CBD and Third-Party Lab Testing: Why is it so important?
You may have noticed that CBD products are popping up all over the place and it’s great to have lots of options! But it also means that you may need to be extra careful about the products you’re buying and whether or not they’ve been tested for purity, contaminants, and heavy metals.
If you’ve bought a CBD product lately, or if you’ve ever participated in any general browsing on CBD, you’ve more than likely come across the expression “third-party testing.” But do you know what this means, exactly? Are CBD manufacturers required to have their products tested before they can market and distribute them? What is CBD third-party testing all about?
Many users are still a bit hazy on what the deal is and why third-party testing is so important, but we’re here to say that independent third-party testing of CBD and CBD products is one of the most important aspects of CBD shopping to get your head around. It’s vital that third-party testing is allowed to play a key role in the CBD products you choose to buy.
This short blog is designed to demystify this somewhat murky CBD subject and get you 100% ready to buy CBD in person or online with confidence.
What is Third-Party Lab Testing?
Third-party testing labs are operated by agents with no affiliation or invested interest in the CBD industry. The idea is that you can trust them and their test results because they have no skin in the game. Their function is to simply communicate the facts as they find them and give customers honest, detailed information about the CBD products on sale — free from interference and influence that could come from those in the industry motivated by profit.
The unbiased analysis of CBD products in a third-party lab is used to indicate the quality, purity, and potency of a CBD sample or product. This means that it’s possible to verify whether or not a brand or company is advertising the truth… something that’s particularly critical in today’s saturated and under-regulated market.
An independent laboratory isolates and tests the compounds found in any given CBD oil or other type of CBD product. By testing compounds, the lab is able to put a quantifiable number onto the levels of THC and CBD (and other cannabinoids or plant components) found in the product. As consumers, we need to know the true levels of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids in the products we buy, so that we can be careful and conscious when it comes to dosage.
But it doesn’t stop there. Labs are able to do so much more than measure the levels of cannabinoids in any given CBD product.
Labs can also test for high levels of heavy metals, pesticides, or other toxins that may be present in a CBD product. The hemp plant is notoriously good at absorbing anything it comes into contact with, particularly as it grows, and so it’s important to check exactly what those hemp roots have been soaking up during the cultivation stage. These tests ensure that the CBD product a brand or manufacturer is offering is safe and clean to consume.
Why is independent Third-Party Lab Testing important?
When it comes to your health and wellness, it pays to be informed. Knowledge is power, as they say, and third-party testing allows you to be more knowledgeable about the purchases you make, your health, and what you voluntarily put into your body.
Tests performed by independent third-party labs are objective and unbiased. They ensure that you’re fully informed about the products you buy. They test for a variety of different features and components, while following a number of standard practice procedures.
As a way of illuminating this further, here are a few of the most common forms of third-party lab testing processes:
– Potency and “Cannabinoid Profile” Testing
These tests measure the levels of active cannabinoids present in the product. The most important cannabinoids to measure here are CBD and THC.
CBD: Consumers want their CBD products to work, so labs need to verify that the level of CBD present in the amount that manufacturers claim on the packaging. This is why it’s never a good idea to buy a product without a label that states the levels of CBD included and certainly never a good idea to buy from a brand or manufacturer unwilling to show you the third-party lab test results.
THC: For legal or personal reasons, most CBD users want THC-free products, or at least products that contain 0.3% of THC or less. If THC levels are too high, consumers run the risk of experiencing an unwanted high, of failing a drugs test at work, or even running into trouble with state and/or federal law enforcers.
– Residual Pesticide and Fungicide Testing
These tests check to see whether any pesticides are present in your finished and packaged CBD product. As most people are aware, CBD is a compound/oil derived from the hemp plant. Some hemp growers use pesticides to ensure that insects don’t destroy their crops before harvest. If these pesticides are not entirely removed, they can cause health problems in those people who consume them. Again… nothing is more important when buying a CBD product than ensuring there’s a clear, trusted third-party lab result available.
– Heavy Metals Analysis
This test checks for arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead, and other potentially harmful heavy metals in the product. Hemp is a bioremediation plant — meaning that if it is planted in contaminated ground, it will pull up the metals and toxins from the soil. These toxins can stick around and contaminate CBD products made from the infected plants. Even at low levels, these metals can trigger strong, negative reactions in the human body. This type of third-party lab testing is, therefore, vital for your long-term health and wellness.
