CBD Oil is everywhere these days, but that doesn’t necessarily mean all are at industry standard. Any brand can claim that their cannabis product is ‘lab tested’. But this doesn’t actually mean anything unless they provide you with third-party lab results.
When we say ‘third-party’ we are referring to a lab that is completely independent of the producer. The potential therapeutic benefits of taking a product like CBD can be incredibly life changing for some people, so making sure the product is as real and close to its purest form is highly important. Having third party lab results can help provide you with proof that the product your buying is what it says it is, pure and safe.
Like any other plant or produce, it’s really only as safe as what it’s been exposed to and only as healthy as the soil it was planted in and this is why you should care about lab testing.
Testing for heavy metals, mold and toxic pesticides is very important as they are known to be highly toxic to humans, as our bodies cannot efficiently remove them. You want to make sure that the product you have found is of highest quality and most importantly safe for your consumption.
The main ones you want to watch for are arseniic, lead, mercury and cadmium.
The Certificate of Analysis for some products will also show the moisture content when tested. If the moisture level is too high, then there is a risk of fungi and bacteria living in the product and if its too low it could leave it brittle and dry.
So the only real way to be sure of the potency and quality of a product, along with whether the product is contaminated is to do third party lab testing.
You want to also keep in mind that the lab your product is being tested at is reputable and known for their consistency, effectiveness or safety.
The cannabis plant is a known bioaccumulator which means it can absorb a large majority of whatever its root system comes into contact with, including toxins like heavy metals. If the plant material contains heavy metals absorbed from its soils, then the oils extracted from the plant will also contain these contaminants.
So third party lab testing matters because it helps you separate the bad and good quality products. Third-party lab testing is the process of a company sending their products out to a private laboratory to verify the CBD content and purity (i.e. no chemicals, toxins or harmful bacterias)
Some companies will publish their results on the packaging of their products, although this is limited to labelling laws in specific locations.
Other companies will provide you with detailed lab results, usually a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for a particular batch of products and some companies you’ll need to contact them directly.
Simply put if a brand/company refuses to hand over lab results then we suggest you question whether the product is safe or is what it claims to be, or maybe its not even been tested in the first place.
In terms of potency, most results will at the very least show the levels of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids in the product. These are the active substances that are responsible for the various psychological and physiological effects of different strains.
Here’s what to look for in a thorough CBD lab report:
- How much CBD is actually in the product.
Even though the label on your CBD product may state it contains a certain amount of MGs of CBD in your product, there may actually not be as much as it states. A third-party lab test is the perfect place to verify the actual amount of CBD content in the product.
- How much THC is in the product. The hemp plant naturally contains a small amount of THC, but nowhere near enough to give you that “high” feeling.
There is a legal limit of THC in hemp products, so It’s important to note that the THC amount is at or below 0.3% on the lab report.
- Details on the cannabinoid profile.
Depending on the type of product you choose, you’ll want to confirm that’s actually what you’re getting. A cannabinoid profile can tell you these details.
CBDa, CBG, CBN, THC and more.
The cannabinoid profile gives you a more in-depth look at the different cannabinoids within the product
For eg, if you’re purchasing an Isolate product, CBD should be the only cannabinoid within this profile, and if you’re purchasing a product that is full-spectrum, you can expect to see a cannabinoid profile that shows more than just CBD, including: CBDa, CBG, CBN, THC and more.
Although this is less commonly found on lab results, you may also notice your product has been tested for terpenes, and if so the testing will break down the terpenes content into further detail. Terpenes are compounds found within plants that provide flavour and give the plant aroma. They also offer other therapeutic benefits based on their unique individual medicinal properties.
Terpenes may also play a role in differentiating the effects of cannabis strains. Some may be more uplifting and promote more focus whereas others may promote more relaxation and stress relief.
Third-party lab testing can provide you with a wealth of information to be sure that what you’re purchasing is safe for consumption and you know you’re getting a quality product from a brand/company you can trust. . We believe its empowering to understand what’s in the products you’re purchasing. You should be able to access lab test results easily and if you cant you may want to question the reason why, the authenticity of the produt.