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Everything You Need to Know About Third-Party Lab Testing

Everything You Need to Know About Third-Party Lab Testing

CBD and Third-Party Testing

If you’ve been in the market for CBD oil within the last few years, you’ve probably come across the phrase “third-party laboratory testing” a time or two, particularly if you’re a regular at CBD Choice — because every one of our products goes through independent third-party lab testing.

Many users are still a bit hazy on what precisely this means, though. That’s a pity because independent third-party testing is one of the most important factors that should guide your CBD shopping.

This article will help to demystify this somewhat murky, though vitally important, subject.

What is Independent Third-Party Lab Testing?

Third-party lab testing is a quality control phase of manufacturing. It involves an independent organization's review of the manufacturing process and end-results of a manufactured good. The purpose of this testing ensures that the final product complies with specific safety and quality standards. Most manufacturers will also perform their own quality testing in-house. But outsourcing the final quality tests to a third-party lab ensures that the results are free from bias, accurate, and reliable enough for consumers to make an educated decision.

Simply put, third-party lab testing is when a private laboratory — one not associated with a manufacturer or distributor — performs scientific tests to analyze a product.

The independent or “third-party” part of the equation is essential to define third party testing. If a manufacturer or distributor were to perform similar tests in-house, they might be tempted to alter or misrepresent the results, making their products seem safer or more appealing. Independent third-party testing makes that sort of dishonesty impossible.

With independent third-party testing, the results are the results. It gives customers honest, detailed information on the products they buy — free of any interference from those motivated by profit.

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 your purchases, your health, and your body’s needs.

Because it’s objective and unbiased, third-party testing allows you to be fully informed about the products you buy. Laboratories may test for a variety of different features, but there are some standard practices. Here are a few of the most common forms of third-party lab testing:

  • Potency and “Cannabinoid Profile” Testing
    • These tests measure the active cannabinoids present in the product. The most important cannabinoids here are CBD and THC.
      • CBD: Consumers want their CBD products to work, so labs need to verify that CBD is present in the amount that manufacturers claim. With several less-than-reputable vendors on the market (see the FDA’s 2015 and 2016 testing), it’s important to be sure your CBD products are genuine and will work as advertised.
      • THC: For legal or personal reasons, most CBD users want THC-free products. If THC levels are too high, customers could experience an unwanted high, fail a workplace drug test, or even run afoul of state and federal law.
  • Residual Pesticide and Fungicide Testing
    • These tests check to see whether any pesticides are present in the finished product.
      • Because CBD is derived from the hemp plant, some growers use pesticides to ensure that insects do not destroy their crop before harvest. If these pesticides are not entirely removed, they can cause health problems for consumers.
  • 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 have a strong negative impact on the human body. This testing is, therefore, vital for your long-term health and wellness.
  • Residual Solvents
    • This tests to see whether any of the solvent compounds used to extract CBD from the hemp plant are present in the finished product.
      • The industry-standard method uses CO2 to extract the CBD from hemp plants. This method is a safe and environmentally-friendly process widely used for many other products, including coffee, essential oils, and carbonated drinks. It produces no harmful residuals and can even kill mold and bacteria present in the plant.
      • But not all manufacturers use CO2 extraction. Other extraction processes are not proven safe and can leave potentially harmful residue in the CBD extract. Independent third-party testing of this sort ensures that the extraction process was safe and will not cause unforeseen health problems down the line.

Is Third-Party Testing Mandatory in the U.S. CBD Market?

The short answer: no.

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.

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 — so long as those products contain less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. All manufacturers must test their products for THC to ensure they remain within this limit, or they will be prohibited from selling in most states.

Aside from that, the CBD market is something of a Wild West. Manufacturers aren’t even required to test for the potency of their CBD, let alone conduct independent third-party testing  for harmful pesticides or heavy metals. Unfortunately, some manufacturers exploit the system at the expense of their customers’ health and safety.

The CBD Choice Guarantee

CBD Choice is committed to a higher standard. We are passionate believers in CBD’s potential to improve our health and wellness and to contribute to a greener, healthier, and happier world. But that can only happen if the CBD products on the market are trustworthy and safe.

That’s why every one of our site’s products is regularly subjected to comprehensive and independent third-party testing. We hand-select each company whose products we host and regularly turn away those who don’t meet our exacting quality and purity standards.

What’s more, we’re committed to full transparency. If you want to see the lab results for a particular product, they’re available to you. If you can’t find them on our site, feel free to reach out; we’ll happily point you in the right direction.

CBD Choice is dedicated to hosting only the highest-quality, safest, laboratory-tested cannabidiol products. We care about CBD and want our customers to discover all that this wonderful compound has to offer. When you shop with us, know that we’ve done the legwork to ensure that each product is not only effective but pure and safe for use.

That’s the CBD Choice Guarantee.

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