CBD Third-Party Lab Testing: Why It’s Important

A scientist is testing cannabis leaf

Hemp extract products are slowly but surely entering the medical field. With each passing day, more and more amazing benefits of CBD researchers are discovering. Moreover, a quick online search will show thousands of results about miraculous benefits of CBD.

However, not all that glitters is gold. As the FDA doesn’t regulate hemp goods, we must scrutinize what we consume. “There is a remarkable difference between the health properties of various CBD products, which means that companies in this business need to do their due diligence. This necessitates third-party testing.” Therefore, we must buy third-party lab-tested CBD products.

Nonetheless, why do we need to buy independently-tested products? Wouldn’t it be better to focus on what each product offers rather than what a study says? We’ll answer this question and assess the risks of buying non-independently tested CBD products through this article. So, join us to learn everything you need!

How Third-Party Lab Tests Work for CBD?

The lab runs a panel of tests to discern what is in our products, but just as importantly, what isn’t in our products—heavy metals, pesticides, or any harmful microbes. Once the testing is complete, we receive a Certificate of Analysis, which can be accessed by the QR code on the label of all our products.

Yet, there isn’t only one way to test batches. Labs have a wide range of testing methods at their disposal. Some of the methods they might use are:

  • HPLC Testing

The High-Performance Liquid Chromatography testing method is the most common. That is because it’s highly accurate and cost-effective. HPLC testing works by dissolving a small sample and pressurizing it in a tube.
Compounds separate, and they escape the tube through a tiny exit hole. A UV light detector measures how much UV light the escaping molecules absorb. As they have different densities, the detector matches each element to a cannabinoid. That way, researchers quantify them.

  • PCR Testing

The method “analyzes strands of DNA in a sample and matches it up with known DNA patterns of bacterial, fungal, and protozoal bacteria.” Third-party laboratories provide information on the level of contamination of a sample according to the species that appear.

  • MS Testing

The MS testing method calls for the ionization of a test sample. Once it is complete, the sample goes through electromagnetic fields. They divide individual components, and then researchers analyze the masses of each. In this way, they can find out if there is any harmful metal present.

Why CBD Third Party Lab Testing Is Important?

As many states question CBD legality, the Food and Drugs Administration refuses to inspect products that contain it. “CBD is everywhere but as with any emerging high-growth industry, ambiguity breeds bad actors. Many CBD products on sale today don’t have source traceability, nor have they been put through robust quality control processes to measure CBD content and for the presence of contaminants.”

Nothing prevents sellers from making uninformed claims about the composition of their product and its benefits. It might result in dire consequences for the consumers. That is why it is always advisable to buy products that go through third-party testing.

CBD chemical compound

What Do Third-Party Labs Test For?

“Laboratory tests are extremely rigorous. Every aspect of the product is broken down and analyzed.” There are a large number of factors a CBD lab test inspects. Among them, we have:

  • Heavy Metals

Cannabis can and does often absorb the heavy metals present in the soil it grows in. These metals can harm the consumer. Their side effects include the destruction of cell structures in the body and inflammation. The metals that may appear are cadmium, lead, mercury, and arsenic. With pollution being more common every day, so do CBD 3rd party lab companies test their batches.

  • Cannabinoid Profiles

Researchers look for a plant’s cannabinoid profile to find out what the concentration of each component is. They look to quantify the concentration of CBN, CBC, CBG, and, of course, CBD and THC. With the result at hand, a company will know how potent their CBD is. Moreover, this test is vital because the THC might be more significant than what the manufacturer thought. A higher-than-expected amount of CBD can have severe consequences on the users. First and foremost, many states forbid marijuana, but CBD isn’t. As a result, the presence of THC in a CBD drug test can result in jail time or fines. What’s more, users susceptible to THC can suffer psychoactive side effects.

  • Terpene Profiles

Terpenes are tiny chemical components of cannabis. They are responsible for the taste and smell of a hemp plant. Do your buds smell piney and have a citric taste? Well, that’s thanks to the terpenes it has. However, the functions of the terpenes don’t end there.

Some therapeutic benefits of hemp oil rely heavily on the plant’s terpenes. A few cannabis terpenes might improve the absorption of cannabinoids, such as the beloved CBD. In addition, other terpenes provide their therapeutic benefits. These benefits might include the sedative, relaxing, or anti-nausea effects of CBD products.

  • Solvents

Solvent extraction methods have become almost obsolete. That’s because companies usually go for the safest CO₂ extraction method. Nonetheless, some users prefer the traditional technique, and a few brands are happy to indulge them. That’s why labs ensure they aren’t present in the final product. Some solvent companies use propane, ethanol, acetone, chloroform, and benzene.

  • Biological Contaminants

Lastly, labs also look for biological contaminants that might be present in cannabis. That’s because a batch can be contaminated with bacteria, parasites, fungi, or mold. These contaminants can result in allergic reactions or seriously damage the consumer.

How Does Lab Testing Work?

If you’ve ever wondered how third-party testing works, let us tell you you’ll be amazed! First, a manufacturer hires an independent laboratory to study their quality. Nevertheless, why do they do this? It’s all a matter of confidence and profits. Having the green light of trustworthy researchers ensures its products have the quality they claim. As a result, customers are more willing to spend their money on that brand.

“Independent testing is important because it proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that what the label says is what you’re paying for and putting in your body. These independent testing companies have nothing to lose, so you can be sure that you’re receiving genuine information that you can trust.”

After choosing and hiring a lab, researchers will take samples of each hemp batch. Later, they’ll analyze these samples to see if they are safe to consume. Most manufacturers get a batch of each product tested only once or wait long periods to get a new batch analyzed. However, those who put particular concern on their quality get every batch tested, time after time.

If the laboratory finds no suspicious elements in the batch, they’ll provide a Certificate of Analysis (COA). Brands then post these COAs on their websites as a way of backing their products. If researchers find something harmful, the manufacturer will detect where the element might have come from. Batches are usually contaminated during cultivation or manufacturing. After solving the issue, the company will get a new batch tested and get their COA.

Why Should You Buy Only 3rd Party Lab Tested CBD Products?

First of all, let’s clarify that companies aren’t forced to third-party test their products. So, the lack of independent testing doesn’t turn them into scammers. With that out of the way, yes, you should always choose a tested product over a non-tested one. That’s because COAs are the only way of guaranteeing a product’s safety.

With the widespread use of graphic design programs and printers, everyone can design their fancy label. Therefore, crooked entrepreneurs are having a blast in this unregulated CBD market. They set up excellent websites, buy tons of cheap hemp oils and resell them with their label on.

Final Thoughts

The hemp market is full of CBD oils that claim to be high potency. Yet nothing could be further from the truth for some. What’s more, many claim unfunded health benefits that can result in people avoiding health professionals. In addition to this, some untested oils can directly damage their consumers.

Besides the potential side effects untested hemp extract can have on their users, they can also result in jail sentences. Therefore, as we’ve seen throughout this article, independent lab testing isn’t only necessary but vital. So, take a look at what you consume and always look for the Certificates of Analysis.


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