How To Read CBD COA?
by Alissa Gardner | 25 January, 2023
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As CBD started to get recognition for its potential to benefit the physical and mental well-being of its users, it was only a matter of time before different manufacturers flooded the market with various cannabidiol goods.
And while this amazing diversity of CBD products is certainly welcome, it makes choosing the right product for you more challenging.
The main reason for that is not all CBD goods are made equal. If you don’t know what you’re buying, it is easy to make a bad choice and wind up with a subpar product that offers minimal effects or perhaps even doesn’t work at all.
The easiest way to be sure that you’re buying a quality CBD solution is to check its COA. To make things easier for you, we’re going to explain everything you need to know about CBD COA, how to read it, and what kind of information is present in it.
Read on and learn how COAs help you avoid low-quality CBD products!
What Is CBD COA?
COA stands for Certificate of Analysis, and it is an official document that is issued by independent labs that analyze CBD products to confirm their purity, quality, and potency.
These certificates are usually required by the broad majority of companies that produce any type of product, not just CBD-related ones. COAs provide consumers with an easy way to know everything about the product they’re buying, from the presence of impurities to the exact amount of active ingredients in it.
However, COAs are not mandatory for CBD products yet, which means that not all manufacturers provide them. While this is not always an indication of low quality, it is still better to look for products that are backed by COAs.
After all, if the manufacturer has nothing to hide and is willing to talk about their product’s composition, it is likely as premium as advertised.
Why Is COA Important For CBD Products?
Contrary to popular belief, CBD goods aren’t always made from pure cannabidiol and without any other substances. In fact, many cannabidiol products are based on either full-spectrum CBD (also known as whole-plant) or broad-spectrum CBD – extracts that include a wide range of beneficial cannabinoids and other organic compounds naturally present in the hemp plants.
While this is often a good thing since cannabinoids work best in synergy, there is no guarantee that the other substances in your CBD product are present in qualities that are best suited for your needs.
To illustrate the point, let’s say you want to buy a broad-spectrum oil that contains 0.0% Delta-9 THC. While the manufacturer might advertise their product as such, you can’t be sure of this claim. Fortunately, the certificate of analysis will clearly state the exact amount of Delta-9 THC in the product, so you’ll be able to make an informed decision.
As mentioned above, it is also possible for low-quality CBD goods to contain various impurities left over from the extraction process or even unwanted chemicals that manufacturers may have used to make their products more potent. However, with COA, you have nothing to worry about.
COAs can help you avoid a disappointing experience by letting you know what’s exactly in the product you’re buying and in what amounts.
How to Read CBD COA?
Now that you know what makes certificates of analysis so useful when it comes to choosing a CBD product, we can talk about how to read COAs properly. Although many of the documents are different, most of them contain the same type of information.
The contents of most certificates of analysis can be divided into two sections, with one of them focused on the physical characteristics of the product and the other providing information about its chemical composition.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these sections to learn how to read COA like a pro.
Physical Characteristics of CBD Products
The first section focuses on the physical characteristics of the products being tested. The COA will specify the color, appearance, and smell of the product. This can be helpful if you’re looking for a certain type of CBD oil, for example.
The section about the physical characteristics may also include information about the types of packaging used – for example, whether the container is sturdy and correctly sealed or if cushioning material is present to prevent damage during shipping.
The Chemical Composition of CBD Products
The second section is focused on the chemical composition of the products being tested. In other words, this is the most important part of the document because it specifies the exact concentrations of CBD and other compounds found in the product.
Perhaps the most interesting and useful piece of information is in the potency section of the COA. Here you can find info about the total concentration of cannabidiol in the product, the amount of Delta-9 THC in it, as well as the presence of other cannabinoids such as Delta-8 THC, CBG, CBN, CBC, etc.
If there are no traces of the substance in the product, it will be displayed as ‘ND’ (non-detectable). ‘Below LOQ’ means that the substance is present in the product but in such small amounts that measuring it was not possible.
Other useful subsections that you should follow deal with the microbial, metal, and pesticide content. Here you can find out if there are any dangerous bacteria or chemicals in the product. If you see a ‘PASS’ in the column that indicates the presence of a certain substance, it means that the product doesn’t contain harmful levels of it.
Each COA will also have basic information about the tested product (e.g., batch number, etc.) as well as the name of the independent lab that issued it.
As you can see, it is really easy to read a CBD COA and understand exactly what the product you’re buying contains.
So, the next time you decide to buy a CBD product, be sure to check if a COA for it is available and take a moment to go through all the information present in it. It might cost you a bit of extra time, but this way, you’ll know for sure that you’re buying a premium CBD product that lives up to your expectations.
We hope that this article has helped you understand the importance of certificates of analysis and why you should always read them before buying a CBD product.Good luck with your CBD experience!
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