Buying CBD is a tricky business. When making the purchase, you have to make sure the company you’re buying from is reputable and transparent. Not to forget, CBD lab report.
Unfortunately, the CBD industry is highly unregulated.
The Farm Bill, also called the Agricultural Act of 2018, has legalized CBD, but the FDA has yet to impose certain restrictions to ensure quality adherence. Until this happens, it’s in your best interest to put your trust in a company that supports independent third-party lab testing. Your vendor should publish lab results on their website or some other public platform, so you know every ingredient present in your product.
After you find a company that meets these criteria, the next step is to learn how to read a CBD lab report. This is the hard part that requires some scientific knowledge. If you have no idea where to start, this article will give you the push you need.
Cannabinoid content: CBD Lab Report
In a CBD report, the first thing you have to look for is the cannabinoid content. Many CBD products are guilty of not having any CBD at all. Companies may dupe you into buying a product advertised to contain CBD that instead contains a mix of terpenes and other cannabis-based chemicals.
Verifying the dosage from the lab report is another thing you should familiarize yourself with. If you buy a 400mg CBD oil bottle with 40 servings, this should translate into 10mg/serving.
The cannabinoid profile will also tell you the kind of product you’re buying. For example, CBD isolate contains only pure CBD — nothing else. On the other hand, Full Spectrum CBD oil contains cannabinoids like CBD and THC and other cannabis compounds like terpenes and flavonoids. So, if the lab report says that your product contains compounds other than CBD, then it’s probably a full-spectrum CBD product.
Full Spectrum CBD products are superior to CBD isolates because of the entourage effect. The entourage effect is a synergetic relationship between different compounds found in cannabis to improve drug action and efficacy.
This means that CBD alone won’t have the same potent effect as when combined with other compounds.
That said, if you’re worried about failing a drug test, you should go for a CBD isolate. This is because of most employers test for THC — the main psychoactive component of cannabis — present in full-spectrum CBD oil. If you find out that THC is present on a lab report and that its concentration is high, ditch the product and look elsewhere.
Check for heavy metal concentrations on the lab report. Hemp has an excellent filtration system. It soaks up pretty much everything and anything in the soil it’s planted in. However, some CBD products may contain high levels of heavy metals due to contamination in the extraction and manufacturing process.
Read the report for heavy metals like lead and chromium. There are recommended concentrations of these compounds that you should keep in mind. For example, no CBD product should contain lead concentrations higher than .015 parts per million.
The lab report will have columns for heavy metal concentrations and trigger limits. Trigger limits are thresholds after which the amounts of heavy metals become a problem. If you don’t want to get into the numbers, make sure the report says the word: PASS. Pass means that the levels are safe and may not pose any long term harm.
Terpenes provide therapeutic benefits like CBD and THC. When CBD is extracted through supercritical CO2 extraction, a considerable chunk of terpenes are lost in the process. This is why you need to make sure your CBD contains an adequate amount of terpenes.
The terpenes in lab reports are commonly termed as cannabis terpenes. The terpenes in a particular product vary from batch-to-batch.
The type of hemp plant used also dictates the final terpene content. Manufacturers extract cannabidiol from different hemp strains, so one lab report is not enough to put your mind at ease.
Each bottle might have a different terpenes profile, but the CBD content will always remain the same. If your vendor can give you more than one or two lab reports to help you figure out the average terpene content, that would be great!
The final thing you have to look at in the lab report are microbial contaminants. This is the same section most companies publish to let consumers know the shelf life of the product. These estimations inform you about microbial presence and growth.
The idea of having microbes in your CBD product may seem gross, but it’s something you have to make your peace with. Why? Because this information lets us know whether the end product is contaminated or not.
If this test came with a FAIL test, then the product will be recalled. It’s like raw milk contamination. All batches of raw milk suspected of bacterial contamination are immediately recalled to ensure consumer safety. And trust me one this: contaminated batches can contain hazardous bacteria. Some of these are even lethal, such as listeriosis and campylobacter.
One thing about these tests is that they are not front-facing. Their only purpose is to confirm the integrity of the product.
Final thoughts: CBD Lab Report
Reading a CBD lab report isn’t rocket science. You need to know what to look for. From Cannabinoid content to heavy metals and microbial contamination, it’s upon you to verify your product’s safety and quality. The CBD industry is guilty of false advertising and a lot of other shady stuff.
CBD is a tremendous therapeutic compound. It has an excellent safety profile and has been linked to a whole host of health benefits, from improving immunity to curbing inflammation. However, the product range in the market is diverse and inconsistent. There are gummy bears and vapes and an army of brands for your flexibility. Instead of jumping towards the first thing you come across, it’s better to gauge your choices. Maybe, do some homework and know what makes an excellent CBD product. If you don’t trust the company, then it’s better to look elsewhere.