If you type in the phrase “Where can I buy CBD?” into Google’s search field, you’ll get back over 2 million results for that question alone. From buyer’s guides to company home pages, a consumer who is new to the CBD world will inevitably be inundated with promises from CBD companies all claiming to have the purest or most potent product.
While the presence of third-party lab test results on a CBD company’s site usually all but guarantees that the product is safe, this is not always the case.
Some companies may add synthetic cannabinoids and other harmful substances to the finished product, such as K2 in a CBD vape additive for just one example. Unfortunately, this won’t be shown on the certificate of analysis because most companies only have their third-party labs analyze the samples for the full range of phytocannabinoids, not the presence of synthetic cannabinoids like K2.
Today, we’ll cover one of the companies who’s on the hook for selling products which have been found to be laced with a dangerous synthetic cannabinoid. We’ll start by presenting the claims that this company has made to its customers, delve into some troubling findings by a third-party lab, and conclude with some actual customer testimonials from those who’ve had the misfortune of falling ill after consuming Diamond CBD products.
Who Is Diamond CBD?
Founded in 2015, Diamond CBD is a Florida-based company aiming to make high-quality CBD oil supplements available throughout the United States.
According to their “About” page, Diamond CBD’s main goal is to research and develop cutting-edge, high-quality hemp oil extracts and distribute them throughout the world. Their team, which consists of doctors and scientists, strives to make the highest-quality and purest CBD products. Through their research and development efforts, Diamond CBD seeks to develop a wide variety of hemp oil extracts with the full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytochemicals.
Diamond CBD’s Hemp Source, Processing, Legality, and Psychoactivity
Diamond CBD states it sources all its industrial hemp from their partner farms in Kentucky, Colorado, and Scandinavia. Once their non-GMO hemp plants are ready for processing, they gingerly hand-pick and select their plants, carefully drying and processing them.
Next, the plant material undergoes supercritical CO2 extraction, which results in a high-quality, full-spectrum hemp oil.
Diamond CBD claims their products are legal in all 50 states. And, since their products are derived from hemp and not weed, they meet the federal limit of 0.3 percent THC. This means users won’t experience any psychoactive effects.
Independent Third-Party Lab Testing
Lastly, Diamond CBD states all their products have been tested by a third-party lab to ensure their purity and safety. What’s more, they state their products have no synthetic ingredients and that the lab tests verify all their company’s product ingredients.
Findings from the Nov. 2018 Forensic Science International Report
However, in the Nov. 2018 issue of Forensic International, Justin L. Poklis decided to analyze the contents of commercially-available CBD e-liquids after receiving a tip from an outside source about Diamon CBD products.
The source claimed they suspected the CBD e-liquids they purchased from Diamond CBD may have had other active compounds. So, after receiving the source’s sample of Liquid Gold Strawberry and Diamond CBD Vape Additive, the researchers purchased those two same products, along with seven additional products, directly from Diamond CBD’s site. They analyzed:
- Liquid Gold Strawberry
- Liquid Gold Jungle Juice
- Diamond CBD Vape Additive
- Blue CBD 250 mg
- Blue CBD 1,000 mg
- Diamond CBD 50 mg
- And Diamond CBD 1,000 mg
They concluded that all nine samples contained CBD, two contained THC, four contained 5F-ADB—a synthetic cannabinoid or cannabimimetic— and one contained Dextromethorphan—a relatively common cough suppressant.
What Is 5F-ADB?
Known as spice, K2, herbal incense, and synthetic cannabis, 5F-ADB mimics the effects of THC, giving rise to its classification as a cannabimimetic. According to a critical review from the World Health Organization, it produces a high similar to that of THC but at much lower doses. 5F-ADB can cause complications in those with a preexisting cardiovascular conditions and produce episodes of acute psychosis. Lastly, it has no recognized therapeutic use.
Consumers looking to supplement their wellness regimens with non-psychoactive CBD would have been, at the very least, startled by the effect of ingesting anything with 5F-ADB. Its milder symptoms include euphoria, paranoia, distortion of time, and hallucinations. At higher doses, it can trigger seizures, convulsions, tachycardia, delirium, violent behavior, and even sudden death.
What Is Dextromethorphan?
Most commonly found in over-the-counter cough-and-cold medications—like Zicam Multi-symptom Cold and Flu Day and Night Time formula—dextromethorphan (DXM) is used as a cough suppressant.
