In Canada, many legal cannabis products overstate their THC and CBD content. Several studies, including those conducted by two laboratories and a cannabis producer, reveal a significant discrepancy between claims on labels and actual potency, with some products containing up to 20% less THC than advertised.
This misrepresentation of power has caused concern among industry experts. Borna Zlamalik, senior vice president of innovation and research and development at OrganiGram Holdings Inc. in Moncton, New Brunswick, says some cannabis companies intentionally manipulate their sampling procedures to present their products in the best possible light. day possible.
The lack of standardized testing methods and government oversight has contributed to this problem. Critics say producers sample and process products selectively, so they don’t accurately represent entire batches. There are also allegations of fraudulent testing techniques used by some cannabis testing companies to inflate THC results.
Health Canada has noted these concerns and is investigating complaints about inaccurate labels. It launched a data collection program in July to compare product results to potency claims, promising compliance and enforcement measures where necessary to mitigate health and safety risks.
This problem has worsened in recent years, with cannabis producers and laboratories competing for the market in a context of saturation. Customers are increasingly relying on price and power to differentiate themselves, which has led to an increase in average product power. This trend has led to financial losses for companies like OrganiGram as consumers switch to competing products with higher advertised potency.
Supra Research and Development, a Kelowna-based testing lab, tested 46 dried flower products and found that none met advertised THC levels, with most products being more than 20 percent lower. . A similar test conducted by High North Labs in Vaughan, Ontario showed that no products achieved the stated potency, with the majority being at least 5% less than the declared quantity.
These discrepancies have prompted calls for standardized analysis protocols within the industry to ensure accuracy and consistency. Health Canada is already studying the idea of setting THC variability limits for dried cannabis, as they currently exist for extractions, cannabis cosmetics or edibles.
In the United States, academic research has confirmed claims of THC content inflation, with labels on 80% of cannabis products overestimating THC content by at least 15% in some cases. Michigan’s cannabis regulator launched audits on products containing more than 28 percent total THC, while Washington state shut down labs that produced exaggerated results.