But now, the question is, is CBD safe?
CBS4’s Lauren Pastrana took us inside a lab that’s testing CBD products to make sure consumers aren’t getting more than they bargained for.
At Evio Labs in Davie, quality control is the name of the game.
Teams of chemists spend their days testing various medical marijuana and CBD products to ensure their safety for consumers.
They’ve only been open for roughly a year and a half, but business is booming.
They often work seven days a week to keep up with demand, as the cannabis industry continues to expand.
“Last year we did about 35,000 tests. This year we’ve done about 71,000 through the end of this month,” said Chris Martinez, the co-founder and President of Evio Labs.
He said until recently, there was very little regulation of the hemp and CBD industry.
In fact, some products being billed as containing CBD, actually had no CBD at all.
“You want to see how much CBD is in the product on the hemp side,” Martinez said. “You want to see that there’s little to no THC in the product. Then you want to see that there’s no contaminants. No pesticides, no heavy metals, no microbial issues.”
The lab creates a full report and sends it back to the supplier.
Consumers should be able to request a certificate of analysis to ensure they’re getting what they paid for.
State lawmakers recently passed legislation legalizing industrial hemp farming under a program that would mandate anyone in the hemp industry to have their products tested at similar labs.
“The state is taking a very strong position on the hemp side of this to regulate it, to make sure if you’re buying the product from Florida, it’s going to be tested at a very high level to a gold standard and then that product will then be dispensed throughout the US,” Martinez said.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried was a major supporter of the creation of the state’s hemp program.
“People are seeing CBD all over the state of Florida being sold. It’s not being regulated. It’s dangerous for the consumer not knowing what’s in the products,” said Fried.
Fried said CBD has the potential to be a $3 billion industry for Florida, but quality and safety are key.
“Lab testing is going to be essential,” she said. “Not just for CBD but also on the medical marijuana side. We’re still waiting on the Department of Health to put out their third party testing rules. We’re going to put out ours for CBD. Everything is going to have to be tested.”
“Patients are catching on,” said Martinez. “People who are making these products are catching on and realizing regulation is coming. And when I say coming, it’s coming within the next few months.”