Have you ever bought CBD products online? If you have been to an online CBD seller website before, you must have noticed the terms “third-party lab tested” on their product labels. What does that mean? Why is third-party lab testing of CBD products at all necessary in today’s cannabis market?
Even though cannabis and CBD products have become legal in 33 states for medicinal purposes, you will find it challenging to spot FDA-approved products for sale anywhere. The lack of enough time between the legalization, constraints with research material and the scarcity of controlled studies have made it impossible for the FDA to approve even the most popular CBD products for public consumption.
Here are five reasons every well-known CBD product manufacturer opts for third-party testing –
- To stay in the competition
That makes one worry about the quality of the products they’d like to buy. A complete lack of FDA approval might mean deteriorating product quality and a lack of the manufacturer’s motivation to lab test their CBD products. However, that is not the case. The cannabis and CBD markets are uber-competitive, and the quality of a product will determine its success. A poor-quality CBD oil can break the company’s reputation for good. Therefore, the manufacturers have enough motivation for third-party lab testing of their CBD products. Almost all the CBD creams, oils, tinctures and isolates you can find online undergo third-party lab testing before they hit the markets.
- The FDA won’t do it!
Independent third-party testing can provide an unbiased report on the content and quality of the CBD and other phytocannabinoids in the product in question. Sadly, the non-regulated state of manufacturing and marketing has enabled the manufacturers and sellers to slap fake labels on low-quality products and sell them at high prices. That is why third-party lab testing has become imperative for the responsible and reputed brands in the market. It is true that federal regulation will bring both pros and cons to the cannabis market, but at the same time, it is necessary for the manufacturers to stick to specific industry standards during production. In fact, most reputed CBD product manufacturers only put labels like “99% pure CBD” or “lab verified cannabidiol” after getting the third-party assessment reports.
- Third party labs already have the equipment and skillset
Apart from staying in the competition, companies resort to third-party lab testing because the equipment necessary for quality testing is not cheap. These laboratories already have the standard equipment required for running quality checks. Moreover, they have trained professionals, who run similar tests repeatedly per day for a living. Outsourcing the quality control to these independent laboratories can help the companies save money and time. People trust third-party tested products since they expect the products to bear an unbiased analysis. A genuine third-party report can inspire trust and loyalty among the paying consumers.
- Upholding transparency for consumers
Another reason most companies don’t slap “third-party tested” labels on their products without sending them out for testing is transparency. Most CBD product manufacturers want to maintain the transparency that is imperative in an uncontrolled market. With the extensive promotion of the CBD products, people know that CBD oil is capable of treating muscle pain, joint pain and depression. People are aware of the anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD face creams. Now, the informed consumer knows what to expect from the CBD products they are purchasing. Therefore, merely sticking a fake label is not enough for the manufacturers. They need to ensure that their products are delivering whatever they promise. Without the necessary quality, it will be hard for the manufacturers and sellers to maintain a profit in an informed market.
- Evaluation of CBD and terpene profile
Thanks to modern hybridization techniques, we have scores of different marijuana strains that produce CBD oils, tinctures, crystals and isolates. Without the intervention of third-party testing, it would be impossible for even the manufacturers to determine the precise CBD and terpene profile of their CBD products coming from a variety of cannabis strains. If you have visited a land-based marijuana dispensary, you must have noticed the different labels containing the CBD and terpene profiles on them.
For example – you head to your neighbourhood cannabis store and spot a full spectrum CBD oil. However, you notice that the label bears no other information as to what other phytocannabinoids are there. If a product label does not indicate the percentage of CBD and THC, it becomes challenging for the buyer to make an informed choice. People want to know what they are spending their money on, and third-party testing gives them all the answers they need.
There is a wide range of CBD products out there, and each one has specific medicinal properties. Some of them are capable of reducing swelling; some are anti-emetics; some can treat depression and anxiety, while others are potential treatments of chronic insomnia. Unless the product label bears an indication of which compounds are present in the product, how will the seller or buyer find the right product for a specific purpose?
What should you look for in a third-party lab report?
If you ever come across a third-party report, here’s what you need to check –
- The compounds present in the product. Look for the percentage of CBD and other cannabinoids. The other phytocannabinoids can include CBN, CBG, CBT, CBR, CBDA, CBC, THC and THCA. Always remember that all reports don’t show the full cannabinoid profile. If your product does not reveal the presence of other cannabinoids, it might not be a full spectrum CBD product.
- Look for the presence of pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones and heavy metals. If the report indicates any of their existence, stay away from that product.
- Microbes should not be a part of the CBD oil or tincture you consume. If the third-party report indicates the presence of bacteria, you need to rethink your choices.
- Solvents can be dangerous to human health. Steer clear of CBD products that contain any forms of glycol.
Third-party lab reports for CBD products are becoming irreplaceable. Any respected CBD manufacturer will hire third-party laboratories for the quality testing of their niche products before making them available to the general population. The absence of FDA regulation emphasizes the need for third-party regulations that CBD manufacturers and sellers have to accept voluntarily.