A COA detail compounds found in a CBD Flower near me Flower product. Sometimes, you can easily find a product’s COA on the company’s website. If not, the company may send you a copy if you request one.

If a company doesn’t have a COA or won’t send you one, consider it a red flag. At best, it indicates a lack of transparency. Worst case scenario, the company isn’t testing the safety or validity of its products, or it received problematic results that it doesn’t want to publish.

The cannabinoid analysis, which indicates the weight and concentration of the cannabinoids found in the product.

The pesticides analysis, which measures traces of the substances used to protect plants during the farming process. Exposure to pesticides can result in weakened immunity, hormone disruption and liver toxicity. In children, parental exposure to pesticides may also cause cancer and birth defects. There are dozens of pesticide chemicals used in agriculture, but some examples of chemical levels to avoid are 40 parts per million (ppm) of  “The easiest red flag is when companies just have a cannabinoid panel, because they’re choosing to not spend the extra money to be transparent with their customers,” says Phan.

A COA may also include contents like terpenes (organic compounds associated with cannabis aromas), mycotoxins (mold toxins) and residual solvents (organic volatile chemicals).

  • Third-Party Testing

The use of a third-party laboratory for product testing is another important aspect of a COA and a company’s trustworthiness. Results are more likely to be accurate and unbiased with third-party testing. You may also want to research the third-party lab itself to ensure it’s also a trustworthy and qualified entity.

Experts recommend exclusively shopping for CBD Flower near me products flower that are tested by third-party laboratories and provide recent COAs on their contents to ensure you’re consuming what the label suggests. Even with these two boxes checked, you can’t be too careful. A small 2023 study conducted by supplement company NetVu Naturals and performed by Coral Reef Labs found large inconsistencies between COAs and product labels for 50% of 16 randomly selected CBD products purchased from large chain retailers in Pennsylvania locations and online. Most CBD gummy products tested didn’t contain as much CBD as their labels suggested while the CBD oil and capsule products exceeded the CBD amounts listed on their labels.[1]

  • A Short, U.S.-Grown Ingredient List

Unless you’re buying pure CBD oil (called CBD isolate), you’re likely ingesting other cannabinoids and compounds called terpenes in products labeled “broad spectrum CBD” and “full spectrum CBD,” the latter of which includes small traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). When several cannabinoids are present together, they can produce a mutual enhancement called the “entourage effect,” which can increase the product’s overall wellness benefits.

Common cannabinoids—in addition to CBD and THC—include cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabidivarin (CBDV) and cannabinol (CBN).

Terpenes include limonene (known for its citrusy, sweet and tart flavor), pinene (known for its piney flavor) and sabinene (known for its woody, citrusy and spicy flavor).

Generally, CBD oil is mixed with an inert carrier oil. The most popular carrier oil is medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, which is often found in coconuts. MCT oil is easily digestible and has anti-inflammatory properties that boost its overall wellness benefits. You can also find CBD oil mixed with almond oil, sunflower oil, olive oil or vegetable oil, giving you more options to find what works best for you.

  • Organic, Non-GMO, Vegan and Gluten-Free

Organic CBD oil is free of synthetic chemicals like certain pesticides. In order to claim a product is organic, a company or part of its operations must be Certified Organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Not all CBD companies provide USDA Certified Organic products, and some may claim select ingredients are organic when a product as a whole isn’t certified. You can see which CBD oil companies are Certified Organic on the USDA website.

Non-GMO CBD oil comes from hemp plants that aren’t genetically altered through external intervention. The non-GMO (genetically modified organism) designation is verified by the Non-GMO Project, a nonprofit organization. Many CBD brands claim to provide non-GMO products without official verification. Ask for more information regarding where their hemp plants come from to be sure.

Vegan CBD oil is easy to find since CBD comes from the hemp plant and animal products aren’t used to extract the oils or create tinctures. It gets tricky, however, when CBD oil is incorporated into products like edibles, which may contain gelatin or dairy.

Gluten-free CBD oil is also common but not guaranteed, as some hemp plants are grown around other crops that contain gluten. Tinctures, capsules and topical products are usually gluten-free while CBD edibles like gummies are more likely to contain gluten. If you have a gluten allergy, check the ingredients list and sourcing information of any CBD product you buy.

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