If you’ve ever bought CBD oil online, or if you’ve done any research for CBD products, it’s possible that you’ve come across the term “third party CBD lab testing”.
So what does it mean, exactly? Is CBD lab testing mandatory for manufacturers to perform before they can market and distribute them?
Well, not exactly. The problem with the CBD industry is that FDA does not maintain any oversight into the companies manufacturing CBD products.
But that doesn’t mean that companies are not willing to perform independent CBD lab testing. In fact, they do it for a couple reasons.
In this article, we discuss CBD lab testing, namely what third-party tests are, and how it can really help CBD users to tell the difference between good and bad CBD products.
What is independent third-party CBD lab testing?
The objective of CBD lab testing is to examine the content and quality of cannabis products from a given manufacturer. The best thing about independent third-party testing is that it comes from a neutral, unbiased source.
This, in turn, is of paramount importance for companies who want to enter the market and gain their name by providing top-quality CBD products for their clients.
You know how it is, some manufacturers like to mask the lack of their products’ quality with all those scientifically designed labels and slogans on the bottles. In fact, if a product screams about its effectiveness and efficiency, chances are it’s not effective nor efficient at all.
What matters is the content. And if you want to know what you’re buying, it goes without saying that you will want to see what’s inside the bottle, right?
There are plenty of independent third-party tests for CBD products, each of whom serves a different purpose.
Let’s take a look at the most common methods of CBD lab testing.
Cannabidiol terpenes and cannabinoids Test
Terpenes are chemical compounds that are found in most plants. These compounds are what gives various cannabis strains their unique aromas.
The terpene and cannabinoid analysis come into the picture with its ability to measure the precise number of these compounds.
Cannabis growers and CBD companies are now putting more emphasis on those tests. They want to ensure their customers that they know exactly what they’re buying. On top of that, cannabinoid analysis, for example, aims at verifying the potential amount of THC in the extracted product. This is because CBD products have to be completely THC-free in order to be sold legally.
Moreover, CBD manufacturers investigate the presence of other phytocannabinoids so that they could improve their products and personalize them for particular conditions.
Cannabis companies and breeders believe in the entourage effect. The cannabis entourage effect means that the effects of certain cannabis strains are heavily dependant on their cannabinoid and terpene profiles.
This would mean that terpenoids are about more than just adding their fragrance to CBD products. They, too, seem to affect the body and brain in different ways.
For example, some researchers believe that limonene has anti-anxiety properties, while pinene reduces issues with short-term memory associated with cannabis consumption.
Residual Solvents Test
CBD companies use solvents in the derivation process of terpenoids and cannabinoids to separate them from the plant. These solvents can consist of a variety of compounds, some of which are not necessarily good for your health.
With that said, while chemical derivation can often leave residual solvents in the final extract manufacturers must measure the exact amount, as the measurement allows us to modify their production mechanisms. As a result, customers are provided with top-notch CBD products.
Testing for pesticides in cannabidiol
Pesticides can exist within a cannabis product in two cases; if they were used during the cultivation of this plant, or if they polluted the plant or a product after the cultivation. It is important for customers to know if a certain concentrate contains pesticides. Actually, this is the only way for buyers to make an individual decision of whether to consume it or not.
Many laboratories are currently offering tests for the presence of pesticides, and CBD companies are willingly testing their products. This allows them to check the presence of 12 most common pesticides.
Cannabidiol Microbial Screening Test
In many natural products, you will find certain bacteria, yeast, and mold. The assessment of these microorganisms is essential because it helps eradicate them before manufacturing.
Many labs are currently measuring the number of all coliforms (Escherichia coli), yeasts and molds, and aerobic bacteria capable of surviving during cultivation. Lab workers use polymerase chain reactions during the screening process in order to confirm or deny the existence of salmonella. This applies to those Escherichia coli strains that produce Shiga toxin.
These bacteria are opportunistic pathogenic organisms and there should be no tolerance for their presence in quality CBD products obtained from a trusted manufacturer.
CBD lab testing – is it worth the effort?
Of course, it is.
Let’s be honest, the last thing you want to spend your hard-earned money on is a CBD product that contains little if any CBD. And because of the current unregulated state of the CBD industry, the perspective of quick cash tempts some companies to “make mistakes” on purpose.
Believe it or not, but there are many people out there who got turned off to cannabis use, simply because they used a product from an unverified source, with no CBD lab testing at all.
The bottom line? Shop wisely and always look for brands that are popular among CBD users. And never – we mean NEVER – underestimate the importance of third-party CBD lab testing. If a company is transparent in all aspects, you’re probably going to be all good.