: bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000dbdm

15 Replies

It also shows the critical need to think of certain things if you are travelling as some penalties for a product with mislabeled THC levels will be serious in some countries. Even transiting through the likes of Dubai could have consequences.

The lack of regulation and wild wild west approach is very concerning. And not being able to trust the reports that suppliers are using and the lack of standards in actual testing is scary.

When CBD loses its novelty food waiver there will very likely be changes in how government approaches it.

Needless to say that you may get beheaded if you travel with that product to Dubai, good point raised 🤔

desquinnAdministrator in reply to Painny

Jail would be the worst consequence in Dubai but detaining, assessing and then deporting could really spoil a holiday even if you are released without charge.

I have NO Plan to travel to Dubai even if it is for £5.00 🙈🙊💁‍♀️


But the issue from that programme is that it may be labelled as THC free or negligible but have limits beyond what it says and beyond the legal limits of certain countries.

bobbybobb in reply to desquinn

Well that is scary, I've seen that programme, Brits, Banged up Abroad, it just wouldn't be safe to travel with this stuff because you can't really be assured what's in it. For travelling purposes anyway until universal standards are in place.


As I understand it the 2 year novelty food period is for industry to quantify and prove what it is good for. I suspect that we may have some restriction in the future within the market as regulation solidifies. If it gets classed as being used as a medicinal product then the regulation that will come into place will be much stricter.

Many countries where CBD is legal, require travellers to have a valid prescription from their doctor for CBD - not something that we can get here at the moment . Some countries won’t allow you to bring CBD into their country, despite it being legal there.

The situation in the USA is complicated and the federal government seem to be getting tougher on CBD.

The advice from reputable CBD retailers here, is not to take CBD abroad. It may cause delays on arrival at your destination, or you could be detained. It really isn’t worth the risk.

desquinnAdministrator in reply to Roseyinthegarden

Also important to know if the legislation is appling to what you have as a lot of people do not know the difference between CBD, Cannabis medicine, medicinal cannabis, cannabis oil and cannabis. They are all different and different rules apply in different regions.

But this programme on CBD goes further in that what is on the label may be lying and have amounts that would potentially land you in trouble. Calling the customer complaints line would not be of much help :)

I completely agree with you Des, that it’s important to know and understand the differences, because as you say the rules are so very different.

It’s unfortunate that many re-sellers don’t supply full information and when questioned give vague answers, presumably as they aren’t clear themselves. Most small sellers purchase “white label” products from a wholesaler, branded with their name and are dependent on the information the wholesaler suppliers to them.

Equally, when travelling abroad, border control staff may not rely on the often scant information on the label and may detain you and your CBD for testing.

Fake CBD on Amazon has long been a problem. CBD and hemp oil are ripe for exploitation by unscrupulous people, due to the complexity of the various products and multitude of mis-information on the internet.

BBC Trust Me I’m a Doctor:

Testing can be inaccurate due to variations between laboratories, standardised tests, poor testing procedures, cleanliness, calibration, temperature etc.

I was interested to read the responses from the companies who refuted the results found in the programme, we may need to be cautious about the validity of the results, until further independent testing takes place.



In response to the BBC 2’s ‘Trust Me I’m a Doctor’ programme which included an investigation into CBD products by Dr Javid Abdelmoneim on Wednesday 15 January 2020.

We note that the reference regarding the CBD content of our product in this programme is based on research conducted by Professor Jana Hajslova and her team at the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague in the Czech Republic.

As stated in the BBC programme ‘a key issue is the lack of internationally recognised, standardised laboratory tests’. Interestingly, in the research study Celtic Wind’s CBD Multi-Complex Hemp Oil was the only one of 12 products tested that was a totally natural, cold-pressed product. It is precisely for this reason it cannot be tested in the same way as other products that are made using Co2 extraction or isolate. It’s like comparing ‘apples and oranges’, the composition and profile of the respective product types are completely different.

Simply put, the methodology required is quite different. According to John Gough, Head Chemist at JHG Analytical Services, says “The method of analysis needs to be correct for the sample being tested. In the case of a whole-plant oil it needs a very specific analysis, much the same as olive oil. It cannot simply be tested in the same way as an extract or isolate product.”

