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Government study of CBD labs gives vote of confidence to industry

A government-backed assessment of the quality of cannabis testing facilities has given a vote of confidence to the industry.

As CBD products now face strict regulatory controls from the Food Standards Agency, ensuring they are tested accurately for THC levels and other cannabinoids can be make or break for a company.

The ancillary industry is a crucial part of the sector’s supply chain, with one analysis forecasting it will be worth $2,445 million by 2027.

The Government Chemist, an official who leads of lab-related affairs on behalf of the government, initiated a ‘ring trial’ for labs involved in CBD testing, a study designed to compare the accuracy of different facilities.

Accurate testing for cannabinoid levels is ‘essential’ in order to ‘protect legitimate businesses and consumers from fraudulent or unsafe products’, the office said.

The finds are good news for the industry: 82% of labs demonstrated their capability to determine CBD in consumer products successfully.

In addition, laboratories demonstrated the ability to detect controlled cannabinoids in the consumer products, the study found.

It’s good news for companies waiting to hear from the FSA if their dossiers of testing data passes muster with regulators.

The Government Chemist, Dr Julian Braybrook, said: “As my public remit covers advice to UK government and other affected parties on the role of analytical measurement in effective policy, standards and regulations, I am delighted that we have been able to work across government to conduct an international ring trial on CBD and controlled cannabinoids in consumer products, an area of high interest worldwide.

“It is gratifying to see that the methods developed in the Government Chemist Programme have performed well, contributing both to demonstration of UK measurement capability in support of regulation of novel foods and cosmetic products and as important evidence for the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs’ call on the performance of methods for the determination controlled cannabinoids in commercial CBD products.”

This ring trial was a jointly funded initiative by the Office for Product Safety & Standards (OPSS) within the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the Home Office, and carried out in collaboration with Food Standards Scotland (FSS) and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), included 35 laboratories.

According to a statement, ‘participating laboratories used either methods developed through the Government Chemist programme or their own in-house methods to analyse reference samples provided’.

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