What is a CBD Certificate of Analysis and How Do You Read One?
The power of CBD is best experienced when you know what you're taking. This can be tricky to achieve, given the lack of regulation in the CBD industry. However, all reputable CBD companies will provide a certificate of analysis (COA) for their products. A certificate of analysis is your assurance that the product contains the amount of CBD advertised on the label, as well as confirmation that there are no harmful contaminants present. In this article, we'll explain what a CBD COA is, and how to read one.
What is a CBD Certificate of Analysis (COA)?
A Certificate of Analysis is a document that provides detailed information about the chemical makeup of a product. For CBD products, this includes things like the cannabinoid profile, potency, and purity. The COA will also list any other ingredients present in the product.
COAs are issued by independent third-party labs that specialize in testing CBD products. The lab tests a sample product and then provides detailed results on the product specific to that batch.
Why is a Certificate of Analysis Important?
There are several reasons why a certificate of analysis is critical for CBD products. First, it provides transparency about what's in the product. As we mentioned before, the CBD industry is largely unregulated. This means that it's up to the brands to ensure that their products are safe and effective.
While most CBD brands are reputable and do their best to produce high-quality products, there are some bad actors out there. A COA from a third-party lab is the best way to know for sure what's in a CBD product.
Another reason why COAs are critical is that they help you understand the potency of the product. If you're taking CBD for a specific reason, you'll want to be sure that you're taking a product with the right amount of CBD.
Lastly, COAs also help ensure that products are free of harmful contaminants. Without a COA, there is no way to know what is in the product.
How to Read a Certificate of Analysis
Here is an example of what you might see on a COA:
As you can see, this document contains a lot of information. Let's break it down so you can understand what it all means.
First, you'll see the name and address of the company that performed the testing. This information is essential because it will tell you if the company is reputable and trustworthy. Next, is the name of the product, as well as the batch number. This is important because it allows you to track specific information about the product.
After that, you'll see a list of all the ingredients and their respective concentrations. In this example, you can see that the product contains CBD and trace amounts of other cannabinoids like cannabichromene (CBC), Cannabigerol (CBG), etc. You'll also see the potency of each ingredient listed in milligrams per gram (mg/g). The ingredients list helps you verify that the product contains what it claims.
How Do You Know If a COA is Authentic?
There are a few things to look for when you're trying to determine if a COA is authentic. Here are some of the most important things to look for:
1. The COA Has to Be From a Third-Party Testing Lab
For a COA to be legitimate, it must come from a third-party testing lab, not the CBD company itself. This is important because it ensures that the results are impartial and objective.
Third-party testing labs are independent companies that specialize in analyzing products for things like purity and potency. All reputable CBD companies have had their products third-party lab-tested and have the results on their website.
2. Make Sure the COA Is for the Specific Product You're Interested In
The next thing you'll want to do is ensure that the COA is for the specific product you're interested in. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is crucial nonetheless.
When looking at the COA, pay close attention to the batch number and the product name. These should match up with the batch number and product name on the label of the product you're interested in.
3. The COA Has to Be Recent
Another thing to look for is the date on the COA. The more recent the COA, the better. This is because CBD products can degrade over time, so you want to ensure the product you're taking is as fresh as possible.
Ideally, you should look for a COA that is no more than two years old. Anything older than that is likely to be out of date and not accurate.
Can You View a Product’s COA Before Buying It?
The short answer is yes. A reputable CBD company will be happy to provide you with a COA for any product you're interested in. Many companies will list the COAs on their website so that you can view them before even placing an order.
Just Live is one such company. You can view the COAs for all our products right on our website. You can easily find the COA for any product by clicking on the COA / Lab Results option at the bottom of our website. You can also find each product's COA on the product page itself.
If you're ever in doubt about a product's purity or potency, just pull up the COA and take a look for yourself.
Should You Buy CBD Products Without a COA?
The answer is a resounding no. You should never buy CBD products without a COA. A COA is the only way to know for sure what is in a product and verify its potency.
If a company does not have a COA for their products, that is a huge red flag and you should avoid them at all costs. We take our commitment to quality and transparency very seriously at Just Live. That's why all our products are third-party lab-tested and come with a COA. We want you to know exactly what you're getting when you buy from us.
For more information on CBD certificates of analysis and how to read them, be sure to check out our blog. We post regular articles on all things CBD, including how to choose the right product for you and how to get the most out of your CBD.
Have a question? Our team is always happy to help. Send us a message through our contact page and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks for reading!