Since it’s recent legalization with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD has become a wildly popular new substance, one which may have many benefits for people who are suffering from numerous emotional and physical challenges. Countless anecdotal stories have supplemented some scientific evidence, demonstrating that CBD may be capable of doing quite a bit of good.
Unfortunately, that’s not to say that the experience has been a completely smooth one for consumers. Because it’s so new, CBD has shown elements of being like a new “gold rush” – and that means that there are plenty of companies who just want to rip consumers off. This isn’t to say that the news is all bad, but it does mean that consumers must pay attention to what they buy when it comes to CBD.
To that end, here’s a look at what CBD lab tests are, and why they matter.
When done right, CBD company’s will hire a third party to do a lab test on their product. The results of that lab test will include a variety of information, including ingredients and the amounts of each ingredient.
The company which is conducting the lab test is not directly affiliated with the original vendor. This ensures a degree of independence which guarantees that what the vendor says is in the CBD is in the CBD, and is present in the amounts which they claim. Third party vendors have their own reputations and licensing on the line, so they want to ensure that the results they publish are accurate
If purchasing a product on the internet, the vendor in question will often have a link which allows you to directly examine their Certificate of Analysis. An individual QR Code will otherwise be available which allows for the user to inspect the Certificate. This is how we make our Certificates of Analysis available.
A proper Certificate of Analysis will contain a variety of information, including the following:
Three primary reasons exist which necessitate the need for independent lab testing. First and foremost: Without them, it would be impossible for individuals who purchased CBD to have any sort of assurances that the CBD they are consuming had their ingredients tested. This is because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to develop any sort of consumer protections which are specific to CBD. While these regulations will hopefully be forthcoming in the near future, they aren’t available yet. This creates a major problem for consumers: Unlike other food or drugs, there is no testing by the FDA of CBD products in order to ensure accuracy in labeling. That’s not to say that the FDA has been completely silent in the area of CBD, as they have repeatedly issued warning letters to CBD vendors which have made unproven scientific claims about CBD’s ability to provide medical benefits, among other violations. However, the FDA does not test CBD for the accuracy of its labeling. As a result, more reputable CBD vendors – such as XO CBD – have turned to independent lab testing in order to fill the gap caused by the lack of FDA regulations.
The second reason is directly related to the first. Reputable CBD companies want to protect their customers health and ensure that they have accurate labeling. However, use of third party testing is also a reasonable marketing tactic, as it generates credibility. Sophisticated customers are unquestionably aware of third-party testing. As such, many customers (appropriately) will not purchase CBD which has not had its ingredients verified.
The third reason that lab testing is important is because many companies, unfortunately, have been found to be irresponsible in their CBD labeling. A 2017 study by the University of Pennsylvania examined 84 different CBD products and found that almost 70% were mislabeled. This extraordinarily high number shows why CBD lab testing is so important.
Inaccurate labeling can create a slew of problems. If you have allergies, you can be put in a situation where you unwittingly consume foods that you are allergic to, potentially endangering your health. Millions of Americans have serious food allergies, so this is no small concern.
Inaccurate labeling of THC content – as noted in the University of Pennsylvania study – can potentially have major legal or professional repercussions. Though unlikely, it is possible that use of full spectrum CBD (which does contain THC) can result in a positive drug test. This may occur because these drug tests will come back positive if THC content in the body is above a certain threshold. The odds of a positive drug test increase depending on a variety of factors, including previous history with cannabis, the sensitivity of the drug test, the method of the drug test, metabolism and amount of CBD consumed. If you consume broad spectrum CBD (which contains zero THC and is the only kind of THC sold at XO CBD), you completely eliminate any risk of a positive drug test. Inaccurate labeling could result in a positive drug test, and this could have major legal or professional repercussions.
Third party testing is fundamentally important because of the culture of accountability it creates. Using third party keeps all CBD companies honest and ensures that customers can enjoy a basic level of comfort about the CBD they consume.