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How to Read a COA (Lab Test Result)

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

Why it's important to know how to read a Certificate of Analysis (COA).

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found in a study of 84 hemp labels, that nearly 70% either over or under-represented their CBD potency. Studies like the one published in JAMA show that product labels often miscalculate cannabinoid potency or fail to report the existence of cannabinoids that are present in the products.

Sadly, JAMA’s study is only one of many that show similar findings, leading to a growing amount of consumer skepticism. That’s why it's so important for reputable hemp and cannabis companies to test with third-party laboratories and publish their COAs for customers to review.

What is a Certificate of Analysis (COA)?

A COA is a verified document that provides details about the testing lab, the brand and product, along with the potency of the ingredients the product contains. In the case of hemp, CBD and cannabis, the ingredients refer to cannabinoids like THC, CBD, CBG and CBN.

A hemp certificate of analysis (COA) or lab test is an important document that you should be knowledgeable about as a consumer. They provide detailed information about the quality and purity of a hemp product. That way you can be sure that what you are buying is what it says it is.Here are the steps to reading a COA:

  • Identify the product: Look at the top of the COA to see the name of the product being tested. This may be a specific strain of hemp flower or a product like a CBD Lotion or Vape Cartridge.

  • Check The Date: The COA should have a date on it that indicates when the product was tested.

  • Look at the cannabinoid profile: The cannabinoid profile will show the percentage of each cannabinoid present in the product. This includes CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids. Make sure to check that the THC content is below the legal limit of 0.3% (or as regulated by your local government).

By following these steps, you should be able to read a hemp certificate of analysis and make a comfortable and informed decision about the quality and safety of the product.

The Heart of Hemp provides lab test results for all our products here:

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