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Products tested for CBD in Kent found to contain illegal drugs

Scientists who tested a number of CBD products – a substance popular for pain relief – found the majority contained illegal drugs.

The testing was carried out on behalf of several local authorities by Kent Scientific Services (KSS), the Official Control Laboratory operated by Kent County Council.

The results of testing on 61 products found that 44 samples contained one or more of the psychoactive elements of cannabis.

These are controlled drugs and are illegal.

KSS public analyst Jon Griffin who led the testing said: “CBD is the non-psychoactive element of cannabis.

"It is suggested it can have benefits including reduced anxiety, assisting with sleep and managing pain.

"On its own CBD is not an illegal controlled drug.”

Cola chunks – one of the products which had illegal ingredients
Cola chunks – one of the products which had illegal ingredients

CBD is classed as a novel food and is currently being assessed for safety by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) which has allowed around 12,000 products to be marketed in the UK, pending final approval.

The product can only be sold if it is on the list.

Products on the other end of the scale were found to contain hardly any CBD at all, despite claiming to, making them up to 99% deficient.

Two did not claim to contain any CBD but did, and two others contained products which are not on the FSA list.

In total, of the 61 samples, 72% contained one or more of these psychoactive elements of cannabis.

The products were tested by Kent Scientific Services
The products were tested by Kent Scientific Services

Mark Rolfe, the head of KSS, said: “The issue with this, in my view, is that people don’t know what they are consuming.

"We have tested one sample for a member of the public who has failed a workplace drugs test having, he says, never touched drugs in his life.

"He has, however, consumed this product which we have found to contain the drug for which he failed the test.”

A wide range of products were tested including foods which were covered by the FSA, as well as cosmetics and vapes which were not.

Examples of the products include cola chunks, marmalade, gummy bears, cookies, lollipops and CBD drinks.

Others were CBD oil, vapes of various flavours – including lemon drizzle, watermelon and raspberry – muscle balm and beard oil.

The result of the analysis of each product is sent to the agency or service which commissioned it from KSS for them to determine what action to take.

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