Usually, it’s found among other ingredients in medications used to treat fevers and colds. But, because it can produce dissociative hallucinations similar to that of ketamine, it can be highly addictive.
At normal doses, DXM is very effective for suppressing coughs. However, at higher doses, it can cause impaired vision, excessive sweating, fever, a fast or irregular heart rate, slurred speech, memory loss, nausea/vomiting, impaired judgment. In worst case scenarios, the consumer could end up in a coma.
Diamond CBD Customer Experiences
According to one user on Reddit who tried Diamond CBD’s Liquid Gold or Vape Additive products, they experienced a high similar to that produced by cannabis sativa.
After their experience, they went back to the vape shop and asked if the product contained spice or K2. Apparently, the owner, who’d been asked this several times, produced a sheet allegedly containing lab test results for the Diamond CBD product in question.
At first, the Reddit user concluded that Diamond CBD’s products would be a nice way to get the same high from cannabis without ingesting an illegal substance. But, other Redditors began chiming in with links to news articles on the dangers of consuming products with synthetic cannabimimetics. Fortunately, the OP heeded the advice and threw the rest of the product away.
Another Reddit user wasn’t so lucky. After nursing their vape pen containing Diamond CBD Vape Additive, they gradually began losing awareness of their surroundings. Soon after, their vision began fading into blackness, and they lost coordination and strength in their body.
According to a nurse who happened to be there, the user lost consciousness, dropped to the floor, turned “dead-white,” and began exhibiting the beginnings of a seizure. To make matters even worse, the Redditor had no pulse.
Over the next few minutes, the user claimed they were drifting in and out of consciousness. They were also fully cognizant and able to hear people around them but unable to respond. Once the paramedics arrived, the Redditor had regained their vision and was able to respond.
In the ensuing weeks, the Redditor was subjected to MRIs and other tests. The tests came back inconclusive, but the OP noted that their hippocampus was functioning at ⅕ of its normal rate.
A quick search for Diamond CBD in the r/CBD Subreddit reveals a whole host of bad experiences with this company. It’s important to note that CBD Breaker did not independently verify the accuracy of these claims. However, it’s easy to see how they could have happened given the chemicals found in Diamond CBD’s products.
Diamond CBD Response
Diamond CBD’s CEO Kevin Hagen told Consumer Report that, as a direct result of the findings above, his company would re-test all its current products and recall any which were tainted.
“The company strives to provide the assurance that we supply the best, highest-quality products on the market,” Hagen said in the report, adding that he supports regulation to “ensure the safety and quality of CBD products.”
But in his phone conversation with Leafly, Mr. Hagen stated that the findings from the paper cited above were for a different formulation from 2017. He also suggested that, because Diamond CBD has never used either 5F-ADB or DXM in any of their products, it must have been due to product of tampering further up the supply chain.
In other words, Diamond CBD sources hemp oil, vegetable glycerine, and flavorings from other suppliers, other parties could very well have been responsible.
While it’s tempting to take the certificates of any CBD company at face value, cases like the ones above, while anecdotal, serve as valuable illustrations of what can happen when greed supersedes the well-being of individual customers.
In a burgeoning field which has yet to develop strong, consistent regulations for its products across the board, the CBD market is, unfortunately, very susceptible to bad actors tainting their products.
Moreover, those seeking out CBD products are often people who are looking for relief from serious illnesses or pain. As such, their immune systems may be compromised or weakened. For this reason, it is doubly important to read customer reviews, ask questions, and contact the company should you have any doubts about the quality of their products.
So, because of the overwhelming evidence of their products’ lack of safety, we cannot recommend Diamond CBD and strongly urge you to purchase your CBD products elsewhere.
- Mystery of Hemp: Top 5 Ways to Identify High Quality CBD Oil
- Diamond CBD Facebook Page
- Diamond CBD Official Website
- Eden Labs LLC: Supercritical CO2 Extraction
- Wikipedia: Direct analysis in real time
- Wikipedia: Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry
- Expert Committee on Drug Dependence: 5F-ADB Critical Review Report
- Mayo Clinic: Tachycardia
- MedlinePlus: Dextromethorphan
- WebMD: Teens and DXM Drug Abuse
- Reddit Reviews
- Consumer Reports: Dangerous Chemicals Are Found in Popular CBD Products