What is lab testing, should I do it?
Lab testing refers to when companies or individuals send products to independent laboratories to test for molds, mildews, cannabinoid profiles, terpene profiles, water activity, moisture content, etc.
When it comes to CBD hemp oil, a comprehensive lab testing will typically involve testing for residual solvents, physical and microbial contamination, potency, and terpenes.
Due to the recent changes in laws regarding the use of CBD, the hemp industry is now growing rapidly especially the CBD sector. As is with all as medicinal products, products derived from CBD now undergo various regulatory procedures.
International organizations have currently set up regulations and standards for acceptable limits of specific compounds in other to ensure products derived from cannabis do not contain substances that compromise a person’s immune system.
Cannabis products are mostly tested to verify if the products are safe for human consumption and to give consumers an idea of the potency of the product they are using. Hemp and CBD manufacturers and processors are not required to have their products tested to standards which will help ensure public health and safety.
The failure to conduct lab testing on CBD products puts individual at a risk of ingesting substances that are potentially harmful to their system or purchasing a product that does not contain an accurate amount of CBD.
Some of the tests done during lab testing procedures include:
Residual Solvent Analysis: This test is performed in a bid to determine the purity levels of the hemp extracts and CBD, it involves the extraction of active ingredients from cannabis using solvents such as ethanol, water, carbon dioxide, butane and other materials. After the extraction, further testing is done in other to ensure that the highest possible percentage of solvents has been removed.
Physical Contamination: The packaging and handling of cannabis should take place in sterile environments and clean surfaces, and individuals who handle it are required to wear gloves in order to avoid physical contamination, this test is done to determine if any form of physical contamination has occurred during the handling and packaging process.
Microbial Testing: Hemp poses a major safety hazard without proper microbial testing, some of the procedures involved in the microbial testing of cannabis include statistical sampling, relevant microorganism testing, and sound assay design and validation.
Water content: The level of water activity in cannabis samples contributes to its microbial content. Therefore, it is important that the sample undergoes a thorough and sufficient curing process. If the hemp and CBD samples are fresh it is important to test for microbes like E. coli, Clostridium botulinum, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa which if ingested pose great harm to the body.
Potency Analysis: This analysis is done to determine the percentage of cannabinoids contained in a CBD hemp oil sample. Depending on the state in which the testing occurs, only the THC and CBD levels alongside tetrahydrocannabinolic and cannabidolic acids levels of the samples are tested while in other states their CBC and CBG levels are checked as well.
Terpene Analysis: This analysis is done to measure the level of terpene which is typically responsible for the fragrance and flavor present in hemp, it is usually done to determine the sampleâ€™s flavor profile.