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How to Properly Read Lab Test Results for CBD Flowers

It’s vital to ensure that the CBD flowers you buy comes from reputable sources. The last thing you want is heavy metals or pesticides in your product, and that’s where lab test reports come into play.

Since the CBD industry is still unregulated, no governing body or authority oversees the cultivation or manufacture of CBD products in a meaningful way. This leaves room for a variety of issues, whether to do with how the crops are cultivated and harvested or how they are processed and labeled. This is where the lab test for CBD products comes into play.

For the time being, it’s for the FDA to step in -following the recent 2018 Farm Bill which allowed the cultivation of hemp. The FDA needs to regulate an industry that’s been growing exponentially in 2019. So how can you ensure you’re getting the best and safest CBD, and how do you decipher all the graphs in the laboratory results?

Buying Lab Tested Products

The first port of call is to ensure that you only purchase CBD that comes with third-party lab-results in the first place. Preferably on a batch-by-batch basis which isn’t cheap for the company but it shows real commitment to quality. There’s also different lab testing done for various things, and not all tests are equal. There are test results for heavy metal, pesticides and the like.

cbd lab test

These are the cannabinoids that are most frequently tested for

There’s also cannabinoid content results showing the exact amount of each compound in percentage form. Then, there’s terpene profile testing and, to top it all off, microbiological contaminants testing to determine if there is bacteria in the mix. If the CBD you’re interested in makes it through all that, you’re probably on the right track. Now it’s time to read the results.

Reading the Lab Results

The Cannabinoid content lab test results are likely to be the first ones you’ll look at to see how much CBD is in the product. Assuming the test results for contaminants and heavy metals are clear (which they would be, or it wouldn’t have gone to market) the first thing to look for is CBD content. It just means that the product you purchased has the same Cannabinoid content as it claims to on the bottle or packet.

cbd lab test

Some of the various terpenes found in cannabis

The next thing to look at is the heavy metals results just to make sure. Hemp and cannabis soak up anything in their midst as they grow and that includes dangerous heavy metals. All you’re looking for here is the word “Pass” in these results, while you can ignore the minuscule trace amounts of lead sometimes present as they are safe at these levels.

Next comes the terpenes profile. Terpenes and flavonoids are present in cannabis and hemp; that’s what gives them their unique, sometimes fruity or tropical smell. Terpenes offer therapeutic qualities and make up the so-called “entourage effect“. Terpene profiles vary from batch to batch and from strain to strain. The terpene profile (if the product contains them following extraction) will tell you what terpenes are present inside the item you purchase.

Finally, there are the microbiological contaminants results. This test lets you know if any bacteria is present in the product. You most likely wouldn’t be seeing the results if the product had failed this test as it would be considered a faulty batch.

Final Thoughts

Always make sure that the CBD you’re buying comes from reputable vendors with solid reputations. It’s also a great idea to read customer reviews from verified buyers and to keep an eye out for those five-stars.

For more information on CBD industry lab testing, make sure to subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter, the top source for all things cannabis-related. 

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