In a CBD market saturated with new products and brands, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. One thing that can set you apart will be verified and trusted testing of your flower or product and the capabilities to show a valid certificate of analysis. With the Farm Bill just recently legalizing hemp federally, the maze of state regulations can still be hard to navigate. Let’s review the most important factors to keep in mind and how to test hemp flower, after harvest.
Local & State Labs for your Flower
First, you’ll need to find a local testing facility that meets your state’s requirement for testing CBD or hemp flower. Under the Farm Bill, it’s required for growers to test flower for THC to ensure it remains under the .3% threshold for qualifying CBD or hemp. This is on a dry weight basis. One thing the Farm Bill did not address, is uniform inter-state testing.
It’s important to choose an approved testing facility, as the method which tests are conducted can affect the final results. There are discrepancies in testing based upon where the plant sample came from on the plant, how material is combined for testing, and scope guidelines for how to test.
The US Hemp Authority, among other organizations were created to address the need of consistency across the industry. The five key tests that are being recommended for hemp flower include –
- Potency Testing
- Terpene Testing
- Residual Solvents
- Residual Pesticides
- Heavy Metals
Beyond nationwide inconsistencies, to find an approved local testing facility, ensure they are in compliance with the requirements of your state’s regulatory body for cannabis. This means they can provide the result of whether your flower meets the state’s threshold of standards in regards to content, pesticides and contaminants. We’ll talk more about accredited facilities, requirements and necessary certificates, next.
Requirements & Certificate of Analysis (COA)
Accredited labs are mandated to use methods of testing to produce the state’s specific requirements. Any lab with state accreditation, has been inspected, has the necessary equipment and is approved to meet compliance.
Before you choose a third party lab for testing, establish they are licensed and can provide you a list of requirements from your specific state. In addition, your testing facility should be able to provide a certificate of analysis (COA).
A COA is your final report that analyzes the content of your hemp flower. It will display the flower’s analytical compound of content including cannabinoids, contaminates, and other measures your state requires. With the flood of fake products on the CBD market, it’s imperative to have a COA for customers or distributors.
There are numerous states now requiring CBD products to include their COA on products, in the form of a QR code. The QR code on the product’s packaging can be scanned, taking the consumer directly to the analysis report. Whether your state requires this or not, many brands are incorporating COA results on products to build trust with their customers.
Re-Testing if Necessary
We’ve all had a bad test, or exam where we just don’t perform the way we should. This can happen in hemp flower testing, too. The last question you should ask your testing facility, is in re-doing or re-taking the test if your product negates to meet local and state requirements.
Many growers have suffered devastating losses when their final product can’t be sold due to a bad or failed test. Before you choose a testing facility, ask what happens when a product fails testing. Will they offer re-testing? And does this require an additional fee to do so?
Test with the Best
After months of time, labor and money towards your growing garden – don’t cut corners when it comes to testing. Do your research on accredited facilities in your area, and ask the necessary questions before turning over your pride and joy for testing. Check out our selection of approved facilities, by state and find your trusted tester today.