CBD Lab Results: Why You Need to Read & Understand Them
You might be seeing CBD everywhere these days, but that doesn’t mean the industry standards have caught up with its surge in popularity. In today’s climate of often unregulated supplements and bad quality CBD, it’s important to be careful to make sure you’re purchasing top-quality goods.
On your journey to becoming a CBD enthusiast, you’ve likely noticed that a lot of top CBD brands are starting to provide third-party lab reports on the goods they sell. However, even with the brand holding themselves accountable, it’s still your job to look through all of the long and often cumbersome information provided to you. So, we’re here to help!
We want to make it as easy for you as possible to feel in-the-loop about the goods you’re purchasing. In this helpful article we’ll break down why third party lab results are important, what to look for in CBD lab results, how we perform our third-party lab testing process, and how to read lab results.
Why Third-Party Lab Testing Matters
To put it frankly, think of third-party lab-testing as the biggest thing separating you from a good quality and a bad quality product. Third-party lab testing is the process of a company sending their products out to a private laboratory to verify the CBD content and purity (i.e. no chemicals or harmful bacterias). Unfortunately, the market has started to fill with CBD that doesn’t measure up to what is advertised. However, thanks to third-party lab testing becoming an industry-standard for quality CBD and reputable brands, it’s a lot easier to know who you can trust.
The MUSTS of a CBD Lab Report
Here’s what to look for in a thorough CBD lab report:
- How much CBD is in the product. Though the label on your CBD product says there is a certain amount of MG’s of CBD in your product, there might not be as much as advertised. A third-party lab test is the perfect place to verify the actual CBD content.
- How much THC is in the product. The hemp plant naturally contains a small amount of THC, but nowhere near enough to create a “high” feeling. It’s important to verify on the lab results that the THC amount is at or below 0.3%, the legal limit of THC in hemp products.
- Details on the cannabinoid profile. A cannabinoid profile gives you more details on what’s in the product to confirm the type of extract you’re purchasing. So, if you’re purchasing a product that is full-spectrum, you can expect to see a cannabinoid profile that shows more than just CBD, including: CBDa, CBG, THC and more. Whereas if you’re purchasing an Isolate product, CBD should be the only cannabinoid within this profile.
Neurogan’s Third-Party Lab Testing Process
At Neurogan, we’ve always taken pride in our stringent third-party lab testing practices. Neurogan founder, Jan Brandrup, has an especially keen interest in not only raising the standards within the CBD industry, but also helping to educate people on how to find products they can trust.
Jan’s interest began when he was first introduced to hemp by his grandmother, Karen, who would make her own cup of hemp tea daily. It’s still his mission today to provide hemp goods that evoke the simplicity of the plant, which he stays true to by using full-spectrum hemp slow-grown in the sun by our family in Denmark and imbued with the spirit of the “Happiest Country on Earth”.
Before they reach your shelves, all of our products are sent to Infinite Laboratories, the third-party lab we partner with. The results of these tests are posted in the, “lab results” section of every Neurogan product on our site for your convenience.
How to Read Neurogan’s Lab Results
Lab results are underneath each Neurogan product in the tab titled, “Lab Reports”. Identify the batch number on your Neurogan CBD product, and match it to the lab results listed under the product.
The first section is an overview. In this example, we’re showing the overview results from our Neurogan Elevated Full-Spectrum CBD Oil (1000MG). Starting from left to right:
- Δ-9-THC shows the THC content present in the entire bottle. This amount will always be at or below 0.3% to meet legal standards. Not all extracts will contain THC, but full-spectrum extracts are always sure to have at least a small amount. This is an important number to pay attention to if you’re required to participate in regular drug tests or have a THC sensitivity.
- CBD shows the amount of MG’s of CBD in the bottle. This product is advertised as a 1000MG CBD tincture, and contains a total of 1,049.15MG of CBD. There is an “allowable” variance of about 10-20%, which is why the CBD content could be higher or lower than the bottle states.
- Total Cannabinoids As aforementioned, full-spectrum CBD contains more cannabinoids than just CBD; such as CBDa, CBG, CBN, and more. When buying a full-spectrum tincture, the presence of other cannabinoids ensure that the tincture is actually full-spectrum. However, if you’re buying a strictly Isolate CBD tincture, this section should show a “0”.
- NT In this lab report, total terpenes was Not Tested (NT).
The Cannabinoid profile gives you a more in-depth look at the different cannabinoids within the product. As you’re purchasing the product for the benefits of CBD, your eyes should head to the profile for the cannabinoid, CBD. You’ll recognize that the MG for the unit is the same as the number summed up in the overview section. Again, noticing that other cannabinoids registered within the testing is important to confirm that you’re truly getting a full-spectrum extract.
If you have a product that was tested for terpenes, the terpene profile section will break down the terpenes content in further detail. Terpenes are the compounds within plants that give the plant aroma and often carry other beneficial attributes. For example, Limonene, the terpene most present in our tincture, is also found in: peppermint, grapefruit, rosemary, and juniper.
It’s empowering to know EXACTLY what’s in the products you’re purchasing and third-party lab testing helps you better trust what you buy. Though there may be businesses looking to take advantage of the burgeoning CBD market, there are still incredibly potent and effective products out there and laboratory testing can help you be sure of it.
Please reach out to us if you have any further questions regarding CBD Lab Reports and we’ll be happy to speak with you.
About Glory Finnegan
Glory Rae Finnegan is a freelance content writer with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Psychology. Glory is passionate about human psychology, destigmatizing mental health, animal advocacy, and plant-based living.We want to make it as easy for you as possible to feel in-the-loop about the goods you're purchasing; in this helpful article we'll break down why third party lab results are important, what to look for in CBD lab results, how we perform our third-party lab testing process, and how to read lab results.
