Why Testing Is As Important As CBD Extraction
Posted on August 24, 2022 by xtxwebmaster
Most of what we talk about in the CBD extraction space is in some way related to extraction equipment or the process itself. For this post though, we want to address something a little bit different: independent testing. Having products tested and certified independently is as important as the CBD extraction method.
We do not make such a statement lightly. Rather, it is based on the results of one of the latest studies showing that CBD products are not always labeled correctly. In fact, a surprising majority of the samples tested for the John Hopkins study were mislabeled. Whether the mislabeling was intentional or not, independent testing and certification would certainly go a long way toward correcting the problem.
Labeling Standards Are Minimal
In fairness to CBD manufacturers and processors, labeling standards are minimal at the current time. CBD is largely unregulated as well, giving manufacturers and processes plenty of leeway in what they do. Nonetheless, it just seems reasonable that customers should have access to accurate information on product labels. They deserve to know what they are buying.
As for the study in question, researchers gathered a number of retail CBD products both online and from retail outlets in the Baltimore, MD area. Then they analyzed the ingredients and compared the results to product labels. Most of the products in question were topicals. This is to say they were lotions and creams designed for transdermal application.
What They Discovered
Researchers looked at 105 different products, forty-five of which came from brick-and-mortar retail outlets. The remaining sixty were purchased online. Here is what the analysis showed:
- Only eighty-nine of the products listed the total amount of CBD
- 18% listed more CBD than was actually found
- 58% listed less CBD than was actually found
- Only 24% of the products were accurately labeled.
Most importantly, 35% of the products contained THC at 0.3% or less, as required by law. Yet four of the products with THC were labeled as being THC-free. The remaining nineteen didn’t list THC as an ingredient on the label.
Obtaining a Certificate of Analysis
So how can manufacturers and processors guarantee that their products are accurately labeled? Through independent testing and something is known as the Certificate of Analysis (CoA).
From our point of view, giving consumers high-quality products begins with high-quality CBD extraction. You need the right equipment to extract cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds from cannabis plants. But then you need those extracts tested independently.
An independent lab can analyze exactly what is in a CBD product. Each ingredient can be listed by volume. Then manufacturers can match their labels to that analysis. If the analysis reveals something that a manufacturer doesn’t want in its product, that product can be reformulated and tested again.
The CoA is simply an official certificate detailing the results of the lab’s analysis. It tells customers that they are getting exactly what they should be getting. The certificate also allows manufacturers and retailers to sell CBD products with confidence.
Don’t Stop at Extraction
If you are a manufacturer or cannabis processor, we want to encourage you to make quality a priority at every step of the process. Do not stop with CBD extraction. After extraction, have either your extracts or finished products tested independently. Get that CoA and then make sure your labels match.
The recent Johns Hopkins study is not the only one to show mislabeled CBD products. Past studies have shown similar results. At some point, the industry needs to solve the problem, or the government will step in with more regulations. That’s the way it is.