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Zenabis recalls mislabeled CBD gelcaps that actually contained THC

Published on December 20, 2019 · Last updated July 28, 2020

Since legalization, the two noteworthy types of cannabinoid labelling errors leading to recalls may be principally classified as “too much THC” and “not enough THC” (though they may also apply to CBD).

A labelling error that causes consumers to use weaker cannabis than they were expecting is, at least in the non-medical adult-use market, essentially a nuisance. The opposite problem—products containing far more THC than they are labelled to contain—is a more frightening prospect.

Unfortunately, Vancouver licensed producer Zenabis is going through just such a recall: their Namaste CBD Light gelcap products, supposed to each contain 0.19mg THC and 6.13mg CBD, actually contained 2.28mg THC and no CBD.

Some 165 units of the mislabelled gelcaps were sold in New Brunswick, through that province’s Crown monopoly Cannabis NB.

Though some on social media poked fun at the low dose of THC per capsule, others noted the gelcaps contained an equally low dose of CBD, suggesting consumers might be inclined to take more than one.

While incremental increases of less than 2.5mg are mild, three or four capsules taken together could be enough to cause impairment and potential discomfort to a person with no THC tolerance expecting only CBD.

This is Zenabis’s second such recall: previously, they recalled dry flower sold in Quebec that contained 17.3% THC and 0.07% CBD rather than the labelled 6.57% THC and 12.1% CBD.

Most licensed parties are focusing their attention, rightly or wrongly, on attracting new cannabis users, and many are happy the CBD boom is softening entrenched stigma and bringing new consumers into cannabis stores seeking CBD products.

That is, when they’ve been available to find them—LPs began the year having dramatically underestimated Canadians’ demand for CBD products.

At a moment when consumers are still exploring their relationships with CBD and other cannabis products, no LP wants to be known for sometimes containing an impairing amount of THC in products labelled to contain very little.

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Jesse B. Staniforth
Jesse B. Staniforth
Jesse Staniforth reports on cannabis, food safety, and Indigenous issues. He is the former editor of WeedWeek Canada.
View Jesse B. Staniforth's articles
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