This week our UrthLeaf specialists bring you an interesting article on Third-Party Testing.
Why do we need Third-Party Testing?
As we discussed in last week’s blog post, the growth of CBD within the beauty marketplace is on the rise. Its popularity means it is ever closer to becoming a mainstream product within many people’s beauty regimes.
This has caused a problem. The fast growth and demand within the CBD field has saturated the market with low-quality, cheap products that are either sourced overseas or from biomass centers using crops from multitudes of farms. Most brands are slapping a “high-quality” label on a cheap, and sometimes unsafe product.
At Urthleaf, we were, and still are, consumers. We understand there must be a better method of shopping for hemp-based products which ensures short and long-range safety. One method of doing this, which we employ at Urthleaf, is by sending our CBD oil to a lab where they test for pesticides, terpene content (more on that later), heavy metals, solvents, microbial contamination and much more. This is referred to as third-party CBD testing.
In this blog, we discuss what third-party testing is. We also talk about how reliable it is to separate high-quality cannabis items from those of questionable quality. We will cover some things you as a purchaser should look out for, and what the entire process of testing means for you as the consumer.
“What is Third-Party Testing?” We hear you shout!
If you purchase CBD oil on the internet, or if you have ever conducted a general search for CBD oil products, you have likely encountered the expression ‘3rd party testing’. However, what does that mean?
Third-party testing is when a private organization, that isn’t affiliated with the distributor or manufacturer, conducts a scientific product analysis. Third-party testing offers an unbiased and neutral information source. This benefits the consumer because it is the most transparent technique. Using independent testing means the company cannot publish inaccurate information or change any in-house results.
“Why do we need it?!”
The objective behind independent third-party testing includes having an unbiased and neutral source assess an organization’s cannabis products. It is vital within today’s market because the non-regulated cannabis state enables manufacturers to place labels on their items and market them in any way they want.
But why a third-party? It all boils down to transparency. With cannabis products (especially CBD oil) becoming increasingly popular, it is becoming critical for businesses to establish a reputable and reliable name in the industry. Most people understand what high-quality CBD oil can do for issues like anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia and depression. Therefore, they are unlikely to spend their hard-earned money on an expensive brand that isn’t transparent enough to have their items lab tested.
Basically, it is within a CBD organization’s best interest to have their items third-party tested, despite the high cost. (Analytical lab equipment for such testing is expensive! As is the expertise and labor which comes with understanding how to use it!) Nowadays, the average consumer can tell whether a brand is legit or not. They’re also able to tell whether an organization is selling something short of what is being advertised. As they witness the ‘3rd-party’ label, they understand they are dealing with a well-established and trustworthy brand.
Is Third-Party Testing Mandatory?
Here’s a great question – Are CBD oil manufacturers required to have their items tested before they’re able to distribute and market them? Well, as it turns out, not exactly. (Talk about a hazy topic!) Here’s the bottom line: no, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not maintain any oversight or regulation into the CBD industry. The FDA is still in the process of creating a regulatory framework for the cannabis and CBD industries. Also, one of the inherent purposes of the FDA includes ensuring the public isn’t exposed to questionable or dangerous health products. This includes natural medicines such as cannabis.
In terms of the federal regulation of the cannabis industry, it has always been a double-edged sword. On the one hand, most manufacturers do not want the government getting involved in profits and revenue. In addition, they do not want somebody telling them what they can and can’t distribute or market or sell.
On the other hand, high-quality manufacturers understand that an industry with no regulations and rules can become rapidly overrun. False advertising, scams and lies will quickly take place within the market. Therefore, it can be difficult for consumers to make wise purchasing decisions or know whether they are receiving reliable, quality information.
Thankfully, that’s where the beauty of transparency enters. Honest businesses that offer quality products will (hopefully!) always overcome their competitors and rise to the top. This is what third-party testing achieves. Businesses that are manufacturing good quality products aren’t afraid of having an outside source test them.
What about Terpene and Cannabinoid profiles?
If you have ever visited a marijuana dispensary, you have probably seen terpene or cannabinoid profiles. One other reason that businesses spend money on lab testing is to obtain the terpene and cannabinoid profiles for every one of their strains. If you visit a high-quality dispensary, the cannabinoid profile should be visible on the outside of the bottle.
For example, you may purchase a Sour Diesel strain which contains a cannabinoid profile of 22% THC and 1% CBD. Or you may purchase a full-spectrum CBD oil which contains 28% CBD and 2% THC. Without third-party testing, consumers would have no way of knowing what is in the product they are buying.
With an increasing amount of information coming out about specific cannabis profiles being better for certain medical conditions (like high CBD strains for the relief of anxiety), it is critical that sellers accurately check what is in every strain.
So that’s why we do it!
At Urthleaf, we have 3 main principles that guide us every day: quality, transparency and authenticity. We believe it is our job to provide pure, quality and safe CBD oil to our clients. That means we’ll go to great lengths of CBD testing to ensure that our product is of the highest quality standard.
The last thing you should be spending your money on is a CBD product that does not contain any CBD. Given the present unregulated state of the industry, it’s an easy error to make.
Therefore, it is becoming more and more important as a customer to search for CBD products that have been tested by a laboratory in an outside, unbiased source. Our advice is to shop smartly. Search for reputable, reliable brands that have excellent consumer feedback, and never underestimate the importance of third-party quality tested CBD products.