We don’t just test once. We test twice. First with JHG Analytical Services in Ireland and then we corroborate our results with another leading laboratory in the field, DB Labs in the US. Again, using the correct testing methodology of analysis for a cold-pressed CBD oil. It is worth noting that both labs work to an internationally recognised IS0 17025, the gold standard for testing CBD in the US and increasingly in Europe.

We are currently in conversation with the BBC regarding the inappropriate testing methodologies used and will continue to champion the cause for more robust testing. Our commitment to producing a quality product with significant CBD levels is unrivalled. With over 10 years’ experience of growing and cultivating hemp CBD here in Ireland, we have developed a unique quality-assurance management system that allows us to control the integrity of our raw material.

To this end, we believe much more research and development needs to be done in this emerging and fledgling industry. As one of the market leaders in this category, we will continue to champion for more appropriate testing.”


We have had around 100 lab tests done for our Entourage oil products in the last year. The accredited labs we use, one of which is in the Czech Republic and the other in the UK, have never once come back with THC anywhere near this level.

When it comes to THC, our company policy is a limit of 0.05%. This is what is called a contaminant level. Our lab results for this year are nearly all below that 0.05% level, including for the Entourage Oil.

The three cannabis extracts that we use as ingredients in our Entourage oil products we also test. The three suppliers are three of the biggest CBD companies in the world, and they have advanced equipment that does an excellent job of limiting the THC. Our testing - and their own inhouse testing - has never come back with THC remotely close to your test.

I've looked over those supplier lab results and for our product to have 1% THC is utterly inconceivable given these base elements. The product with the most THC comes from a Dutch company, and they limit the THC to 0.05%. They simply do not sell products with THC above 0.05%, as so many European markets have set 0.05% as their limit. Also, we then add olive oil to the extracts, which serves to water down the THC still further.“


“Jacob Hooy is well aware of discussions about the composition and safety of CBD products around the world. This concerns not only the accuracy of CBD content claimed on the label, but also the unwanted presence of THC or contaminants such as pesticides, solvent residues, and PAH’s. As a well-established manufacturer of food supplements and natural products, Jacob Hooy was one of the first to supply CBD products to the Dutch market, and has been working with recognized professionals since the introduction of its products in 2015 to address such issues. As one of our actions, we have set up a Scientific Advisory Board of several independent scientists, including Dr. Arno Hazekamp, Renger Witkamp (Professor in Nutrition & Pharmacology, Wageningen University) & Luisa Trindade (Group Leader Biobased Economy, Associate Professor, Wageningen University).

One important lesson we learned is that there seems to be no uniform and recognized standard for the laboratory analysis of CBD products anywhere in the EU, or elsewhere. This has raised the question whether the issue is only with CBD products, with the laboratory methods used to perform quality control, of with both? While the market for CBD has grown rapidly, it is becoming increasingly recognized that significant differences may exist between laboratories, even between those that claim to be certified and validated. This may be caused e.g. by differences in cannabinoid reference standards and methodology used, or the fact that CBD oils have many different compositions with regards to the carrier oil. Consequently, it is not clear which test results should be regarded as final and binding.

Jacob Hooy has made use of several well recognized pharmaceutical laboratories in The Netherlands (Eurofins Proxy Laboratories) and Germany (Öhmi Analytik) for the analysis of its CBD products. Early on, we volunteered to be part of a ‘CBD-ringtest’ where a range of samples from 7 different suppliers were voluntarily tested by the same lab (Eurofins Proxy) in order to identify any shortcomings in the production pipeline of CBD products in the Netherlands. The collaboration within this group of CBD producers has helped to set up a new Industry Association for the (Dutch) CBD industry, under the name Cannabinoid Advisory-bureau Netherlands (CAN). The CAN currently has 22 members, and is working on publishing a testing standard (monograph) for its members, based on analytical methods described in the European Pharmacopeia for medicinal products.

More recently, Jacob Hooy has instructed its supplier of CBD (Hempflax, The Netherlands) to set up a comparative test among several laboratories in Europe (including Eurofins Proxy and Öhmi Analytik). In this test, the exact same samples will be analyzed by multiple labs in order to identify any discrepancies between the analytical results. The final goal is to come to one single set of tests that should be used to determine the composition and quality of CBD products. This comparative tests just started last month, and first results are expected in several weeks.

