How do you Read these Certificates of Analysis?
A Certificate of Analysis, or COA, is a document from an accredited laboratory that analyzes the contents of a CBD product and they will provide a report that shows the number of various cannabinoids in a product, as well as any THC, metals, and other potentially harmful pesticides.
Manufacturers should send every batch of every product they make to a lab for testing, to protect their customers and prove that their products have as much CBD as advertised.
4 Red Flags to Watch out for in a Certificate of Analysis
Once you get a Certificate of Analysis, inspect it thoroughly. Here are a few things to watch out for.
1. Too much THC
To be considered derived from hemp, by law, it cannot contain above 0.3% THC. If it contains more, then it’s considered illegal and may get you in trouble. Also, if the product is advertised as containing no THC, then reading the COA is a good way to verify that claim. All of SOTA CBD products are water-soluble and comply with laws regarding THC and our COA provides the evidence to support that.
2. Less CBD than advertised
This one is obvious, but for good measure, we are mentioning it. It’s very important to make sure the Certificate of Analysis reflects the advertised CBD content on your product’s label. There is always a margin of error, but if the error is on the high side, that is less alarming than the low side. Consistency can be difficult. Watch out for MLM companies claiming high does of CBD. Ask for a legitimate 3rd party COA that cannot be forged.
3. Missing cannabinoids
If a CBD product is marketed as full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or PCR, that means it contains a variety of cannabinoids. The COA should show the product contains at least small amounts of CBDa, CBG, CBC, CBN, and/or other cannabinoids, in addition to CBD.
4. Tested in-house
When buying a car from a stranger, you don’t take their word for the condition they claim the car is in. You check it out or bring someone with you that knows what to look for or you check the Carfax. That thought process is similar when it comes to testing CBD products. If the Certificate of Analysis came from the company themselves, meaning they tested it in-house, they might be telling the truth —but it’s not as reassuring as an unbiased professional performing the test.
Unless you really trust a company, it’s a good idea to make sure their COAs come from an accredited third-party lab. If they don’t, ask if they can provide one as they may have both available. Make sure that you have a way to verify the authenticity of the COA.