Think selecting a great CBD product is as simple as choosing one that advertises “high quality” on the label? Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
That’s because vague claims of quality and purity don’t have to be backed by anything in reality. Anyone can print a label saying their product is wonderful, but without publicly available CBD test results as proof, there’s no way to tell whether a product is actually free from contaminants and contains what it says it does.
If you’re used to choosing products based on price or marketing slogans, you may not know what sort of CBD lab results to look for, or indeed whether a product has been tested at all. This brief explanation should point you in the right direction toward finding a real, tested CBD product you can feel confident about putting into your body.
What Buyers Should Know About CBD Test Results
Should you avoid CBD manufacturers that don’t test their products?
Yes. Also be wary of manufacturers that advertise “lab tested CBD” but don’t make these results available for you to verify with your own eyes.
Any reputable CBD manufacturer will publicly present the full array of test results for any product they sell. The lab tests reveal exact levels of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids present within the formula. They also list any contaminants, including pesticides and heavy metals, that were detected.
Without testing the CBD, the manufacturer (and by extension, you) has no idea whether the product might be over the legal level of THC, if it has detectable levels of arsenic, mercury, or lead, or even if it contains an adequate amount of CBD. You could be purchasing a pure and highly effective product or a useless bottle of hemp-flavored carrier oils. At worst, you could be buying a formula that’s outright dangerous.
Where can you find the test results for a product you’re interested in buying?
The easiest way to find more information about a product is to check the label. You won’t find test results listed there — genuine lab results typically contain multiple pages of information — but you should see clues about where else you can look. For example, Butler Hemp Co. prints a QR code on all of our product boxes that will bring you to our website, where you can access the results for each batch of testing.
If a product doesn’t feature a QR code or a URL, you can simply check the manufacturer’s website directly. Every company will have a different website layout, of course, but you’re looking for a section that mentions certificates of analysis, or COAs. These COAs are proof from third-party testing facilities of what each product contains, and in what amounts.
Lastly, if you’ve checked the manufacturer’s website but you still can’t find enough information to put you at ease, you might be able to find endorsements from independent watchdog organizations such as RealTestedCBD. RealTestedCBD performs its own testing and recommends the products proven to be effective and pure. Looking up a product on RealTestedCBD can also help you find better alternatives if you’re still in the comparison shopping stage.
How to read CBD lab results at a glance:
Lab results from different testing facilities will vary. Additionally, some manufacturers like to run several tests — for things like potency, pesticides, heavy metals, and microbial contamination — while others opt to test potency and nothing else.
In general, however, you’re looking for sections within the lab results document that will look something like the following. Note that detected substances will include a result in milligrams per gram and as a percentage of the total, while substances that were not detected will be marked as “ND,” “N/A,” “0.00,” or something similar.
1. A detailed breakdown of the levels of cannabinoids proves the potency of the product.