THC credibility takes a hit from conflicting lab reports

Published on March 10, 2023 by David Wylie

Photo: Adobe/the oz.
An accredited lab tested dozens of legal products to see if the THC levels listed matched the product.

Lab test results released this week show some wildly conflicting THC numbers from those listed on the label of dozens of legal products purchased in BC.

One of the products among the dozens sampled was flower listed at 34% THC, but tests from Supra Research and Development found the flower to be 19% THC.

Rob O’Brien, CEO and CSO at Supra, says the tests were done in his own accredited lab.

“I have recently purchased 46 products from the BC Cannabis store system and tested these for potency,” he said on LinkedIn. “The total THC values in all of the tested samples were below label claims.”

Of the samples, 12 were quarters, 14 were eighths, and 20 were one-gram packages. They varied from a 9% to 48% difference below the listed THC.

“This is a serious problem. Consumers should expect that the product labels accurately reflect the contents of the products that they purchase and deviations greater than 30% are not acceptable for any consumer products,” he said.

O’Brien says he’s registered a complaint with the BC Cannabis Stores and Health Canada.

None of the THC figures had names attached. There were calls on social media to “name and shame” the products and/or labs involved. However, they were left anonymous.

It’s the latest blow to cannabis consumer trust.

Part of the purported benefit of legalization was to bolster consumer trust in legal cannabis to weed out unlicensed pot. However, that trust has been elusive. From packing nuts and bolts instead of weed to complaints of empty containers, there has been a rocky five-year history between weed buyers and licensed producers.

It was sardonic timing for one new drop

Celebrity brand cannabis released Raptors RNTZ in Ontario this week, with a label boasting 40.4% THC. They were met with disbelief, cynicism, and mockery on social media.

Is it actually 40% THC?

Supra has offered to test samples you send them for $40.

Kingston, Ont., based retailer Calyx + Trichomes Cannabis waded into the discussion, saying they’d ordered it and would report back on its potency. That sparked debate as to whether retailers who ordered cannabis with suspiciously high lab results were complicit by pulling consumer attention away from proven potent weed.