CBD’s popularity has exploded in recent years, and as the industry has grown, so has the importance of quality control aspects like CBD lab testing. Below, we’ll explain the basics of what CBD lab testing is and why it’s important for the industry and consumers.
What Is CBD Lab Testing?
First, what does it mean when a CBD product has been lab tested? CBD, as any other approved drug consumers can find in stores, requires quality control to ensure the accuracy of its labels and safety.
The CBD grower can perform CBD lab testing on-site, but they often outsource the examination to an independent third-party testing lab. Since the third-party lab is independent and is not obligated to the CBD seller or the industry, they’re a reliable source for accurate, unbiased test results.
Why Is CBD Lab Tested?
The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate CBD, as the administration has stated there isn’t enough evidence that the consumption of CBD can cause harm. But that’s not to say there’s not an obligation for the CBD industry to ensure the quality control of its product for accuracy and safety reasons.
For one, CBD lab testing ensures the label on the product lists information such as cannabinoid content—the chemicals that cause the psychoactive effects of the cannabis plant. So while many experts consider CBD a safe prescription drug, not all CBD has the same cannabinoid content. Therefore, lab testing ensures that the labeling of all CBD products provides accurate and necessary information for consumers.
How Is CBD Lab Tested?
We’ve covered what and why, but how do third-party labs and sellers test CBD? There are various methods for CBD testing and analysis of cannabinoid content and contaminants, but most use some form of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Labs use this method either on their own or in conjunction with mass spectrometry (MS) in LC/MS.
HPLC is used for CBD potency testing and contaminant identification because it can quickly and accurately identify cannabinoids present in a sample and is relatively affordable. While gas chromatography may be a faster form of chromatography testing, HPLC has a wider range of detection for cannabinoids, making it the ideal method for CBD.
What Is CBD Tested For?
We’ve mentioned that CBD undergoes testing for its cannabinoid content, but labs also test for harmful contaminants and toxins. It’s obviously in the best interests of the CBD seller and the industry to sell safe products free of toxins that can harm consumers.
Like other mass-produced organic products, CBD requires many chemicals throughout the cultivation process to ensure strong and capable growth. However, these chemicals can be harmful if ingested in certain quantities. Some of the contaminants that CBD is rigorously tested for include the following:
- Residual solvents
- Heavy metals
We hope our explainer has helped you to learn what CBD lab testing is and why it’s important to the industry and its consumers. The next time you purchase CBD, you can thank lab testing for ensuring that the label contains accurate information and that the product is contaminant-free.
Dianne Pajo is a writer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.