If you’ve looked closely at the labels in a grocery store, you know they claim all sorts of things. Organic! Natural! Part of a healthy breakfast! Whether you want to believe it or not, though, your Whole Foods order probably isn’t telling the whole truth.
Sure, that box of cereal is part of a healthy breakfast — if most of the breakfast is fruit, and you eat exactly 12 pieces of cereal. But that’s not what the label says. Often, these labels aren’t regulated closely by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), allowing companies to bend the truth to tell you what you want to hear.
Unfortunately, this kind of mislabeling is running rampant in the cannabidiol (CBD) industry, which is not yet regulated. But we’re here to tell you what you need to know to avoid label lies and CBD schemers and scammers!
Avoid Label Lies
Just because a company makes certain claims on its label doesn’t mean it’s 100 percent accurate. It’s kind of like when you’re swiping through Tinder. You know — deep down — that not every profile is as it seems.
Unfortunately, the same can be true of CBD products. One study found that about 70 percent of CBD extracts sold online are either over or under labeled, creating the potential for complications among consumers.
In another study, multiple cannabis oil samples were collected directly from patients and analyzed for cannabinoid content. In many cases, the cannabinoid content that was analyzed was very different from the label. In seven samples, no CBD or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) were found at all! Shocking, right? Understandably, you would be furious if you paid full price for a placebo!
Count on a COA
So, how do you know that you’re getting the real deal? We’re glad you asked! Your first check should be whether the company provides this key detail: a certificate of analysis, or COA, that has been conducted by a third party, state accredited, analytical lab.
A COA is an indicator that a company selling CBD products could potentially be trusted. It should be standard for reputable manufacturers and sellers of CBD, providing transparency, so you know the product doesn’t contain prohibited synthetic toxins or more than 0.3 percent (THC). COAs should also verify that the contents match the label and don’t include any heavy metals, pesticides, or other dangerous chemicals. However, just because a company provides a COA, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will match the product it is supposed to, and reading them often requires some…math.
By now, you’ve probably realized that getting a quality product requires a little due diligence on your part. Make sure the COA is from an unbiased, state accredited, third-party analytical laboratory and not the manufacturer’s in-house quality assurance lab.
Check for Testing
Unfortunately, some companies in the CBD industry are only interested in making a quick buck — regardless of the quality of their products. But not us! At Canapa, our goal is to ensure you get the best product every time. That’s why we send each of our batches for analytical testing to an accredited, third-party lab to have them tested for potency, solvents, and pesticides. We also test the hemp itself, as well as the extract (full spectrum oil, distillate, or isolate) prior to extraction and formulation.
If you’re looking at a CBD product and see terms like “ND” and “LOQ,” they actually do mean something. ND means “non detected” and LOQ refers to the “limit of quantitation.” LOQ is basically the lowest level at which the concentration of something can be detected.
● Potency: This test measures the amount of CBD and other cannabinoids such as cannabidiol acid (CBDA), cannabichromene (CBC), and cannabigerol (CBG) in each product. It also tests for THC, and should shows that the level of THC in your product is less than the legal limit of 0.3%. The purity and potency of CBD on the label of a product should match what’s inside it. Unsurprisingly, some companies don’t include as much CBD in their products as they advertise.
● Solvent Levels: What extraction method the manufacturer uses determines what kind of solvent is utilized. Therefore, the solvent lab test measures which solvents are left in a batch, recorded either in parts per million (PPM) or per billion (PPB). Each state has its own limits on how much of each solvent is allowed in a product. Being based in Oregon, Canapa uses Oregon’s standards. A good COA will show that solvents are below the legal limit and really should be below LOQ.
● Pesticide Presence: Just like it sounds, this test verifies that there are no pesticides in the product, making it an important part of a company’s transparency of its offerings. As with solvents, states set their own limits on how much of each pesticide, if any, is allowed in a product in order to be deemed safe for consumers. Pesticides are measured in parts per billion (PPB). Again, being based in Oregon, Canapa uses the state’s standards, which are the strictest in the nation.
Though there are other CBD providers that boast COAs, we update ours on a regular basis. You can find batch specific lab results on each product page, and every order of Canapa comes with a QR code that scans to batch specific test results. If you come across a company — online or otherwise — that doesn’t have a COA or won’t disclose it, be careful about purchasing from them. It’s important you know what you’re putting in your body! Also, if you are interested in the COAs of the hemp or extracts that we use, just shoot us an email!