It's not a surprise CBD or cannabidiol is a considerable part of the world's biggest market of health and wellness products. Unfortunately, it's also mostly unregulated. As a consumer, you don't have a guarantee a CBD product will meet the quality of composition, and your expectations. And, this can be a confusing and overwhelming shopping experience. The good news, however, is many reputable companies will provide a certificate of analysis to show you what's in your CBD products.
What's a Certificate of Analysis (COA)?
COA's are third party lab reports that show a product's chemical makeup. In the CBD industry, COAs showcase the contents of a batch or individual product. In the industrial hemp extract context, the COA will report on the CBD products:
- Contaminant profile
This report highlights the cannabinoids as well as compounds like pesticides or heavy metals, if any, ensuring you get exactly what's being marketed by the company or product label.
A COA is used for verifying that the product's contents are matched to how it's marketed. COAs are important also to verify hemp extracts contain less than 0.3% THC as determined by the Industrial Hemp law definition.
A COA is a valuable tool for determining the purity and quality of a CBD product. It's also an essential tool for ensuring you're getting the precise amount of CBD you paid for. It's recommended you only purchase CBD from a company that has all their products tested by a 3rd party lab.
Why Do COAs Matter?
A 2017 study found that nearly 70% of CBD products online are mislabeled, either having significantly less or more CBD than marketed. For nutraceutical applications, being informed of the precise ingredients and potency is very important.
COAs are an important part of CBD marketplace self-regulation. Because a governing body doesn't regulate CBD oil and other types of CBD products, you're left in the dark when it comes to buying CBD products. When there's no COA for the product, you don't have any way of knowing what you're getting in the CBD product you're buying.
And, manufacturers will vary in what they put on their CBD labels, since there's no market regulation for CBD. This means you might not be given a complete picture of the contents of the product. Because CBD is being sold online and in stores, this lack of labeling consistency can cause problems with everything from dosage levels to what you're putting inside or on your body. And, this is another reason why COAs are so essential.
COAs are a reflection of a company's commitment, accuracy, and transparency in its product labeling. More reputable CBD product companies and manufacturers are using COAs today as self-regulation.
How to Find the COA for Your CBD Products
A COA isn't always the easiest thing to get your hands on prior to purchasing a CBD product. You might have to contact the company directly to request it. You may find COAs on the companies' websites. Just make sure they match the batch number shown on the product you buy, and they're up-to-date.
Certain states have passed laws that require all CBD products to have a QR code, including:
While other states haven't passed similar laws as of yet, a lot of CBD companies are including QR codes on their packages to make it simple for consumers to locate this information, and to increase transparency.
You can simply scan the code on the package using your phone, and link straight to the specific COA of your product that has the printed code on it.
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