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What To Look For In CBD Lab Results

In the legal medicinal and adult-use cannabis sectors, third-party testing and analysis is the new norm. Concerns regarding false labeling of CBD content, plant sources, growing conditions, and potentially toxic compounds prompted the CBD market to react rapidly. Understanding the facts contained in a lab result is critical because it will assist you in selecting the best product. Knowing what to look for in CBD lab results cannot be overstated.

Permissible Levels And Lab Standards

Permissible amounts of potentially dangerous elements such as heavy metals (which are leached from the soil by hemp and cannabis), pesticides, fungicides, mold, fungus, bacteria, and residual solvents differ by state. State authorities have had no guidance from federal agencies that set health and safety standards for agriculture, food, and medicine because cannabis (and, until recently, hemp) is a federally prohibited substance.

Consumers are concerned about pesticide contamination, but there is limited information on which pesticides can be utilized in cannabis or hemp growing for CBD extraction (as opposed to hemp for industrial uses). States decide what pesticides can be used on cannabis and hemp plants when drafting legislation, setting maximum permissible levels (also known as "action limits") for the pesticides they chose.

Microorganisms such as fungus and mold will be examined in most lab testing. Some organisms have been detected on cannabis plants, such as the fungus Aspergillus, which can cause serious infections in persons with weakened immune systems. States have erred on the side of caution and mandated the organism's testing. Both hemp and cannabis may extract heavy metals from the soil as bioaccumulators, so you'll see those in lab results as well. Last but not least, as we discussed in our discussion of chemical extraction procedures, extracts and any products created from them can leave residual solvents if not adequately purged.

And, just in case you thought this narrative was too simple, there are no standards for how lab testing and analysis are carried out. As a result, results may differ significantly from one lab to the next. As with most other consumer ingestibles and pharmaceuticals, there are no universally acknowledged standards for each of the tests. As a result, manufacturers can choose labs that offer better outcomes. As a result, some governments, such as Alaska, have discovered that precise guidelines and standards must be written for all laboratories to follow. Sampling can also be a problem because, in some areas, growers choose and transport their own samples, which can lead to a skewed outcome. In other states, such as Oregon, laboratories do the sample, resulting in more representative and random data.

Check to discover if the lab that provided the results is accredited while looking at the results. Reputable labs will be accredited, however not all states require accreditation.

Growers and manufacturers in the sector believe that regulation requirements should be modified to reflect the distinction between medical and recreational use, as customers may tolerate various levels of toxins and pollutants.

Lab testing is still evolving, and it's another area where customers must do their homework. You should be able to get allowed limits from your state department of agriculture if you live in a state where cannabis is legal or if you're buying from a state where hemp is legal.

To summarize, most lab tests will look for potency, pesticides, microorganisms, terpenes, residual solvents, and heavy metals, among other things.

Two white palms holding a cannabis leaf in one hand and a black covered tincture bottle in the other hand
Two white palms holding a cannabis leaf in one hand and a black covered tincture bottle in the other hand

Potency

This will tell you whether or not the product label is correct. Are there 1,000 milligrams in the sample tested if they advertise 1,000 milligrams on the label? Most businesses do batch testing and label their products with a batch number. You can usually find the lab results for your batch on their website or by calling them and requesting them. This test will also reveal whether any other cannabinoids are present, as well as their concentrations.

The cannabis concentrations in Satimed's Phytocannabinoid Paste 4200 are shown in the lab test findings below. This is a highly concentrated hemp-based paste, containing 14 percent cannabinoids in 30ml (1 oz.) for a total of 4200mg. Other lab tests may display the quantity in milligrams, however these results reflect the cannabis level as a percentage of weight.

Pesticides And Fungicides

Because the plants can be treated with herbicides and fungicides, and high amounts of these substances might be dangerous, this examination is critical for guaranteeing the safety of hemp and cannabis components.

The pesticide testing is shown in these lab reports. The "nd" next to "Mass, %" stands for "not detected," which means pesticides were present at such low quantities that they were undetectable or none at all, which is fantastic! While these results do not provide a complete list of pesticides tested, many lab reports will mention the pesticides that were tested. Keep in mind that the list of pesticides that are currently allowed differs by state.

Microbiological: Fungus, Mold, And Bacteria

Microbiological testing is performed to confirm that the hemp or cannabis plants are free of dangerous bacteria, fungi, or mold. Molds such as Aspergillus, Fusarium, and Penicillium are prevalent and difficult to identify with the naked eye. They are commonly produced by improper curing processes used to dry plant blooms for ingestion and extraction. Aspergillus, in particular, poses a risk of aflatoxins, a poisonous and carcinogenic chemical generated by some types of the mold. In immunocompromised persons, Aspergillus can induce aspergillosis.

A bulb of pineapple beside a covered brown tincture bottle and some cannabis flower
A bulb of pineapple beside a covered brown tincture bottle and some cannabis flower

Terpenes

This will offer you a full analysis of the terpene profile, which are the amazing molecules that give cannabis and (to a lesser extent) hemp plants their color and different flavors. Terpenes are pungent oils with scents similar to cinnamon, berry, citrus, or pine, and they operate in tandem with other components in hemp and cannabis to amplify their effects. A terpene profile will like the one below, which displays a thorough breakdown of terpene composition in percentages of weight.

Residual Solvents

The leftover solvents should be analyzed as part of a comprehensive lab examination. When plants are processed and transformed into oils, powders, or other products, solvents are used, but only in solvent-based extraction processes. Solvents with high percentages of ethanol, butane, or propane are dangerous.

Heavy Metals

Another technique to establish whether the plants utilized in your product were grown in safe settings is to employ heavy metal testing. Cannabis and hemp plants absorb anything their roots come into contact with since they are superb bioremediators. Heavy metals including lead, cadmium, arsenic, and mercury can be detrimental to your health even in little amounts.

In Conclusion

When a CBD company submits their product to a lab test, it might be subjected to a variety of screenings. CBD companies, on the other hand, aren't obligated to go through any of these screenings, so they can pick and choose according to their tastes.

About The Authors

Suleman Shah

Suleman Shah - Suleman Shah is a researcher and freelance writer. As a researcher, he has worked with MNS University of Agriculture, Multan (Pakistan) and Texas A & M University (USA). He regularly writes science articles and blogs for science news website immersse.com and open access publishers OA Publishing London and Scientific Times. He loves to keep himself updated on scientific developments and convert these developments into everyday language to update the readers about the developments in the scientific era. His primary research focus is Plant sciences, and he contributed to this field by publishing his research in scientific journals and presenting his work at many Conferences. Shah graduated from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (Pakistan) and started his professional carrier with Jaffer Agro Services and later with the Agriculture Department of the Government of Pakistan. His research interest compelled and attracted him to proceed with his carrier in Plant sciences research. So, he started his Ph.D. in Soil Science at MNS University of Agriculture Multan (Pakistan). Later, he started working as a visiting scholar with Texas A&M University (USA). Shah’s experience with big Open Excess publishers like Springers, Frontiers, MDPI, etc., testified to his belief in Open Access as a barrier-removing mechanism between researchers and the readers of their research. Shah believes that Open Access is revolutionizing the publication process and benefitting research in all fields.

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