A cannabis certificate of analysis (CoA) is a vital document in the cannabis industry. It requires that your products undergo third-party lab testing to assess them for pertinent information such as cannabinoid content and potential contaminants. In short, it shows you and your customers what’s in your products and helps you determine if they’re safe for sale and consumption. For customers, it also demonstrates the quality of your products and your commitment to their satisfaction.
What Information Does a Certificate of Analysis Show?
Your cannabis certificate of analysis provides you with the results of the lab tests performed on a batch of a particular product. At the top, the document contains basic information such as the lab’s name, your company’s name, the product type, the received and report dates, and the batch number.
Let’s take a closer look at the other pertinent information you’ll find on cannabis certificates of analysis.
The cannabinoid profile shows the various cannabinoids in the product (THC, CBD, CBN, CBG, etc.) and their concentrations or potencies. You’ll see these levels as weight in milligrams and their percentages of the overall product. Some labs will also test for terpene profiles.
While pesticides help deter insects and other harmful pests from cannabis, the plants can absorb them through the soil. These chemicals, commonly used in nonorganic cannabis farming, stay in the buds after harvest and could end up in extracts and other manufactured products.
Mold and mildew are microbes that could lead to the growth of mycotoxins, toxic compounds that could harm the health of your customers. A microbial analysis detects any microbes in your products or ensures they are microbe-free before they hit dispensary shelves.
Some cannabis manufacturers use solvents like butane and propane to make extracts and concentrates from cannabis plant material. While many companies try to ensure proper purging, some solvents may linger in the final products. That could put a consumer’s health at risk.
Heavy metals can exist in the soil, water, and other materials needed to grow cannabis plants. Cannabis may absorb dangerous metals, such as nickel and lead, which could then make them unfit for safe consumption.
Tips for Getting and Interpreting a Cannabis Certificate of Analysis
Are you ready to get a certificate of analysis for your cannabis products? Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Choose a Reputable Lab
Research the various labs in your area. A quick online search can help you find not only company names but reviews as well. It can also alert you to any problems or penalties your prospects may have had.
Take some time to visit the websites for prospective labs, too. Don’t hesitate to contact them directly with any questions and for more details about their testing. You could also ask for an example of the CoA’s they provide.
Consider Getting a CoA From Different Sources
Certificates of analysis from more than one lab will allow you to compare the results from different sources. Similar results can help you determine accuracy. Significant differences, however, can point toward a problem.
Learn To Interpret Your Test Results and Understand Their Implications
Being able to interpret your lab test results will help you understand products better. For one thing, the information helps you assure your target market of product quality and safety. Details like the cannabinoid profile and potency can guide your customers to products that best meet their needs and goals.
It’s also essential to note that any “fail” results can be beneficial, too. They’ll uncover potential problem areas, allowing you to improve your products.
Instill Trust With a Cannabis Certificate of Analysis
A cannabis certificate of analysis does so much more than just reveal the results from third-party lab testing. It demonstrates your commitment to providing safe, high-quality products. Getting your products tested and willingly sharing the results also helps you establish yourself as a trustworthy, transparent brand, which can go a long way in gaining and retaining customers. In other words, it’s a worthwhile investment in your company.
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