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What is a CBD Certificate of Analysis (and Why Should You Care)?

CBD Certificate of Analysis

If you’ve been a part of the CBD Choice community for long, odds are you’ve heard us mention the importance of the CBD “Certificate of Analysis” (“CBD Certificate” or simply “CoA”). And indeed, ensuring that each product you choose is backed by a CBD Certificate of Analysis is one of the most vitally important steps for all CBD users. But why?

In this article, we’ll cover all the basics of CBD certificates, why they’re essential, and why we ensure that every product on CBD Choice is backed by comprehensive lab testing and a CBD certificate of analysis as part of the CBD Choice Guarantee.

What is a CBD Certificate of Analysis

A CBD Certificate of Analysis is a detailed report covering laboratory tests on a CBD product. The details that a CBD Certificate includes may vary between laboratories, but they most often include CBD and THC content, the presence or absence of pesticides and other contaminants, heavy metals, and residual solvents.

In short, CBD Certificates of Analysis prove the ingredients and chemical make-up of your CBD products. They are the only way to ensure that your CBD wellness tools will actually benefit your health, rather than potentially exposing you to pesticides, heavy metals, or other toxic chemicals.

Why is CBD Certification Important?

Again, a CBD Certificate of Analysis proves the purity and safety of the CBD oils and other products you choose to use. But why is that necessary? Aren’t all CBD manufacturers reputable? Unfortunately not.

The CBD industry is currently unregulated by federal law. Until more research is done and CBD is fully evaluated by the FDA, the CBD industry is something of a Wild West, with different manufacturers and vendors upholding wildly different standards for quality, purity, and transparency.

A CBD Certificate of Analysis takes all uncertainty out of the equation and is vitally important for ensuring the safety and effectiveness of the CBD products that you use. With comprehensive CBD certificates issued by a third-party lab, you know exactly what you’re putting into your body. Without them, you’re taking the manufacturer at their word and trusting that they haven’t cut corners or used cheap, potentially harmful ingredients.

Is CBD Certification Mandatory?

Unfortunately, CBD Certificates of Analysis are not mandatory in the US. But because a CBD Certificate is the only way to verify a product’s safety and effectiveness, users should be careful to shop only for CBD certified by a third-party lab (more on third-party labs below).

However, all legal CBD must undergo at least some basic testing. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD products are legal only if they contain less than 0.3% THC. As such, all  CBD products must be tested for THC content. However, no such requirement exists for CBD levels or potentially harmful contaminants.

The problem is so rampant that many products advertised as ‘quality CBD” actually contain no CBD at all! If there’s better proof for the importance of a CBD Certificate of Analysis, we can’t think of it.

Who Can Perform CBD Certification?

Although any laboratory can create a document that looks like a comprehensive CBD Certificate of Analysis, it’s extremely important to ensure that the source is a reputable, third-party laboratory.

Occasionally, you may find CBD manufacturers boasting about their “in-house” laboratories and testing. In-house tests are undoubtedly useful for manufacturers to ensure they’re using quality ingredients. But manufacturers’ own labs should never be trusted as a replacement for comprehensive third-party Certificates of Analysis.

Why Trust Only Third-Party Lab Testing?

CBDistillery Certificate of Analysis
A CBDistillery Certificate of Analysis — Note the name of the third-party lab in the upper right

Again, the US CBD industry is still mostly unregulated. Unfortunately, this has led to the rise of a number of less-than-reputable “CBD manufacturers”, scammers, and even harmful products masquerading as quality CBD. 

Put simply: If you can’t blindly trust manufacturers to produce quality CBD, you shouldn’t blindly trust them to be honest about their in-house testing.

By insisting on a CBD Certificate of Analysis from reputable, third-party labs, you can be confident about the products you receive. With independent testing, the results are the results, with no opportunity for dishonesty or manipulation.

The name of the reporting lab will always be included in your CBD Certificate of Analysis. A little research can go a long way towards ensuring your CBD products’ quality and safety, so always check to ensure the reporting lab is third-party and not associated with the CBD manufacturer.

Shop with Confidence at CBD Choice

At CBD Choice, we stand by each and every one of our products as being the very highest quality CBD in the industry. But we don’t take it on faith.

Everything you’ll find at CBD Choice is backed by comprehensive, third-party laboratory testing and a CBD Certificate of Analysis that proves its purity, potency, and safety.

Having trouble finding or interpreting the CoA for your favorite CBD Choice products? Reach out to our customer support staff, who will be happy to point you in the right direction.

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