CBD products have gone from totally taboo to the mainstream market and can be spotted in gas stations, big box stores, and even in your doctor’s office. With so many CBD products on the market, it can be hard to determine what products are of the highest quality and purity.
CBD products undergo many steps in a long production process before reaching your medicine cabinet. The case for third-party lab testing is a strong one, largely because the hemp industry is, for the most part, unregulated. Regulations in various sectors like food and beverage or cosmetics ensure the products we use are safe and adhere to industry and safety standards. It is important to emphasize that you should look out for the same standards in your CBD and only purchase lab-tested CBD products so you can be sure you know what you’re getting.
What To Look For In CBD Lab Results
When purchasing CBD products, there are some essential things to seek out when reading lab results from a brand you are thinking of trying. Luckily, many companies are hopping on board and have begun taking steps to provide full transparency to their customers.
Potency. First and foremost, make sure the advertised strength of the product matches the amount of CBD shown in the lab results. A higher strength CBD product should show this concentration clearly. On the flip side, it is vital to make sure the THC amount is compliant with current laws. If you are looking for a completely THC-free product, be sure to verify that in the lab results.
Heavy Metals, Pesticides, and Mycotoxins. Hemp is a fascinating plant and can actually remediate the soil in which it grows. This is excellent news for farmers, but not the best news for CBD consumers. Lab testing for CBD products should always have a heavy metals panel to ensure that any impurities from the soil did not end up in the final product. The lab results should also ensure there are no traces of mycotoxins and pesticides from cultivation.
Residual Solvents and Pathogens. The processing and manufacturing of hemp products requires the use of solvents. Lab testing should be done for residual solvents to clearly show that these chemicals did not carry through into the final product. Additionally, the handling of the ingredients in a CBD product, like any other formulated product, should be done in a sterile environment. A lab panel for pathogens should also prove that the product does not contain anything that could cause illness.
Cannabinoid and Terpene Profiles. If you are purchasing a full-spectrum CBD product, lab results should show other cannabinoids within the formulation, as well as a full terpene profile. Terpenes and other cannabinoids may increase the desired benefits of the CBD product due to the theory of the entourage effect, or the increased efficacy of CBD products that contain all or most aspects of the cannabis plant working together in synergy.
Advocate for Your Own Health
Though the CBD industry has made quite a competitive entrance into the health and wellness space, many brands still do not understand the importance of full transparency and affordability. CBD prices have dropped significantly, which creates opportunities for affordable and efficient CBD products for all. The truth is,most people can benefit from CBD in some form or another, but knowing what to look for in a CBD product is the real challenge.
Certain brands will price their products higher, even with lower concentrations of CBD, in order to take advantage of an industry without any universal standards. Other companies have been shown to advertise particular potencies, while their lab results have indicated much higher concentrations. Use your newly-acquired knowledge of lab testing to rule out any bad players looking to take advantage of a booming industry.
It is always important to advocate for your own health, wellness, and safety. Understanding how to read the Certificate of Analysis of your CBD product is vital to making sure it will leave you happy and healthy.