When you buy cannabis products from your favorite dispensary, it comes labeled with lab results. And that’s a good thing. Third-party lab results are important for confirming a product’s safety, purity, and potency. Depending on where you’re buying your cannabis, that label may be limited, lengthy, or accompanied by a QR code so you can access the full certificate of analysis. Either way, here’s how to decode that lab results label on your favorite cannabis product.
What to Look For
Lab result labels on cannabis products will vary depending on the state and the product itself. Still, in scanning the label or the actual lab results themselves, keep an eye out for the following:
- Cannabinoids. This is where you’ll find percentages of THC, CBD, and any other cannabinoids in the product, including THCa, THCV, CBDa, CBN, CBC, and CBG.
- Terpene profile. Those in the know will tell you that the real information is in the terpene profile. That’s because of the role terpenes play on potency. Understanding which terpenes are in your cannabis product can help you predict the effects to come.
- Moisture content. When moisture levels are too high, there’s a greater risk of fungi and bacteria. Too low, and your product might be too dry and brittle to retain its flavors.
- Residual solvents. This is an important number that indicates the production method. Some kinds of extractions use strong solvents, and residual amounts left behind can be potentially harmful if they pass a certain threshold. While these thresholds vary, it’s still important to test for solvents such as butane and propane. Luckily, KYND’s supercritical CO2 extraction process means zero residual solvents.
- Pesticides, microbial growth and heavy metals. These additional safety tests check for the presence of pesticides, any microbial growth (particularly in samples that are showing a higher moisture content), and heavy metals that may have accumulated in the plant from fertilizers or contaminated soil.
Comprehensive testing should be a cornerstone of doing business for every brand in the cannabis industry. If you aren’t seeing the right information on the lab results labels, ask a budtender for more information. It’s in a dispensary’s best interests to ensure that every product it sells meets high standards for safety, potency, and purity, and budtenders should have no problem finding lab results for you. And if you still have questions, ask!