Third-Party Testing: Your Guide to Understanding CBD labels
If you’re new to CBD, the sheer number of products out there can be overwhelming. Whichever you choose, you deserve to know that you’re getting what you paid for. Any CBD company you purchase from should have third-party lab testing results on their website. To drive home why this is crucial, we sat down with a pioneer in the world of testing—Columbia Laboratories, as well as one of our our own, Tyler - Director of Packaging.
One example of why it's so vital to know what's in your CBD product? A local news outlet here in Oregon sent 15 products for lab testing in the recent past, reporting some surprising results. Some products had only 20% of the CBD advertised on the labels—while others had no CBD at all. Misleading labels—such as ones reporting the amount of CBD in nanograms instead of milligrams—is also common, sadly. “High potency” products may claim to have 5 million nanograms of CBD. That sounds like a lot but really that’s just 5mg. In 2017 at the University of Pennsylvania a study backed up such findings, with researchers reporting nearly 70% of CBD products sold online had inaccurate labels.
How do you know what’s in your product? This is why third-party testing is so important. If companies don’t have this information—or if the company is unable or unwilling to share them with you directly—we’d strongly discourage buying from them. Since the beginning, Lazarus Naturals has refused to compromise on quality or safety—putting all products through rigorous third-party testing for potency, heavy metals, and pesticides. Upholding this standard ensures that we can continue to offer our customers products that are safe, consistent, and effective. All COAs (Certificates of Analysis) are readily available under the Test Results tab on each product page, as well as here.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Looking at a long sheet of scientific jargon and numbers can be intimidating. Instead of scrolling through a long document, focus on identifying these key factors.
Testing Location: Would you buy a car without having a third-party mechanic look at it first? The same concept applies to CBD products. If a product is tested in-house, you're taking their word at face value. Seeing results from a third-party lab means they have nothing to hide.
Amount of CBD/THC: Federal regulations require hemp-derived CBD products to contain less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. It’s not considered a hemp product if it contains more. This means it may not be legal in your state—or could be subject to different regulations. You also want to ensure your product contains the amount of CBD advertised. A third-party lab result will confirm this!
Missing Cannabinoids: All "full spectrum" and "broad spectrum" products contain several cannabinoids in addition to CBD. These include CBDa, CBG, and CBC. A third-party lab test shows the amount of these other cannabinoids in your product.
FINDING YOUR TEST RESULTS
Third-party test results are essential when purchasing CBD to ensure you get the potency and purity you deserve. However, (unless you're a chemist) you likely will struggle to understand what these reports are showing. At Lazarus Naturals, we strive to make buying CBD as safe and easy as possible. To further drive this home, we sat down with our Director of Packaging for a rundown on how to find—as well as better understand—product test results.
Getting started requires knowing where to find the batch # linked to your product. Look for a sequence of 4 to 8 letters and numbers on the label or container of your product. For example, you can locate the batch # on tinctures, balms, and capsules by looking at the bottom (or side) of the bottle or tin. For our lotions, the batch # can be found on the upper crimped seam. (Note: There are 8 letters and numbers. The first 4 are the batch code and the second 4 are the expiration date. If you have an older product, you'll typically be able to find the batch number on the label near the QR code.)
Once you locate your batch number, you have two options to get your results: you can use a smartphone to scan the QR code on the label/package of the product and be directed to our library of Test Results OR you can simply head to our website and hover over LEARN in the menu bar. The drop-down should show a link to Product Test Results. However you get there, all that’s left is to scroll to whichever product you are inquiring about and find the line corresponding to your batch # to see the COA.
In shopping for anything, It's always a best practice to "inspect what you expect." The loyal customers of Lazarus Naturals appreciate our unwavering, long-time commitment to quality, safety, and transparency. When it comes to anything you're putting into (or on) your body—including CBD—it goes without saying that being able to trust the source makes all the difference in your experience.
Whether you've had the chance to give us a try yet or not, we hope this overview empowers you not just to be a more informed shopper—but to take a more proactive role in your own personal wellness. While not everyone out there can be leaned on to "do the right thing," there are still reputable and trustworthy companies who seek to do what's best for their customers and the planet. At Lazarus Naturals, what you read is what you get—recently we were recognized by LeafReport for having the most accurate product labels out of over 200 others on the market. Responsible shoppers like yourself doing their due diligence before deciding what to invest their money—and health—in only helps further elevate the standards of the CBD industry.