Summit Labs recalled two lots of its CBD tinctures after the Florida Department of Agriculture discovered excessive lead levels through laboratory testing.

When many people hear the term “lead,” they’ll often first think of water (i.e., Flint, Michigan) or perhaps tainted consumer goods from China. However, CBD is in a unique regulatory position that is ripe for abuse from unscrupulous or careless producers such as, according to reports, Summit Labs.

The Effects of Lead Poisoning

Summit Labs’ failure to vet the safety of its Kore Organic is a serious violation of consumers’ trust because heavy metals like lead wreak havoc on human health. CBD users who are utilizing the medicine to mend a particular health condition may be even more vulnerable than the average person to the nasty effects of lead on their system.

Lead exposure in the amounts that the Florida FDA discovered them in Summit Labs’ CBD tinctures can cause the following harmful effects:

  • Hemolysis
  • Poor appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight Loss
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Constipation
  • Kidney Damage
  • Metallic taste in the mouth
  • Shock

Kore Organics: A Case Study in Dangerously Dishonest Marketing

To be clear, Kore Organics and its parent company, Summit Labs, did not engage in standard exaggerations of their products’ quality that is commonly seen across the CBD marketplace. Most, if not all companies, play up the “high quality” and “purity” of their CBD products to sell more. While such claims are questionable, they do not actively threaten the welfare of consumers who fall for their gimmicks.

Rather than engaging in relatively harmless hyping of its products, Summit Labs seriously jeopardized the well-being of its clients by either willfully misleading them about their products’ safety or through woefully negligent quality control monitoring.

Ironically, the company touts the supposedly sterling lab results for its CBD products on its own website in an attempt to placate savvier consumer’s concerns over potential contamination. Even worse for the company’s reputation, it specifically claims to test for metals in its products.

In fact, the company website is chock full of claims that seem to fly in the face of reality, given what we have learned about the impurity of Kore Organic’s CBD products. In its “About Us” section, the company claims that its products are “derived from the purest CBD strains in the United States.”

For CBD users who rely on the word of manufacturers, this incident should be a lesson: if the Florida FDA had never tested Kore Organic’s products and simply allowed the company to test its products itself as the website claims, then lead-tainted CBD supplies would be shipping out to unsuspecting customers across the US at this moment. You could’ve been one of them.

Why Heavy Metal Contamination in CBD May Be More Widespread Than Many Believe

Because of the regulatory limbo that CBD has been in for decades due to the American Drug War and the longstanding demonization of cannabis by anti-drug crusaders and government agencies, CBD products are not carefully screened for contaminants in the same way that pharmaceutical drugs are.

The Importance of Regulation in the CBD Industry

For all the rightful criticisms of the FDA’s wishy-washy regulatory approach to CBD, the Summit Labs case underscores the absolute necessity for a solid, reliable, transparent CBD regulatory apparatus for protecting public health from the exact kind of threat presented with the recent contamination of Kore Organic CBD products.

For the interest of all parties involved – CBD manufacturers, consumers, and regulatory bodies – the time for a comprehensive regulatory process to defend against unsafe industry practices is now.