In the US state of Massachusetts, medical marijuana is not always as it seems. Many medical products, researchers say, seem to differ greatly from the contents of their labels.
According to a new study published in JAMA Network Open, up to a third of supposedly CBD-dominant cannabis products sold in Massachusetts may not contain any CBD at all.
. Checking the label
To make their conclusions, the researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital analyzed urine samples from 97 patients who were enrolled in a clinical trial of the effects of medical cannabis for anxiety, depression, pain, and insomnia. Samples were provided within 48 hours of a patient consuming a product from a licensed dispensary and analyzed using high-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS).
Vaping was the most popular medium of cannabis consumption, but most participants used products infrequently (less than monthly).
The researchers found that, among patients who used CBD-dominant products, there were no detectable CBD metabolites in 10 samples (30.3 percent). This proportion of “missing” CBD metabolites was even higher among patients who used products with advertised equal amounts CBD and THC; 20 urine samples (37 percent) showed no signs of CBD.
THC, on the other hand, did turn up where it shouldn’t have. The federally illegal cannabinoid was detected in 26 urine samples (78.8 percent) from participants who only used CBD-dominant products.