Last edited: 8/2/2021

INTERACTIVE GUIDE

How to Read a CBD Certificate of Analysis (Lab Report) for a Hemp Extract CBD Product

third party lab tested icon

What is a Certificate of Analysis or “COA”? It’s a fancy term for a lab report for a hemp extract CBD product. Having trouble reading a CBD lab report? Not sure what you should be looking at? Or, for what?

We’ve created a common list of abbreviations found in a CBD lab report, followed by an interactive guide describing each field to help you navigate and learn what’s in your CBD product.

The interactive guide features a sample certificate of analysis for a sample batch of deepCBDs™ FRESH3500 Tincture (3500mg Hemp Extract Full Spectrum CBD Oil). A number is featured by certain fields/section in the lab report. Hover over, or click the displayed number. A popup will appear with a brief description of the field.

Common Abbreviations in a CBD Lab Report

Below Limit of Detection (“B/LOD”). This means the substance or compound tested was present, but the amount detected is below the cut off value detectable by the testing instrument.

Below the Limit of Quantitation (“B/LOQ”). This means the substance or compound was detected, but the value is below what can be accurately reported. If you review the LOQ for a substance or compound and see “B/LOQ”, it means the detected amount is below that indicated number.

Below Threshold. This means the result for the compound or substance is below the acceptable, legally set number.

Limit of Detection (“LOD”). This is the lowest value that the testing instrument is capable of detecting the presence of a substance or compound.

Limit of Quantitation (“LOQ”). Generally, for the laboratory to report a result value, the number must be greater than or equal to the LOQ number listed in each row of the test column for each compound tested.

Not Detected (“N/D”). This is one of the most common abbreviations on a COA. A result showing N/D means the instrument did not detect the presence of the tested substance or compound. Some products labelled or otherwise indicated to be “THC Free”, “0.00% THC” or “0.00 mg THC” may still contain trace amounts of THC that simply were not detected when tested due to the cut off limit (i.e., the LOD) set on the laboratory’s testing instrument.

Interactive Guide

Sample lab report for a sample batch of CBD Oil

This interactive guide that features a sample lab report for a sample batch of a 3500mg Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture.

Simply click or hover over the displayed number by the field and a pop-up box will appear, providing a brief description for the selected field.

1. Name the third-party laboratory that performed the testing. Third-party means the laboratory + seller are not affiliated, and are independent entities.
2. The ISO/IEC number represents the scope of testing the laboratory is accredited to perform. Florida, and other states, require laboratories to achieve this accreditation before they are permitted to perform testing of hemp extract CBD products.
3. A general description of the product’s hemp CBD content, 3500mg, identifying it as a Full Spectrum formulation, and the flavor, here peppermint. Right below is the batch number. This batch number is located on the product, in this case the tincture bottle.
4. The unique QR code displayed on the product’s label or affixed on the product itself directs you to the page hosting the product’s lab report. In Florida, and other states, brands are legally required to have QR code on the product. Scan the code using your phone’s camera to take you to the lab report. If the camera doesn’t work, use a QR code reader app instead, which typically work better.
5. This features the product sampled as described #3.
6. A snapshot highlighting: percentage of D9-THC detected (here, 0.016% – which complies with the legal limit of 0.3% or less THC); the total amount of CBD detected; the percentage of all cannabinoids (including CBD) detected; the number of milligrams detected for all cannabinoids; and, the number of milligrams detected for CBD.
7. The product’s testing profile for Cannabinoids, including CBD.
8. A list of each cannabinoid tested.
9. LOQ means limit of quantification. In order for the tested cannabinoid to be reported with a value, the detected amount of that cannabinoid must be greater than or equal to the LOQ number listed.
10. The detected number of milligrams for each cannabinoid tested.
11. The product’s testing profile for Terpenes.
12. Each specific terpene tested is listed here.
13. This shows the detected percentage of each terpene tested.
14. LOQ means limit of quantification. In order for the tested terpene to be reported with a value, the detected amount of that terpene must be greater than or equal to the LOQ number listed.
15. This product’s testing profile for Pesticides.
16. Each specific pesticide tested is listed here.
16. Each specific pesticide tested is listed here.
17. The Action Level lists the recommended level of each pesticide not to be exceeded.
17. The Action Level lists the recommended level of each pesticide not to be exceeded.
18. The Results indicates whether the tested pesticide was detected or not detected. If not detected, the result reported is N/D (not detected).
18. The Results indicates whether the tested pesticide was detected or not detected. If not detected, the result reported is N/D (not detected).
19. LOQ means limit of quantification. In order for the tested pesticide to be reported with a value, the detected amount of that pesticide must be greater than or equal to the LOQ number listed.
19. LOQ means limit of quantification. In order for the tested pesticide to be reported with a value, the detected amount of that pesticide must be greater than or equal to the LOQ number listed.
20. This product’s testing profile for Residual Solvents.
21. A listing of each residual solvent tested.
22. The Action Level lists the recommended level of each residual solvent not to be exceeded.
23. The Results indicates whether the tested residual solvent was detected or not detected. If not detected, the result reported is N/D (not detected). Results should be reported as N/D or an amount that is equal to or below the Action Level number in the Action Level to be safe.
24. LOQ means limit of quantification. In order for the tested residual solvent to be reported with a value, the detected amount of that residual solvent must be greater than or equal to the LOQ number listed.
25. The product’s testing profile for Microbes.
26. Each specific microbe tested is listed here.
27. The limit of detection (LOD) shows the lowest value set for detecting each microbe.
28. This is the recommended level of each microbe not to be exceeded.
29. This shows the amount of each microbe detected, if any. Results should be reported as either N/D, Below LOD, or Below Threshold, for each microbe to be safe.
30. This the final reported result for each microbe detected, using a simplified Pass or Fail outcome. Results should be reported as PASS for each microbe to be safe.
31. This is a “Report Key” and provides additional information that may not fit into a results table, such as the meaning of an abbreviation, what testing method was used, additional analytes included in a test, and, how a result was calculated.
32. This is the product’s testing profile Heavy Metals.
33. Each heavy metal tested is listed here.
34. This is the recommended level of each heavy metal not to be exceeded.
35. This shows the detected amount of each heavy metal detected. Results should be reported as N/D or B/LOQ (below limit of quantitation) for each heavy metal to be safe.
36. This indicates the lower value that is set on the testing instrument for detection purposes. Basically, for the laboratory to report a result value, the amount detected must be greater than or equal to the lower value indicated, here 75 ppb, for each heavy metal tested.

Final Thoughts

A legally compliant brand will make their CBD lab reports accessible.

You should always have access to the lab report for a CBD product so you can verify its content and safety for use. Unfortunately, some brands have claimed their products contained a certain amount of CBD when, in reality, less or no CBD was present.  The Certificate of Analysis is a resourceful tool available to you in this regard.

If your phone’s camera is unable to scan the QR code, try using a QR code reader app instead. Not all phone cameras function the same and QR code reader apps are generally more successful. If neither of these options work, contact customer support.

On a final note, if you can’t access to the CBD lab report, consider shopping elsewhere, from a brand that provides transparency as to whether their products are tested and for what.

All of deepCBDs™ certificates of analysis are hosted here.

Related Posts