In conclusion, Jacob Hooy products have been tested by several European laboratories and was found to be ready for market. Your latest test results, coming from yet another European lab, have shown aberrant results for CBD content, and perhaps other parameters.

Although we do not wish to contest the accuracy of the lab you choose to do the analyses, we do want to draw your attention to the undissolved differences that exist between laboratories, in the absence of clear regulations to guide them. Jacob Hooy is actively involved in trying to address this gap in the current way CBD products are produced and approved for market. We hope you will take a little time in your documentary to discuss this important aspect of the rapidly developing CBD market. Of course, we will be happy to share with you the original lab results (please see attachment) that support the label claims of the product you have analyzed. We are certainly convinced that our 2.75% CBD product is accurate and safe, and we welcome the possibility to educate your viewers on the importance of uniform laboratory methods to get high quality CBD to those who need it.“


“The CBD of 5% in KOD hemp drops, is made up of two different types of CBD found in the product, namely CBDA (2.4%) and CBD (3.2%) giving a total of 5.6%.

On the bottle, it is also written that besides Cannabidiol, the CO2 extraction also preserves all other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and nutrients.

We are currently looking to modify packaging and will definitely consider adding extra information in order to help our customers.”

Clearly there is room for more transparency and undoubtedly fakes exist, however these things are rarely as simple as they seem.

Buyers need to ask for the batch test results and from a reputable company.

Just to clarify - I have no association with any CBD company, other than as a consumer.

It would be a tragedy to ban it, not to mention increased costs to the NHS and loss of tax revenue.

I know of one company providing batch by batch full spectrum analysis for their CBD oils and pastes.

It’s time all online sellers were doing the same, instead of leaving year old certificates on their websites, if you’re lucky!

As Des says below, it’s likely that CBD is going to be subjected to restrictions from the MHRA, in particular in strength and quantity. Getting rid of the cowboys will be a good thing, but we will probably have to resign ourselves to paying more for our CBD in future.

I agree, it’s probably safer to assume as CBD is banned on Amazon, the products are either fakes or dubious quality. Fake reviews are still an issue and the hempseed oil products are at best confusing and at worse deceiving buyers.

The seller I mentioned who is publishing batch by batch full spectrum analysis, is the CBD Brothers. Their CBD is also organic.

Unfortunately, Kanna Swiss is way out of my budget! I’m taking a range of supplements along with my CBD, for a couple of other conditions, so costs quickly add up! I’m so glad you’re finding the Kanna Swiss beneficial, it looks very good.

I’ll check it out! I’m probably strange as I like the taste of CBD, but I’m also eating 100% raw cacao instead of chocolate - that’s definitely an acquired taste! 😂

Decent raw cacao does indeed have a huge hit! Willies Cacao is my favourite, in a small part due to its interesting back story. I’m economising at the moment and have a 500g bag of organic 100% raw cacao discs. No where as nice as Willies, so I’m only using it as a carrier for my CBD paste! 😂 A much needed exercise after Christmas!

My OH thought we ought to go to bed as it was a bit chilly downstairs. He was right, I was nice and snug wearing a fleece on top of my pjs with a duvet and two blankets on my side of the bed! 🤣🤣🤣

Managed to get 4 hours sleep, thankfully, hope you were able to get some sleep in the end. 🤞

Yes i always say “ if it cheap its no good” ...

I went to amsterdam to get mine from a actual cbd specialists, where u can actually go into a clinic tell them ur reasons for wanting to try it and they will tell u whats is best for ur pain...

I brought some out there and brought it back to the uk and it was fantastic... killed my pain by 70% and i have not just got fibro unfotunately i have alot of health issues.

So is till get mine shipped over from them in netherlands.

There are a couple of good ones here ie cbdbrothers and lovecbd but once again if u want cheap stuff (as in holland & barratt , £9.95) it just hemp... it of no use to u whatsoever...

You pay for what u get, buy cheap get hemp... buy dear it will change ur life

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