GemmaCert Data Show 45% of THC-Dominant Flowers Are Mislabelled

TEL AVIV, Israel – GemmaCert, a provider of reliable solutions for cannabis analysis, has released results for 2020 under its global analytical initiative to map cannabis strength worldwide and evaluate the accuracy of advertised cannabis potency based on actual results. In 2020, GemmaCert accumulated over 1.5 million potency scans in 35 countries on 6 continents.  

According to the Israeli company, the global THC average in THC-dominant flowers tested on GemmaCert devices in regulated markets in 2020 was 15.35%. For CBD in CBD dominant flowers, it was 8.90%. Dry flowers form the largest product category in the cannabis market. According to BDS Analytics, flowers comprised 45% of U.S. cannabis retail sales in 2020.


GemmaCert flower potency data for key markets included:

FlowersUSACanadaThe NetherlandsSouth AfricaAustraliaIsrael
THC Dominant16.31%15.89%15.54%14.09%15.61%15.72%
CBD Dominant10.39%8.32%9.85%10.78%9.00%8.59%

Meanwhile, a recent study by the University of North Carolina and Wake Forest University found that most cannabis flower products advertised online by dispensaries across the United States claimed THC levels above 15%. This follows an earlier study in Washington state which showed that products with labels claiming THC levels of 15% or higher accounted for over 90% of sales. Unsurprisingly, the price of cannabis rises with increasing concentrations of THC.

The GemmaCert data confirms that actual THC potency levels are on average above 15% for THC dominant flowers. However, the data also indicates that a meaningful share of flowers are mislabelled with THC values higher than actual:

THC Dominant FlowersWorldUSACanadaNetherlandsSouth AfricaAustraliaIsrael
% of flowers with THC < 15%45%30%37%41%64%37%38%

Therefore, consumers need to be aware that there is a reasonable chance they are overpaying for these goods. Inaccurate labelling remains a common problem in the cannabis industry. “Cannabis companies need to do much more to ensure their labels are accurate. Otherwise, consumer trust will erode, and brands will lose value,” said Dr. Setton.

“GemmaCert’s solutions for cannabis testing empower companies to carry out rigorous, timely, affordable, and reliable in-house testing so that they can continuously verify label accuracy,” Dr. Setton added.

About GemmaCert
GemmaCert was founded in 2015 in collaboration with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. GemmaCert devices are carefully hand-assembled and tested in Israel before shipped worldwide. Devices are TÜV Rheinland certified, CE compliant, conform with European and German Pharmacopeia, and meet necessary privacy and data security requirements. R&D is conducted at the company’s ISO 17025 certified laboratory dedicated to cannabis diagnostics under license by the Israel Ministry of Health. GemmaCert owns the world’s largest reference database of cannabis spectra sourced from around the globe over the years.