Look for a Certificate of Analysis When Buying CBD

CBD Certificate of Analysis Icon

This symbol appears on all of our CBD product pages at Eco Health Source. It provides a direct link to the most recent Certificate of Analysis for that product.

If you’ve purchased products made with cannabidiol (CBD), you may have seen the phrase “Certificate of Analysis.” It is very important to look for this term when purchasing CBD. Today, we’ll tell you why.

The passing of the 2018 Farm Bill in December was a positive step forward for hemp and products made with CBD in the U.S. However, the CBD market remains a wild west of products, as CBD supplements are not yet regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

As of this posting, just one medication containing CBD has been approved for medical use by the FDA: Epidiolex, a prescription medication used for the treatment of seizures caused by severe forms of epilepsy. Now that hemp is legal across the nation and more research is being conducted on the use of CBD to treat medical conditions, it’s likely that additional CBD-based medications will begin to be tested and approved.

What does this mean for the CBD consumer? Legally, there are no standards to which a “CBD” product must be held. While there are several legitimate, quality sources for CBD, there are also many entities selling products that are untested and mislabeled. This can mean several things: that the product doesn’t contain the CBD potency listed on the packaging; that it doesn’t contain CBD at all; that it contains more THC than listed; or that other non-beneficial chemicals have been included.

That’s why it’s critical to purchase CBD supplements from a source that offers transparency about the source of their hemp and hemp oil, where the products are made, and what tests, if any, are done to maintain the quality of the product.

If you want to confirm you’re working with a reputable source or product, you can ask the seller to provide a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for that product. A COA reports the results of a lab test that is completed to ensure that each product meets the standards for how it is labeled and advertised.

COAs for CBD products test:

  • The potency of CBD in that product
  • Presence and potency of additional cannabinoids included in the product
  • THC content (if any)
  • For the presence of any chemicals, molds, pests, or other contaminants that would make the product unsafe for consumption

 How to Read a Certificate of Analysis

As a discerning CBD consumer, you’ll not only want to ask for a COA—you’ll also want to know how to read and understand the test results.

Below is a COA for Tasty Drops 1000mg CBD from October 2018.

Certificate of Analysis 1000mg CBD Tasty Drops

There is a lot going on here, but here are some main areas to look at:

  • At the top of the COA, you can see that the test performed is called “High Performance Liquid Chromatography.” The cannabinoid potency results in this batch were determined to be equal to how the product is advertised.
  • Under “Sample Details” you can see the name of the product tested, and that there were no molds or pests present in the sample.
  • Above the image to the right is the test date, which ensures you are seeing an up-to-date report.
  • The “Simple Cannabinoid Overview” compares the cannabinoid content this product is advertised as having, versus what it contains. Cannabinoid content varies from harvest to harvest. In this case, Tasty Drops contains 0.4mg less than the advertised cannabinoid content of 1000mg but is within acceptable limits to be considered to match what is advertised.
  • The long table in the center shows all the different cannabinoids that this product was tested for. While CBD is the most well-known, there are over 100 cannabinoids in hemp extract, each with unique benefits. Tasty Drops 1000mg also contains the cannabinoid CBDa, which is present in live hemp plants. When cut hemp plants are heated in a process known as decarboxylation, CBDa becomes CBD.

At the bottom are the names of the labs at which COAs are usually conducted for Tasty Drops and our other products. They are a third-party lab, separate from the manufacturer.

Underneath the Iron Laboratories logo, you can see that that lab is “17025/2005 Accredited.”  17025 is an international standard that confirms a lab’s competency and legitimacy. It is used to apply to all laboratory settings, including research facilities, universities, and government labs.

While there are other factors to consider when choosing a CBD product, looking for a Certificate of Analysis is a good place to begin. A Certificate of Analysis may be readily available on a vendor’s website, or they may provide the results upon request. If a source won’t provide the results, or says a Certificate of Analysis has not been completed, you may want to think twice about using that product for your health and wellness.

Purchase Certificate of Analysis Tested CBD Products

At Eco Health Source we offer a variety of hemp-based CBD products, all of which have an associated Certificate of Analysis. The current results are always available to view and can be accessed from each product page. Learn where our CBD comes from, and visit our online store to find the CBD product that best meets your needs.

Leave a Comment: