Required Standards: 

While the standard requirement varies from one state to the other, most states will insist on a Type 8 license. This permits the laboratory or testing facilities to handle substances related to cannabis. Without a Type 8 license, a laboratory is not legally able to supply test results.

The standards organization certification is also a necessity in some states. The ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation is the certification given to testing facilities dealing in CBD related issues. Some states might allow for an interim or provisional accreditation while awaiting the standards organization certification. 

What are labs testing for? 


Every testing facility will run the test to find out the potency of a CBD product. The potency ratio is calculated as the actual amount of cannabinol which is contained in the overall product. The potency is a critical metric when it comes to purchasing the right product for them. Especially when it comes to medicinal cannabis, the potency is significant. It is a necessity, and testing facilities are aware of this as well.


As a diverse plant, cannabis can absorb contaminants. The laboratories, as part of their varied checks, will confirm how pure the cannabis sample sent to them is. In doing this, the test facility has to indicate if they can detect any amount of mycotoxin or heavy metals. These contaminants can be dangerous to your health, and you should avoid any CBD product that possesses any of those contaminants in any amount that exceeds the safe limit. Several testing facilities have different contaminants and heavy metals they check for, and it can differ from one place to the other. 


Microbial presence 

In the presence of water, microbial growth is possible with the cultivation of cannabis. These microbes can be dangerous to consumer health, and the accredited lab must carry out tests to ensure that the product poses no threat. The accredited test facilities are equipped with the capability to carry out tests to show the presence of yeast, and other microscopic microbes. 

Chemical contamination 

Pesticides are the usual suspect; in this case, cannabis grown using certain pesticides are considered dangerous. It is imperative that the testing facility does due diligence and compares the findings with the state list of blacklisted pesticides. Chemical contaminations are in themselves precursors to more severe health debacles. 

Without rigorous standards being created and regulatory efforts being redoubled, the CBD industry will always face questions. Thankfully the industry has responded to government and consumer pressure to provide standardized testing and results. This process is bound to take some time to be truly transparent, but testing has come a very long way in a very short space of time, meaning that as producers and consumers everyone can be a little more confident in the quality being produced. 

We will be delving into laboratory testing more in the near future as we explore what it means to have a Type 8 license and what a laboratory must do to obtain it. If you are interested in reading more about the current U.S. regulations, though, you can read more here.

Ian Parkes

Ian has been writing for a number of high growth industries for the past decade. Having plied his trade in the craft beer industry, Ian drew parallels between that and the world of CBD and soon became fascinated. Ian enjoys writing about innovation in the industry, particularly as it relates to the development of the leading brands.

See all posts by Ian Parkes

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