Lab Testing for Purity and Potency
From the very beginning, we have tested for potency and purity. It took several years to find the lab that was most accurate and consistent. Our research involved sending more than one of the same sample under different sample names to the same lab as well as to other labs. The two that were the most consistent were SC labs in Santa Cruz and CW labs in Oakland. In 2015 we settled on SC labs because they offered faster turnaround and better customer service. Finding a good lab is not as easy as it seems. All labs state a margin of error of 10% on potency and many were far outside of that.
Reading the Certificate of Analysis (COA) is fairly easy once you get used to it. The potency is expressed in mg of cannabinoids to ml of tincture. The test measures many cannabinoids — all of which are beneficial and add to the “full-spectrum” entourage.
We are primarily interested in ensuring that the THC is below the legal limit of 0.3% and that the CBD is within 10% of 10mg/ml. We also test for terpenes, (beneficial), and the not beneficial — pesticides, heavy metals, glyphosate, Mycotoxins (residual from a mold or mildew (see batch 19270 for the best example). In over 800 tests we have never failed to pass for purity. In 2013 we won the Emerald Cup first place for the best CBD product.
We always test the potency in a preliminary test and blend accordingly to make sure we are within our range of 10%. You will see that batch 20165 was too far above the 10mg/ml target and so we have subsequently blended that batch to be within the 10% range.
We will be keeping you posted on new batches and adding more information about reading the tests and understanding the implications of what you are reading.
– Fred Marshall, Founder and Owner