How to Read CBD Lab Tests and Labels
We’ve discussed before the importance of selecting CBD companies that invest in third-party lab testing on their products. This really is a crucial first step in selecting a high-quality and safe CBD product that you know you can trust.
Bluebird Botanicals has always prided itself on its transparency, and has long offered a batch database that allows our customers to look up in-depth reports for every single product that leaves our laboratory. However, we recognize that we aren’t the only company that shares these types of reports. Our goal today is to educate CBD users about how to read and understand their test results for their products, no matter where they purchase them from.
Finding the corresponding report for your CBD product
Many hemp extract companies do share Certificates of Analysis (COAs) for their products on their websites. However, in many cases, they might just be sharing one result for one batch out of the many used to make their products. The contents of hemp plants can vary widely, from terpene distribution to the concentration of various cannabinoids. So, even if one batch seems fine, the next batch could turn up completely different results.
When selecting a CBD product or company for the first time, make sure that you are able to see the test results for the specific batch of your product to guarantee you know exactly what’s in your bottle. Usually, this just involves matching a batch number found on your bottle to a report number found on the company website.
For Bluebird Botanicals products, you can find this batch number on the side of the bottle above the QR code. Plug that into the batch database on our website, and you’ll get the test results for your specific blend of hemp extracts in your bottle.
How to verify the potency of your CBD
Bluebird Botanicals always shares at least two potency tests from our lead testing laboratory, Eurofins, to ensure the quality of our hemp extracts and verify our cannabinoid content.
When checking the potency of your product, we recommend paying attention to the amount of THC and other key cannabinoids like CBDA (cannabidiol acid), CBG (cannabigerol), and CBC (cannabichromene). Remember that federal regulations stipulate hemp CBD extracts must contain less than 0.3% of THC by dry weight.
To view the potency tests for any Bluebird product, use the batch number to look up your specific product. When you click on the product name, you will see a list of test results you can click on.
Here is a sample of one of our potency tests for Batch 0454. You can see the amount of each major cannabinoid present as well as the total cannabinoid content.
Reviewing the contaminant reports for your product
Bluebird conducts extensive testing on our products to ensure they are of the utmost purity and free from any potential contaminants. Although we do not use any pesticides on our hemp, the cannabis plant is a known bioaccumulator and therefore tends to absorb anything from the soil it’s grown in. This can include pesticides, heavy metals, mycotoxins, and microbes. Additionally, some CBD products on the market may contain residual solvents leftover from the extraction process.
Bluebird offers lab test results for each of these possible contaminants. After using your batch number to locate the test results for your product, you can click on the microbiology report to review the results for microbial contaminants such as E. coli, salmonella, and yeasts or molds. Bluebird does not allow any product with significant amounts of these products to leave our laboratory.
Next, check out the heavy metals, mycotoxins, and pesticides report. You’ll see a chart listing all possible contaminants in these categories and their concentration in parts per billion (ppb). Our specifications are set to detect any contaminant with over 50 parts per billion - anything under this limit is classified as non-detectable. So, when you see a contaminant with “<50” next to it, it means that the lab did not detect it in your product.
Which terpenes are in your CBD?
A vital part of your hemp extract lies in its terpene profile. Terpenes are the molecules that give the taste and aromas to most of our favorite fruits, vegetables, and plants. There are over 55,000 types of terpenes that naturally occur in the environment and many of them show up in a variety of botanicals.
Bluebird provides lab tests on each of our products’ terpene profiles. To see which terpenes are most prevalent in your product, click on the Terpenes report in the list of lab tests for your batch. For Batch 0454, you can see that alpha-Pinene is the most dominant terpene in this batch. There are also significant levels of Limonene and beta-Caryophyllene. This means that the flavor and scent of this batch will be a mixture of pine, citrus, and pepper.
Read more about terpenes and their associated scents and flavors, as well as where else you might find them in the natural world!
Don’t forget your product label
It is essential for first-time CBD users to know how to read the product label on their bottle. This is where you’ll find information about the serving size, the maximum number of servings recommended per day, the amount of cannabinoids in each serving, and the other ingredients in your extract, like hemp seed oil or frankincense.
Our standard serving size recommendation for all products is 0.5 mL or about 15 drops of oil. However, the maximum number of servings is different for each of our products, especially between our regular and concentrated CBD oils.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call!
We at Bluebird Botanicals are dedicated to providing not only the highest quality hemp extracts but also the most comprehensive and compassionate customer service. If you have any questions about what’s in your extract or how to understand your product’s test results, give our customer care team a shout via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.