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Most CBD cannabis products fail to meet standards, say Swiss chemists

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Legal CBD products must have less than 1% THC - the active ingredient that gets smokers high. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

In Switzerland, the vast majority of products sold containing the cannabis extract cannabidiol (CBD) do not meet legal requirements, according to the Swiss Association of Cantonal Chemists.

Sellers of foodstuffs carrying the CBD label do not fulfil their legal obligations to self-monitor, or do so only to a very limited extent, the food safety oversight body said on Tuesday, describing the situation as “disastrous”.

Out of 100 products analysed by the association, 85 were found to be non-compliant and 73 were banned from sale. The sales bans mainly concerned CBD oils (43 banned out of 46 analysed). The amount of the psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) they contained was found to be too high, or unauthorised hemp extracts were used.

In addition to CBD oils, the cantonal chemists analysed dietary supplements, hemp infusions, chewing gum and chocolate as part of a national campaign.

They checked whether the legal requirements for their marketing were met, such as composition and THC content.

Legal cannabis has become a flourishing business in Switzerland, which changed its laws in 2011 to let adults buy and use cannabis with up to 1% THC – the active ingredient that gets smokers high. It is used alongside another active ingredient, cannabidiol (CBD), in a growing range of cannabis-related products.

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