Oct 15, 2022
How do I Read a COA Document for CBD Products?
What is a COA Document?
In the US, marketed products undergo testing and analysis to ensure their safety and ingredients match up to the label. The results of those tests are confirmed and advertised to consumers on a COA, or Certificate of Analysis, document.
In short, a COA verifies that a product meets standards and guidelines according to state and federal laws.
Why You Should Care
COA documents are especially critical in the CBD industry. Because the FDA does not yet regulate cannabis compounds like CBD, plenty of brands are on the market selling unsafe and incorrectly labeled products.
A few studies have tested the ingredients of marketed CBD products compared to their labels. They found that numerous products do not contain the levels of cannabinoids claimed on the label. Some could even contain ingredients that are not beneficial.
What You Should Look For
Before buying any CBD product, make sure that it has a COA document. If you see cannabis products sold without a certificate, stay far away. Anything you put in or on your body should be made with only safe, natural ingredients, free from dangerous chemicals.
COA documents should always have a:
- Company name
- Product name
- Batch number
- Testing date
With CBD products, the COA should cover the cannabidiol content as well as THC and other compounds. CBD products are legally only allowed to contain 0.3% THC, so if you see anything in the test above that level, the product is being sold illegally.
You’ll also see the following sections in most COAs:
- Microbial Testing - Microbes can be harmful contaminants in a CBD product. A reliable lab test will include the microbial content to inform you of its safety.
- Heavy Metals - Heavy metals can end up in CBD products by entering through the soil, water, or air used to grow the plant. You’ll want to find CBD products with no heavy metals, as they can cause health problems.
- Residual Solvents - Cannabis oils and tinctures need solvents to extract the compounds from the hemp plant. However, there should be no solvents left behind after extraction. Make sure the COA document lists a test free of residual solvents.
- Pesticides - With plant-based products like cannabis, pesticides are used to ensure healthy plant growth. But you should never buy a product that tests positive for pesticides.
Before buying any CBD product, the most important thing is to make sure the COA document is available from the company you are purchasing.
Cannabidiol is an exciting new industry for brands and consumers. But to have the best CBD experience, it’s essential to only purchase safe, certified products from trustworthy sources.
Whether you Buy Water Soluble CBD, CBD Oil Tinctures, CBD Pain Creams, CBD Muscle Rubs, or CBD Gummies, Science-Rite CBD ensures that all CBD is tested using 3rd Party Laboratories to ensure the highest quality available.
- FDA: What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD
- Penn Medicine: Penn Study Shows Nearly 70 Percent of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online Are Mislabeled
- FDA: FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD)
- FDA: Metals and Your Food
- EPA: Human Health Issues Related to Pesticides