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CBD: What's In It, And How To Spot Scams

CBD products are now legal in Florida, but not all products are created equal.
Courtesy Second and Seed
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

CBD is showing up more and more in Florida, from gas stations to grocery stories. It was being sold long before it became legal in the state on July 1. But there is a lot of confusion about whether it’s safe and what is legitimate.

This week on Florida Matters we get some clarity about CBD products from experts who sell it or recommend it to patients.

Our guest include:

Dr. David Berger, owner and medical director of Wholistic Pediatrics and Family Care

Jonathan Solomon, president of Proleve, a company that sells lab-tested CBD products  

We learn more about what CBD is. The ingredient is found in cannabis plants, but it does not produce the high commonly associated with marijuana. People who consume it say it helps with stress, pain relief and sleep, as well as other conditions.

But not all products you see on store shelves or online are created equal. There are plenty of businesses selling CBD products that either don’t contain real CBD or that also contain harmful additives.

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Dr. Berger recommended people interested in trying CBD consult with their physician and try to obtain it from a medical marijuana treatment center, commonly known as a dispensary. These facilities were able to legally sell CBD before the law legalizing hemp in the state went into effect on July 1.

Berger said dispensary staff should be knowledgeable in educating patients about CBD products, and because the state has strict rules about what is sold in dispensaries, there is a much higher chance the products are safe.

But for those not interested or able to obtain authorization to shop in medical marijuana dispensaries, Jonathan Solomon said there are other companies selling safe, effective CBD products. He said there are several factors to consider when determining if a CBD product seems safe:

  1. Check to see if the product contains any additives or fillers.
  2. Check whether the product – and the CBD itself – is made in America. He said there have been cases where CBD coming from other countries like China or India has been contaminated with hard metals or chemicals the plant absorbed in the ground.
  3. Ensure the product is THC-free or at least contains less than 0.3 percent THC, which is the legal limit.
  4. Confirm whether the finished product is tested by a third-party lab. Companies should have their lab results readily available, with many choosing to post them on their websites.

Copyright 2019 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7

Stephanie Colombini joined WUSF Public Media in December 2016 as Producer of Florida Matters, WUSF’s public affairs show. She’s also a reporter for WUSF’s Health News Florida project.
Robin is Senior Editor at WUSF, spearheading the station's podcasting initiatives and helping to guide the vision for special reporting projects and creative storytelling. She hosts the weekly current affairs program, Florida Matters, on WUSF and also created The Zest, the station's podcast that's all about food, which she continues to host and serve as senior producer.
Mary Shedden is news director at WUSF.
Mary Shedden
Mary Shedden is news director at WUSF Public Media, where she oversees a team of reporters covering 13 counties on Florida’s west coast.
Julio Ochoa is editor of Health News Florida.
Julio Ochoa
Julio Ochoa is editor of Health News Florida.