COAs (Certificate of Analysis)
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What is a Certificate of Analysis?
Having confidence in the quality of the product is of huge importance when selecting the CBD that you plan to incorporate into your daily routine! It’s also the financially responsible thing to do to verify that you’re actually getting what you’re paying for by having a way to verify that what is presented on the label matches up with what’s in the bottle! Fortunately, CoAs or Certificates of Analysis are here to get you the info you need. A CoA is a report that provides information on the molecular makeup of a CBD product - showing the amounts of the various cannabinoids present. Remember that not all manufacturers are as meticulous as others, so it’s critically important to check the CoA of the products you’re considering for every purchase.
The CoA Matters!
A CoA is by nature very “sciencey”. After all, they are produced by scientists and lab technicians! So how are we supposed to interpret this scientific document? It’s actually easier than you might think! We’ll start at the top and go through all of the important information that these documents provide! Below you’ll find an actual COA for a CBD Concentrate. We know - it looks complicated - but don’t worry! By the time we’re done explaining you’ll be a pro at reading a CoA! Read on!
How Do I Read a Product’s Certificate of Analysis?
Starting at the top - it’s important to point out that this CoA was prepared for one of the Fresh Leaf brand’s CBD concentrates, yet, the first title you see on the CoA isn’t Fresh Leaf. Why? For a very good reason! The name you see in the top left corner of this CoA is the name of the third-party laboratory that analyzed the provided sample and generated the report. It would be a major conflict of interest if the company manufacturing the product was also generating the CoA. Having a third-party lab test and report on the product keeps everybody honest and makes sure that you, the consumer, receives the accurate information needed to make a decision on whether or not to purchase the product in question.
Reading the CoA - Part 1: Who, What, When, Where, and Why?
Below the testing lab’s identification, you’ll find information about the product, the test performed, who performed the test, and for which manufacturer. Each CoA is given a certificate ID - useful to identify the test in question in a case of disputed results. Information about the product tested includes the manufacturer’s ID of the product, the product’s lot number, and a general classification of the type of product being tested. Dates are provided both for when the sample was received as well as when the actual testing was performed, the name and signature of the lab supervisor verifying the results, pictures of both the product in the packaging received and a sample of the product itself.
Reading the CoA - Part 2: A Cornucopia of Cannabinoids!
Keep going further down the CoA and we’ll find the information we’re really interested in! The cannabinoid profile lists the cannabinoids of particular interest and the concentrations they are found in within the tested sample. The fine print below the chart provides some information on the meanings of the abbreviations used in the chart as well as information on how the figures presented were calculated. For instance, the abbreviation “ND” we find out, means “None detected above the limits of detection”. So for the first list item, Delta9-THC, we see that there is no significant concentration of this molecule in the provided sample.
What if the Product Doesn’t Have a CoA?
So, a good rule of thumb? Don’t pay if there’s no CoA! Another point to note is to always check the date, lot number, and even the photograph of the packaging. If you notice that the test date was a long time ago, that the lot number doesn’t match, or that the product packaging has changed - the CoA may be invalid. Remember that CBD comes from plants that, just like people, are all unique individuals with their own individual chemical compositions. This means it is crucial to verify that the test performed is still accurate for the product you intend on purchasing.
DirectCBD + CoAs = Satisfaction!
At DirectCBD we take CoAs very seriously! That’s why we provide a link to the CoA right on the product page for each and every CBD product we carry. Make sure to check out these treasure troves of information and you’ll always be shopping with confidence! This might be a great time to look around the DirectCBD site and put the information you just learned to use - read those CoAs!