Five Common Testing Categories for CBD Quality
This profile, typically called the “cannabinoid profile” is the primary test for purity and potency. This test measures the active cannabinoids in that sample. The two primary cannabinoids are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). As a reminder, when testing hemp-derived CBD, the levels of THC are required to be below 0.3%. Even though these are the two primary cannabinoids tested, there are many more that can be tested for, including CBG, CBN and THCA to name a few.
This test shows exactly how pure (or contaminated) a product can be. Because Hemp plants are highly sensitive, there is a risk of pesticide (or other microbial) absorption during their growth phase. To ensure common pesticides do not make it into a final CBD product, rigorous screening via third party testing must be done. High quality CBD products screen for 60 or more different pesticides.
Solvents are used when the acid compounds and cannabinoids are extracted from the plant material, but are not intended for consumption by the end user. Typically, the more sophisticated the extraction process (C02 extraction, for example), the less likely the end product will be contaminated with solvents.
Because of Hemp’s tendency to absorb anything the roots touch in the soil, there is always a risk of metal absorption. Common metal contaminants are arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury.
Terpenes are comprised of the molecules that give hemp (and other plants) their scent, flavor and sometimes even their effect on the human body. Studies have shown that hemp plants contain hundreds of terpenes that work together to activate other compounds in the plant. This synergy is commonly referred to as the “entourage effect”. While terpenes do not contain CBD themselves, it is thought that they play a role in how CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS).