Excerpted from Kasmira
What is a certificate of analysis?
A certificate of analysis (COA) is a lab report on the chemical make-up (e.g., contents) of a product. In the context of Industrial Hemp extracts, the COA reports on the cannabinoid, terpene, and contaminant profile of CBD products. COA’s are used to verify that the contents of the product are matched to how it is advertised. These reports are important for verifying that hemp extracts have less than 0.3% THC by weight, as determined by the definition of Industrial Hemp in the law. At Kazmira, THC-Free products are supported by COA’s such as the one shown below, which indicate ‘non-detect’ levels of THC. Also, tests are carried out to check for dangerous compounds such as heavy metals or pesticides and reported in the certificate to ensure the safety of the consumers.
Why are COAs important?
A study conducted in 2017 found that almost 70% of online CBD products are mislabeled, either having substantially more or less CBD than advertised. For nutraceutical applications, knowing the exact potency and ingredients is extremely important. For example, manufacturers could claim a CBD product contains no THC, or claim a certain potency in their product, but since there is little oversight, the opportunity to “fudge the numbers” is compounded. This could be a major issue for people who are choosing products without THC in order to avoid its psychoactive side effects or pass a drug test because of a job. In an unregulated industry, with new CBD companies popping up everywhere, it is difficult for customers to know exactly what they are paying for.
Labeling alone is not reliable, especially when products are sold online to customers who do not fully understand the ins and outs of the industry. This is the reason COA’s are standard practice for reliable, law-abiding CBD manufacturers. They create transparency for consumers as well as regulators to clearly identify exactly what is and is not inside a given hemp extract.