FAQ- Lab Reports and Certificates of Analysis
What is a Lab Report/COA?
A third-party CBD lab report provides unbiased verification of what’s actually in the product you’re buying.
- Often referred to as certificates of analysis (COA) - they are the key to knowing what is or is not in the hemp extract that makes a CBD product special.
- Despite this, the industry continues to operate in an FDA unregulated space. There is currently no quality or content control on CBD products sold in the general consumer market.
- Lab reports allow you to determine the cannabis content, quality and authenticate that the product is clear of any contaminants including, but not limited to, heavy metals, mold, pesticides and more. In some cases, lab reports may be provided for what other ingredients are in a CBD product, like carrier oils.
Why are Lab Reports needed?
Not all products are made the same. CBD has exploded into the mainstream and the industry is growing at an extremely rapid pace. This growth has seen hundreds of new brands pop up on the scene and not all have the same quality control standards.
What information is included in a lab report?
- CBD: The main chemical compound to look for in the lab report is CBD (which may sometimes be listed by the scientific name, cannabidiol).
- Other cannabinoids: CBD itself is a cannabinoid, but it usually is not the only one present in cannabis or hemp plants. Other cannabinoids to look out for in these third-party lab reports are CBC, THC, THCA, CBG, CBDA, and CBN. Be aware that many reports won’t list the full cannabinoid profile. It just means the other cannabinoids didn’t show up on the testing machinery..
- Pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones, and fertilizers. You do NOT want to see any pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones, or fertilizers show up in the third-party lab report. The best CBD oils will be 100% free of any of these potentially harmful byproducts.
- Microbes: The term “microbe” in itself is very vague, as there are millions of different species of microbial organisms out there, both good and bad. In general, though, you don’t want any living organisms present in your CBD oil. So if microbes show up in the third-party lab report, your best bet is to steer clear.
- Chemical Solvents:Chemical solvents are a big thing to be on the lookout for. If the lab report lists ANY form of glycols – especially polyethylene glycol (PEG) or propylene glycol (PG), be cautious of these products. These are chemical solvents that can break down into carcinogenic (cancer-causing) aldehydes such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. In most cases, if these solvents come back on the lab report, the manufacturer will not ship the CBD products to the distributor. Nonetheless, please be aware of these and be on the lookout and make sure they are not in your CBD products