CBD lab reports are essential for discerning good products from bad, but how do you read these reports? Learn how to read a CBD lab report in 5 easy steps.
How to Read a CBD Lab Report (5 Easy Steps)
If you’re rightfully concerned with product purity and integrity that matches what’s on the label, you might be asking yourself: can labs test for CBD? The answer is absolutely, and they do so all the time for reputable CBD manufacturers. With the CBD industry on the rise, the demand for accurate, reliable CBD lab reports is greater than ever before. Once you’ve gotten your hands on a CBD lab report, however, you’ll find that it includes a lot of information to unpack – and you might not be sure what it all means. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to accurately read CBD lab tests in five easy steps.
1. Find the Report
Finding reports for lab-tested CBD oil should never be hard, and here at CBDfx, we make this process incredibly easy. We test every batch of each product we produce, which means that our reports are always up to date, and we make these reports publicly available on our lab reports page.
That’s not all; the packaging of every CBDfx product features a QR code you can scan to be sent directly to the most recent lab report for that product. We want to make it as easy as possible to find detailed lab testing information for our products, and with this handy QR feature, proving to your friends that your CBDfx product is verifiably high-quality is as simple as snapping a selfie.
2. Understand How Types of CBD Differ
Once you’ve found the lab reports for your CBDfx product, the first thing you’ll need to understand is that different types of CBD produce different types of expected lab results. The three different kinds of CBD are CBD isolate, broad-spectrum CBD, and full-spectrum CBD; and these substances each contain different cannabinoids in different concentrations.
Isolate CBD products are exactly what they sound like: these products contain a virtually pure CBD molecule, usually in crystalline form. Some people prefer isolate CBD items because they like the idea of being hyper-focused on consuming just the cannabidiol molecule. That said, there’s some research that indicates isolate is possibly less effective than the two other types of CBD. That’s because the hemp plant contains dozens of compounds that may work synergistically with CBD to exert a biological effect. Broad-spectrum CBD, on the other hand, contains lots of terpenes and cannabinoids besides just CBD — but it contains nearly untraceable amounts of THC. Many of our products, including our new CBD Face Masks, contain this highly popular broad-spectrum CBD.
Lastly, full-spectrum CBD is basically the same as broad-spectrum CBD oil, but it contains slightly more terpenes and cannabinoids. It also possesses trace amounts of THC amounting to less than 0.3% of the total volume of the extract. These levels of THC are too low to get you high, but it’s thought that trace amounts of this cannabinoid might contribute to the entourage effect, which recent research suggests may make CBD more effective.
Depending on which type of CBD you purchase, the lab results for your product will differ. The cannabinoid profile for isolate CBD, for instance, will show almost nothing but CBD, and the profile for full-spectrum CBD might show trace amounts of other cannabinoids. That’s totally normal and simply a feature of the CBD variety you’re purchasing.
3. Examine the Cannabinoid Profile
The cannabinoid profile is one of the most important parts of a CBD lab report. This section is usually included at the top of a CBD lab test, and it gives detailed data on the levels of the various cannabinoids that are naturally present in hemp oil.
In CBDfx lab reports, which are provided by PharmLabs San Diego, information on the total percentage per volume, milligrams per gram, and total milligrams is provided for each major cannabinoid. In the most recent report for our CBD Oil Tincture 1500mg, for instance, you’ll find that this batch of our tincture formula contains 1614mg of CBD per unit, which is over 100mg higher than our listed concentration. This tincture also includes 26.7mg of CBG and 7.2mg of CBN.
It’s easy to see exactly why independent lab testing is so essential in the CBD industry. Without trustworthy lab results, it’s impossible to tell whether the product you’re buying contains the amount of CBD advertised. We always stand behind the results of our lab tests, and as you can see, it isn’t uncommon for our products to contain more CBD than we advertised, not less.
4. Check for Nasty Stuff
The next section of a CBD lab report will often contain information on contaminants and toxins. Here at CBDfx, we take the cleanliness and quality of our CBD very seriously, and we test for residual solvents, pesticides, mycotoxins, micro-toxins, and heavy metals in every batch of CBD we produce.
As with our other testing parameters, we don’t just test the CBD oil that goes into our products; we test each and every batch of every product we produce. It’s impossible to understate the importance of this step; if a company only tests its CBD oil, there’s no way to tell how much CBD is actually present in the final product.
Unfortunately, it’s all too common in the CBD industry to come across disreputable brands cranking out products that were produced with sub-par materials or in unsafe conditions. As a result, these low-quality CBD products contain mold, mildew, heavy metals, pesticides, and other substances you don’t want in your body. Here at CBDfx, we’re proud to operate the most state-of-the-art CBD production facility in the United States, and we only use organic, non-GMO hemp to produce our products to make sure you won’t be exposed to any residual pesticides or other harmful toxins.
5. Compare and Contrast
You can learn a lot about a company based on what they include and don’t include in their lab reports. If you aren’t sure which CBD company you should work with, it’s a good idea to compare and contrast the lab reports offered by different companies to determine which CBD producer is the most reputable.
As you compare the reports provided by different CBD companies, there are a couple of things you should watch out for. First, we already mentioned how it’s important to make sure that a company you’re considering tests each individual product instead of just its CBD oil. Also, it’s important to check out the relationship between the CBD company and the testing agency; there’s a reason that independent testing is so important in the CBD industry; the lab results you have in your hands or on your screen are useless unless you can verify that the testing agency didn’t fudge the numbers for some cash on the side.
Lastly, it’s important to take a thorough look at the results of the tests themselves. To be legal in the United States, CBD products must contain less than 0.3% THC; if a CBD product you’re considering contains more than this amount, it is not a general market product.
You’ll also need to compare the CBD content of the products offered by different companies. Here at CBDfx, we always aim high as we formulate our products; it’s better to give away some CBD for free than to be accused of under-serving our customers. Other companies, however, might not be so careful; it’s never okay to receive less CBD than you paid for, so view a company that publishes test results with less CBD than they advertised as being just as disreputable as a company that doesn’t publish test results at all.
CBD Lab Testing FAQ
Now that you know how to read CBD lab tests, it’s time to tackle a few basic questions on CBD and its effects:
Is CBD legal?
Yes, recent legislation has made CBD-rich hemp oil 100% legal to purchase in the United States.
Is CBD a drug?
According to the U.S. Federal Government, no. The 2018 Farm Bill removed CBD from the DEA’s definition of marijuana, and the FDA has yet to rule on the status of CBD. However, the FDA has not finished studying CBD to pass down a ruling that regulates how the compound will be handled moving forward.
Does CBD oil really work?
That depends on your definition of “work,” as the FDA has not yet approved CBD for the treatment of symptoms. CBD products are, however, effective when it comes to allowing your body to absorb CBD and feel its effects. If you’re interested in anecdotal reactions to our CBD items, check out some of the reviews of our most popular products to learn about the positive experiences that people like you have had with CBD.
What does CBD do to your brain?
As with many other substances, researchers are keenly interested in how CBD interacts with human physiology and neurochemistry. One of the first things that scientists learned as they researched this cannabinoid is that CBD is surprisingly non-interactive with the CB1 and CB2 receptors2, which are the primary targets of THC.
Instead, this non-psychoactive cannabinoid appears to interact with the 5-HT1A receptors and the TRPV1 receptors. CBD researchers are currently hard at work learning more about this highly intriguing cannabinoid’s methods of action in the brain, and there is no clear consensus yet definitively showing what CBD does to the brain, or what it offers biologically to the user.