Lab Tests are important for all of us.  Consumers and Entrepreneurs.   As consumers, we want to know the contents in our food, drink, medicine and more.  As Entrepreneurs, we want to know that the products that we are advocating are safe, well-made and useful.  So let’s talk about Lab Reports.   What they should have.  And how you should examine them.

A legitimate Lab Report is called a “Certificate of Analysis” (COA). 

First of all, make sure that the Report is from a 3rd Party.  That means that the manufacturing or distribution company does not own an interest nor control the Lab.  If they did, then the company could possibly influence the results in an inaccurate and favorable manner.  Or it could be a complete and utter fabrication.  A lie.  One can merely read the headlines to see how companies can and will lie about their products and ingredients. In the case of a CBD Certificate of Analysis, you want to make sure that these harmful ingredients are not in your CBD product:

  • Pesticides
  • Heavy Metals
  • Synthetics

You also want to examine the ingredients to verify the presence of the correct levels of CBD as well as the level of THC.   In the COA, these are referred to as the Cannabinoid Profile & Potency.  

Potency:  You will want to find out the exact amount of cannabinoids in your product.  CBD is the main ingredient but not the only compound present in cannabis including Industrial Hemp.  The other compounds are identified as CBDA, CBC, THC, THCA and many others.  Up to 108 known cannabinoid compounds.

CBD Content:  CBD in the Lab Report is noted by strength and content, listed in milligrams (mg) or grams or show in readily readable percentages.   The higher percentage of CBD, then the stronger the CBD oil.  This is important.   One drop of a more potent CBD oil will contain more cannabidiol than one drop of with a less strong CBD. 

Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum vs. Isolate:  The biggest division between CBD product is the difference between Full-Spectrum vs. Isolate

  • Full spectrum product contain a wide range of cannabinoids.  These elements include THC, a mix of cannabinoids and terpenes.
  • Broad spectrum products contain a range of cannabinoids, but no THC.
  • Isolates only have CBD and no other compounds such as terpenes or other cannabinoids. These products are also known as 100% CBD.

Terpene Profile:   Terpenes  are fascinating compounds, responsible for the distinct flavors in CBD oil.  From the distinct ‘woodsy’ to a more citric taste, they are unique from the growing source to the final product.  These aromatic terpenes also have unique beneficial effects.  Terpenes are usually measured in parts per million (PPM). These terpenes have unique properties.  Some terpenes like linalool and myracene have sedative qualities.  Pinene may aid memory.

Microbes:  Various microbial organism are out there with any plant-based organic product.  Some are healthy.  Some are dangerous. Best to avoid microbes in your CBD products. 

Pesticides:  These dangerous chemicals have become a growing concern in agricultural products.  The growing popularity of Farmer’s Markets attest to the public’s interest in pesticide free and organic produce and products.   These chemicals come from pesticides, fertilizers, growth hormones and other herbicides.    A key component to healthy CBD use is organic farming techniques. 

Heavy Metals:  Labs invariably test for CBD to detect the presence of dangerous heavy metals such as

  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Mercury
  • Lead

Chemical Solvents:  Many products take a base ingredient such as Industrial Hemp to make a concentrated form of oil.  These processes can, in many cases, require the use of chemical solvents to extract CBD from the plant and turn it into oil.   High concentrations of chemical solvents can lead to very serious health issues.   Glycols are especially dangerous, especially proplene glycol (PG) or polyethylene glycol (PEG).  These dangerous solvents include such cancer causing agents as formaldehyde.  So examine the COA very carefully on these issues.