Almost everything that we buy is tested for quality assurance. Companies will test their products in-house to ensure that they are quality goods and companies will use independent third-party testers to validate their claims.
Although independent third-party testing is not required in the CBD oil industry, many CBD oil companies will spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on scientific instrumentation to be able to analyze their products in-house and/or will spend thousands of dollars each month for third-party testing services from an analytical testing lab to provide full transparency to its customers.
Why is this important and what does this mean to you? Well, as I mentioned, testing is not mandatory, so a CBD oil company can sell its product without doing any testing. I also mentioned that testing is very, very expensive. So, from this, we can safely assume that a CBD oil company that is spending thousands of dollars on voluntary testing to provide transparency to consumers is more likely to be a more reputable CBD oil provider than its non-testing counterparts.
Here is one CBD oil company that is a true visionary in the industry and is providing full transparency on what is in their products – Bluebird Botanicals – This past summer they introduced a quality assurance system dedicated to providing easy access and visibility to the certificates of analysis of their products.
So, what kind tests are companies running in the CBD oil industry?
There are many different quality assurance tests that you should know about. To simplify things, I will break it down into two categories of testing: potency and contamination.
- Cannabinoid Profile – This test quantifies the different cannabinoids in a product. The common cannabinoids that are quantified are CBD, CBDA, THC, THCA, CBC, CBG and CBN. It is important to know how much of each cannabinoid is in a product because it allows a company to properly label the product with its potency, or strength. Think of how the Ibuprofen bottle in your home is labeled with the milligrams in each pill. By labeling the CBD oil product carefully, consumers and patients can administer the proper dosage.
- Microbiological Contaminants – Microbiological contamination can occur at many different points of the product cycle of a CBD oil product. It can occur from when the industrial hemp is harvested and improperly stored to when a dirty piece of manufacturing equipment processes some CBD oil. As this is the case, many CBD oil companies will test for microbiology contamination, such as bacteria, yeast and mold, throughout the production cycle of their products.
- Heavy Metals Screening – The cannabis sativa plant is known for its strong remediation properties. In other words, it will rip out anything, good and bad, from the soil that it grows in. Industrial hemp crops were plotted around Russia’s Chernobyl nuclear disaster to help remediate the environment. Because of this, it is important to screen for heavy metals that are commonly found in the Earth’s soil. Heavy metals are very toxic to the human body.
- Pesticides Screening – As industrial hemp is most commonly grown outdoors, it is prone to insects, rodents and other pests. Cultivators and farmers must deal with common problem, but it is important that they do not use highly toxic pesticides. Not all pesticides are dangerous to humans, but many are. If the industrial hemp is contaminated with pesticides, those danger pesticides will be concentrated into more dangerous levels when extracted and turned into CBD oil and other CBD products.
- Residual Solvents Screening – In order to obtain the cannabinoids, like CBD, from the plant to put them into CBD oil products, companies will use an extraction process. The extraction and refinement process to get CBD out of the plant and into a usable form for products often times require solvents. These solvents, like butance, hexane, pentane, can be toxic and need to be removed before put into CBD oil products. It is important to ensure that these solvents are at safe levels.
So, what is the key takeaway here? When you are deciding which CBD company you want to purchase CBD oil or other CBD products from, you should only consider companies that have had their products tested by an independent third-party lab. Some companies, like Bluebird Botanicals, will have their test results readily available on their website. Other companies may not; you will want to reach out to their customer service team and request a copy of their test results. Good, high-quality CBD oil companies will have no hesitation in providing full transparency and will provide copies of their test results to their customers. Be wary of companies that do not provide this information to you when you request it!