A Fredericton woman is warning people to be cautious when purchasing CBD oil.
Starlit Simon started buying the Natural Remedy-branded oil four months ago to help with her anxiety.
But when she bought a new bottle a few weeks ago, the contents unexpectedly made her high.
“I didn’t know that I was high, I thought there was something significantly wrong with me,” Simon said.
“I thought maybe I was having psychosis. I thought maybe there was some kind of serious medical problem. I didn’t even suspect the CBD oil.”
CBD oil is meant to be therapeutic and doesn’t have psychoactive properties, but it can help with some people’s seizures, pain and anxiety.
Simon went about her day, but when the high wore off the following day, she told her colleagues about what happened. They suggested she get the contents of the bottle tested.
She took it to RPC, a cannabis-testing facility in Fredericton.
“They tested the bottle and it came back that there was absolutely no CBD oil in that bottle whatsoever,” she said.
The 50-millilitre bottle was actually filled with THC, which is psychoactive and makes you feel high.
“I believe it’s advertised as less than 0.5 milligrams per millilitre of THC. What we found was, for total THC, 11.5 milligrams per millilitre,” said Troy Smith, the cannabis lab supervisor at RPC.
Simon bought the oil at Sangster’s, a natural health store in the city. The store is owned by Sangster’s Canada, which is based in Saskatchewan.
In a statement to CBC News, the company said it does not authorize the sale of THC or CBD oil in any of its stores.
“Sangster’s Health Centres head franchise has notified the franchisee to immediately remove any such products from its store, and to cease and desist in selling any such unauthorized products immediately,” the statement said.
The oil was produced by a company called The Natural Remedy, which is based in Vancouver. When Simon reached out to the company to explain what happened, she said they were dismissive.
“Once I got upset, they started to take me seriously. And apparently the guy let it slip that they’ve had calls before of people thinking that they’re high [off CBD oil],” Simon said.
Simon said she was surprised something like this happened.
“I just assumed that purchasing this product from a legitimate store, that it was perfectly fine. But apparently this particular company is not regulated,” she said.
Simon was told by the company that nothing could be done to investigate the mix-up.
CBC News also reached out to the Natural Remedy, but they haven’t responded.
Cannabis oils can only be sold legally in the province by Cannabis NB or with a prescription through licensed producers like OrganiGram and Tidal Health Solutions.
Smith recommends that people who want to use cannabis oil should purchase it directly from those sources because the products are better regulated.
“People that buy products from [illegal] dispensaries do not know exactly what they are getting,” he said.
“Those products have not been tested as stringently as we test products for licensed producers.”