How to Read a CBD Lab Test

How to Read a CBD Lab Test

With the flourishing CBD industry, quantity over quality has begun to be more evident. Since regulations are very few and are not always practiced, many consumers struggle to find the quality they are looking for. When purchasing a CBD product, having a third party testing label can offer more quality products. Third party testing is when a neutral company tests the CBD product and gives an analysis of all compounds found to be in the end product. 



Independent Laboratories


The third party testers are independent from the company selling the product. More than simply independent, the lab does not have any benefits or royalties from the sale of the CBD. This allows for a neutral and honest result that consumers can trust. For some beginner consumers, I was one in the beginning, the only compounds that are considered when purchasing CBD products is the level of CBD and THC. This can be misleading because the amount of each can be manipulated on the label. 


A lab report can seem a bit overwhelming with the compound abbreviations and additional information. Understanding it comes with knowing the abbreviations. On a lab report there are keywords to look for. These consist of cannabinoid profile; cannabidiol (CBD); THC content; other cannabinoids; terpenes profile; heavy metals; and contaminants and toxins. Not all profiles show each category, it depends on what was asked of the lab.


Parts of a CBD Lab Analysis


Basic lab analysis reports may include, CBD, CBG, CBN, △8, THCA, and THC. When consumers are purchasing CBD products they mainly seek out the level of CBD and THC. These are the two compounds that the CBD industry pushes as they try to market their product. Looking deeper, these additional compounds found in CBD products are very relevant to the quality of the product. 



Cannabidiol (CBD)


CBD is the main compound that buyers look for when purchasing a CBD product. Unfortunately, product labels can say almost any amount the producer puts on them. CBS, a news station, conducted research of their own by sending sample products out to a third party testing site. On return of the results, it was found that four samples were correct on dosage (with some variability), two samples only gave 60-80% of the advertised dosage, and two samples gave 10% and 210% over what was advertised on the packaging. Potency of CBD is listed as percentages per weight. If a product says it contains 30% CBD, then it is 300 milligrams of CBD. 

Cannabigerol (CBG)


This is an interesting compound. It is actually the first compound the cannabis plant makes. Coming before the THC or the CBD, cannabigerol releases an enzymatic reaction that either changes it to CBD or it changes to THC. This enzymatic reaction can also form other minor cannabinoids. Since it can change into other cannabinoids, the cannabis plant usually does not have high amounts of it. If it is isolated before the reaction, the medical potential is very high. 


CBD products can contain CBG but at very minute amounts. Since the amount found naturally in CBD is limited, there has not been deep research into its potential. To conduct more in-depth research, the compound would need to be isolated before it changes form. 


Cannabinol (CBN)


Unlike CBG, cannabinol is a result of the THC compound breaking down. Naturally in the cannabis plant, this compound varies depending on the degradation of THC. Cannabinol does have psychoactive effects. The sleepy or sedative effects of some cannabis products is the result of CBN. Any cannabis can have trace amounts of CBN. The production of the compound is a result of time or heat. Cannabis that has been stored over a long period of time or is simply older will have higher levels of CBN. It is usually detected under 1% in measurement. Some consumers use this content for higher or lower amounts depending on their need. Because of its sedation effect, consumers may want more or less. 



Tetrahydrocannabinol (△8)


This compound, also known as Delta 8, is a cannabinoid similar to THC. Delta 8 is part of the four commonly known cannabinoids found in dried flowers. Even in dried flowers, it makes up less than 1%, meaning it is usually not even detected in a lab analysis. Although it has shown psychoactive effects, the result is much less potent than THC.



Tetrahydrocannabinolic (THCA)


When a cannabis plant is alive, THC is actually not present in the plant. THCA is an acidic precursor to THC. As a cannabis flower begins to dry, the active THCA slowly begins to break down into THC. THCA does not give off the “high” that THC does. The typical “high” that people get from THC happens when heat is introduced to the cannabis flower. This is why eating dry marijuana has no psychoactive effects. When looking for THCA cannabinoid in a lab analysis, it is not usually at detectable levels in CBD.



Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)


CBD products, to be legal, must contain 0.3% or less of THC. Cannabis and THC are the most recognizable words known for the psychoactive effects. THC does produce a “high” sensation and comes in many different products. When it comes to CBD products, the amount of THC has a limit. If a consumer is interested in THC products, it has been noted that combining THC and CBD can help control some of the psychoactive effects that THC has. 





NaturalWorks CBD products have been a great source for many consumers. As the market grows, there is a gray area between quality and quantity. Some CBD industries do take advantage of mislabelling their products. Consumers should always look for labels that have a third party testing analysis. This will ensure the product that is being purchased contains what is labelled on it. Educating yourself before beginning any NaturalWorks CBD products will help make choosing a product easier. It is important to note that before starting CBD, speaking with your doctor is a good first step. Even though CBD has mild side effects, it can adversely affect some medications. Become an educated buyer so that you may enjoy your purchased products.



Please note that the opinions of this article are not expert medical advice and should not be taken as such. 




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