– Residual Solvents
This test is used to check whether any of the solvent compounds used to extract CBD from the hemp plant are lingering in the finished product. The industry-standard method uses CO2 to extract CBD from the hemp plant. This method is a safe and environmentally-friendly process, widely used in the extraction of many other products, beyond the world of CBD, including coffee, essential oils, and carbonated drinks. It produces no harmful residuals and can even kill mold and bacteria that might happen to be hanging around in the plant.
Not all manufacturers use CO2 extraction. Why? Because it’s more expensive to run than other extraction processes. Independent third-party testing of this sort ensures that the extraction process used to craft your CBD product was safe and won’t cause unforeseen health problems for you further down the line.
Is Third-Party Testing mandatory in the U.S. CBD market?
The short answer: no.
Why? Because safe-practice procedures simply can’t keep up with the rate at which the CBD industry is growing. In detail…
The CBD industry is relatively new and growing at exponential speed. This uncontrollable surge continues to present a number of problems to traditional regulatory bodies. CBD has grown and IS GROWING so fast, that few of these bodies have been able to keep up, generating a number of concerns for business owners, the consuming public, and the industry itself:
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is still in the process of studying CBD. Until the FDA develops a comprehensive regulatory framework for CBD, there is almost no formal oversight on the quality and purity of CBD products. Therefore, third-party lab testing is ESSENTIAL and the consumer has the right to ask any brand to see those lab results.
The one exception to this relates to levels of THC. The 2018 Farm Bill made it legal to buy and sell industrial hemp-derived CBD products throughout the United States — as long as those products contained less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. All manufacturers are obligated to test their products for THC to ensure they remain within this limit, or they will be prohibited from selling in most states. So… one regulation is firmly in place. Onwards and upwards, right?
Aside from that, manufacturers aren’t required to test for the potency of their CBD, let alone conduct independent third-party testing for harmful pesticides or heavy metals. THEREFORE, a company or brand or manufacturer that’s willing to test its products and be transparent about the ingredients is one you can trust and buy from. Those unwilling to test or reveal test results should be avoided at all costs. Got it? 🙂
Why you should only purchase CBD from companies that provide Third-Party Test results publically
Analytical laboratory equipment like HPLC’s (high-performance liquid chromatography) is not cheap. Nor is the labor and expertise that comes along with knowing how to use it. Taking this into consideration, why do CBD companies willingly spend thousands of dollars to obtain a “third-party tested” label? It comes down to transparency.
With cannabis products (and CBD oil in particular) becoming more and more popular by the day, it’s becoming increasingly crucial for companies to establish a reliable and reputable name within the industry. People know what quality CBD oil can do to alleviate chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and insomnia, so they are certainly not going to spend their hard-earned money on an expensive brand that’s not even transparent enough to have its products laboratory tested.
In short, it is within a CBD company’s best interests to have its products third-party tested, despite the high costs involved. The average consumer nowadays can tell pretty quickly whether a brand is legit or not. They also can tell whether a company is selling something short of what’s being advertised or not. When they see a third-party testing label, they know they’re dealing with the former rather than the latter, and they’ll be more inclined to buy. It’s that simple.
The GetEvoke Guarantee
At GetEvoke, we’re committed to high standards. We’re passionate believers in CBD’s potential to improve our health and wellness by keeping us active. Staying active is good for the soul, and so we make sure that our CBD products are transparent, trustworthy, and safe.
Every single product on our site is regularly subjected to comprehensive and independent third-party testing. We’re committed to full transparency. If you want to see the lab results for a particular product, they’re available to you via our website, on each product page, but if you can’t find them, then feel free to reach out. We’ll happily point you in the right direction or send them through to you via email.
Bringing things to a close
The last thing you need to be spending your hard-earned money on is a CBD product that doesn’t contain the right level of CBD, or that’s filled with other elements that could be detrimental to your health. And given the current unregulated state of the CBD industry, buying the wrong product from the wrong brand is an all-too-easy mistake to make.
Thus, it’s becoming increasingly important as a consumer to look for oils, edibles, and other CBD products that have been lab-tested by an unbiased, outside source. Shop wisely, look for reliable, reputable brands with good consumer feedback, and never underestimate the importance of third-party, quality-tested products. Stay active! Stay safe!