CBD Lab Testing: How to Read Lab Test Results on CBD Products
Knowing how to read lab reports is critical for you to get the best from your CBD product
Dwight K. Blake
How to Read CBD Lab Results
Knowing how to read lab reports is critical for you to get the best from your CBD product. A recent survey of CBD products showed considerable levels of label inaccuracy in CBD products.
This is a huge problem for buyers because they can never be sure of what they are consuming. From these statistics, there is a shockingly high possibility that the CBD product you buy will either be ineffective or, in the worst-case scenario, it could even be unsafe.
Independent lab testing is the only way to confirm the manufacturers’ claims of their products. Learn more about lab reports and how to read them.
How CBD Is Tested
CBD products usually have many components, and maybe the first thing is to find out exactly what these lab reports are about. The hemp extract from which the product is made is its base, and reports are based on the extract’s contents.
A test of the product can be performed on the extract before additional ingredients are added to form the final product or at the end of the manufacturing process when the product is ready for use.
Testing the hemp extract makes it possible to achieve more accurate THC and CBD measurements and other compounds than when the final product is tested. This is because when additional ingredients are added, they may mask the view of some of the trace compounds in the hemp.
Let us now look at what the lab tests for in the analysis.
The first thing they look for in the hemp extract is the cannabinoids. CBD and THC are the two main ones that appear in hemp in the largest quantities. The entire analysis looks for nine other cannabinoids to make a total of eleven.
Once the cannabinoids have been analyzed, their contents are expressed in milligrams per unit. In the case of CBD oil, tinctures, and other liquids, they are expressed in mg/ml. However, once the product has been packaged, CBD is expressed by its quantity in the entire product. For instance, we have a 30ml bottle of CBD oil containing 300 mg of CBD, while another 30 ml bottle contains 1000 mg.
Another way the cannabinoid content can be expressed is by percentage. The THC content in the legally allowed hemp products can’t be more than 0.3 percent. A CBD flower can have a CBD potency of 20 percent CBD which would mean that 20 percent of its weight is CBD. If therefore, you have a gram of the flower, 180 mg of it is CBD.
This method of expression is used for all the cannabinoids in a full-spectrum product, broad-spectrum product, and CBD isolates.
The test also analyzes the terpenes in the product. Different terpenes have different health benefits. Hemp plants have similar cannabinoids, but they may have different terpenes depending on where they were grown. There are over 100 known terpenes, and a good number of them are found in hemp. Knowing which terpenes are in your CBD product will help you determine its suitability for your condition.
Other compounds in hemp plants, such as chlorophyll, are also tested. A lab test should also analyze whether the product contains pesticides, unhealthy levels of heavy metals, and other dangerous components to keep the consumer safe.
Now that we are talking about how CBD is tested, we need to look at the different avenues through which CBD testing can be done.
One of these is in-house testing where the manufacturer has their lab, and they test their ingredients and products there. Some of these laboratories are medical-grade and FDA authorized, so they do high-quality work.
Although some manufacturers have these high-quality labs, many customers prefer to have the products tested by someone other than the manufacturer. The independent third party verifies the claims of the manufacturer.
The role of third-party testing is greatly important because the CBD industry is not regulated, and it is the only safeguard that a CBD user has. The best CBD testing labs are those that have an ISO 17025 certification. Certified CBD oil is tested from such establishments.
How to Read CBD Lab Reports
If testing is so important, you need to know how to read CBD oil lab test results. The first thing you look for in a test result is the cannabinoid profile. The cannabinoids you expect to find depend on the type of CBD product you are looking at.
A full-spectrum product should have CBD, THC, and some of the lesser-known cannabinoids. If the product’s label says that the product is full-spectrum, but you find the certificate of analysis containing only one cannabinoid, then something is amiss.
CBD lab results for broad-spectrum products should show all other cannabinoids and compounds except for THC. The other category is CBD isolates, which contain CBD and nothing else. You may know there is something amiss with whatever product whose analysis you are reading if there is a discrepancy between the manufacturers’ claims and the report.
The other thing to look out for is the terpene profile of the product. All full and broad-spectrum products should contain some terpenes. Isolates should contain no terpenes at all.
The level of terpenes in the analyzed product should be expressed in parts per million (PPM).
Heavy metal screening is another important aspect of the testing. The analysis shows the level of heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, arsenic, lead, and so on. Some or all the metals can be found in the product, but their quantities must be within healthy limits. The report gives a status on whether the level is acceptable or not. Take care to note what the status shows.
Other tests include microbiology screening, which establishes whether the product is free of harmful microbes such as salmonella, E-coli, molds, and yeast.
Mycotoxin screening establishes whether the product has fungi contamination such as aflatoxins and ochratoxin.
The other things the analysis tests for are pesticides and solvent residue. Solvent residue testing applies where the method employed in obtaining the hemp extract involves the use of a solvent. There would be significant quantities of solvent residue if the solvent wasn’t distilled properly after an extraction.
CO2 method doesn’t use solvents, and if the manufacturer claims that they used it to extract their hemp, there should be zero solvent their lab-tested CBD oil or other products.
The quantity of pesticides in the products should be within acceptable limits. The report should indicate whether the product is suitable for human consumption based on the quantity of pesticides found.
The importance of third-party testing for CBD products can’t be gainsaid since it gives the user confidence that the information they receive on the product is genuine. The customer needs to know what levels of which component are safe and unsafe. If you find a significant discrepancy between the manufacturers’ claims and what the certificate of analysis says, you are better off looking for a different product.Knowing how to read lab reports is critical for you to get the best from your CBD product ]]>