Almost anyone shopping for CBD may have noticed that lots of brands advertise third-party lab reports on their website. This isn’t common in many other industries, leaving new customers a little confused. Well, lab reports are integral to the CBD purchasing process. It’s vital to buy a safe and high-quality product, and lab reports are the only way to verify this.
This article covers what you need to know about third-party lab testing for CBD products, how it works, and why it’s so essential.
There’s No Official Regulation
There is no official regulation within the CBD industry. Cannabidiol is not on the controlled substances list as of 2018 (when the Hemp Farming Act came into effect), which means it is effectively federally legal.
However, the substance has not yet received FDA approval despite it being widespread and legal in almost every U.S. state. The result is that nobody is regulating CBD products in an ever-growing market.
The massive CBD boom means that many individuals are seeking to make a quick buck, but they don’t really care about product quality or their customers safety.
So, what are customers to do when faced with such a vast product range and no way of telling what’s safe? That’s where lab reports come in.
Reputable companies send samples of their items to third-party laboratories. These laboratories then test the products to verify that the cannabinoid content printed on the label is correct. They will also check a variety of other things, including whether the product includes toxins.
How Do Lab Tests for CBD Work?
There are multiple ways to test CBD products. The most common is probably High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Typically, this involves dissolving the sample in a solvent, which is then put into a thin tube, and the pressure is increased. The individual compounds within will separate out, with heavier molecules sinking to the bottom.
There is a small hole at the bottom where the material exits; a U.V. light detector measures the density of each compound. Cannabinoids like CBD and THC have different densities, allowing the lab to determine how much of each one exists in the sample.
Other testing methods include PCR tests, M.S. testing, and NMR testing. The outcome is generally the same, though.
In case you’re wondering how much this process costs, it isn’t cheap. But it’s not crazy expensive, either. Lots of labs charge around $50 per sample for a basic test, but more comprehensive testing can cost up to $300.
Of course, one test is not enough. Trustworthy companies have to test their products constantly to maintain their status and put customers’ minds at rest. Lab testing is partially what drives up the cost of high-quality CBD products, but it’s worth it.
Why CBD Lab Reports Are Essential
Lab reports can tell the customer many things. Firstly, it says that the brand goes above and beyond to do the best for its customers.
Furthermore, it gives you the following information:
- Verifies that the product is within the legal limit of 0.3% THC.
- Confirms the cannabinoid content printed on the label, ensuring you aren’t getting scammed.
- Proves that there are no toxins, pesticides, or heavy metals in the product.
With no other regulation in the industry, customers should always seek lab reports. When you buy CBD online, check that the brand publishes lab reports. Often, these are located in the product description or on a dedicated website page.
Red Flags on CBD Lab Reports
Just because a brand posts lab reports does not mean all is well. You still need to be vigilant and check out whether the reports are legitimate. Keep an eye out for the following:
- Laboratory name: Third-party reports are always best because there is less risk of bias and falsification. Preferably, the lab’s name and logo should be somewhere on the report.
- Brand name: The only way to check if a brand’s reports are legitimate is if the company name is printed on the report. Sometimes, brands may obtain reports from the suppliers of their ingredients without testing the samples themselves. This is a major red flag, so the brand’s name should ideally be on the report.
- Language: For brands based in the USA, the results should be in English to ensure that the information is accessible to customers.
- Numbers: Are the numbers correct? Sometimes brands will publish lab reports even though the numbers don’t match up because they believe customers won’t check. Do the right thing and check the numbers.
Final Thoughts: Why Are Lab Reports Essential?
In a market filled with unregulated goods, lab reports are vital. Do not let this deter you, though – there are dozens of reputable companies with high-quality CBD products. If you look for lab reports on the website, you should be able to buy CBD products that are safe and give you the best results.
Hopefully, this guide gave you some confidence when it comes to shopping for CBD!