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Are testing standards the same for CBD? – CBD Health and Wellness

Written by Bethan Bethan Rose

Do you plan on buying CBD products? If so, don’t underestimate the importance of third-party testing, which should be standard for all cannabis-derived products.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD as it is known in its abbreviated form, is found in the cannabis plant. Although this plant remains illegal on a federal level, CBD’s medical benefits cannot be ignored.

From being used as a treatment for multiple sclerosis [1], pain and inflammation [2], to its potential as an anticancer drug [3], the therapeutic efficacy of CBD tells us that this non-psychoactive cannabinoid possesses a plethora of valuable medicinal uses [4].

Why is it important to test CBD?

The testing standards for CBD are equally as important as they are for other cannabis compounds, such as the psychoactive cannabinoid THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

It is crucial that you understand the product’s potency and cannabinoid profile prior to purchasing it. Any possible health-harming contaminants will be detected during the testing phase.

What happens inside a dedicated CBD testing facility?

Depending on the facility inside which the CBD is being tested, one of two main procedures will be carried out – Gas Chromatography (GC) or High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Each technique separates, identifies, and quantifies all present cannabinoids at very low levels – usually in parts per million [5].

Highlighted below are the main types of data collected inside a dedicated CBD testing facility:

  • CBD/THC Balance – The concentration of cannabis compounds must be determined to ascertain the potency of CBD oil.
  • Pesticide Testing – When cannabis plants are treated with high concentrations offungicides and herbicides during cultivation, the extracted oil may cause side effects.
  • Terpene Testing – The compounds that give cannabis its distinct smell and flavor are known as terpenes. Terpenes also boast specific health benefits [6].
  • Residual Solvents Testing – This test identifies any solvents that might be present, such as propane, carbon dioxide, ethanol or acetone.
  • Microbiological Analysis – Any mold or harmful bacteria will be detected with this testing.

Should I request potency proof when buying CBD?

Absolutely. To eliminate the risk of your CBD products containing contaminants or being labelled inaccurately, several analyses must first be conducted to certify that the product is toxin-free and of published purity.

Legitimate companies will be happy to prove their claims, so don’t hesitate in asking for an authenticated lab report. This report should feature a date, batch number and the percentage of cannabinoids contained in the product. You should also demand a clearly written label outlining the CBD dose, usually reported in milligrams per gram (mg/g) or in milligrams per serving.


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4710104/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851925/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3579246/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18844286

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11762773

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470060

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Bethan Bethan Rose

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