The ABCs of COAs:
6 Takeaways on How to Buy
Safe & Effective Hemp CBD Products

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As we mentioned in our last blog post, CBD products often include a QR code, a square computer-generated graphic, on their labels. These QR codes give consumers web access to a product’s COA documents by pointing a smartphone camera or scanning app at the QR code. But, as we’ve also said before [Buyer Beware: What’s in Your Hemp CBD?], what you see on the label does not always reflect the same product you’re looking to purchase.

With that in mind, here are our six key tips for checking to see if the COAs on your hemp CBD products are accurate and safe to consume:

1. Do not purchase a CBD product that does not include accurate COA documentation. Does the product manufacturer give you an easy way to access the product's Certificate of Analysis and other safe testing information? As mentioned before, the easiest way to access product testing information is by scanning the products QR code that should link to an independent third-party testing laboratory, which will display the product's testing results. Hemp CBD product companies that provide testing information on their own websites and do not use third party testing labs are not insuring they are providing honest and truthful information about their products. Don't risk purchasing and consuming these products as there is no independent oversight given to the product lifecycle and it's safety.

2. Know the top testing labs – recognize their names. The best Hemp CBD companies will use the best testing labs in the country to prove how great their products are. These are the products you want to buy. COA testing documentation will not only come from these testing labs, but will also reside at the testing lab's website, to show that the test results have not been altered or manipulated in any way by the Hemp CBD product company, or anyone else.

3. The documentation should be clean, organized and easy to read. Overly complex documents are often impossible for the regular consumer to understand. The results should be easy to see and offer descriptions and clear instructions. If you can’t understand the COA, don’t buy that product.

4. Understand what’s listed in a Certificate of Analysis – Scan it and see if you’re buying a safe product.

  • The COA should match the product you’re buying. If you’re buying flower, the test should state the flower’s strain name. If you’re purchasing a beauty cream, the test should state the beauty cream’s name.
  • The date on the COA should be less than 6 months from the date you intend to buy the product. This ensures that the product has been recently tested by the company that’s selling it to you.
  • Minimum Testing Requirements:
  • – For flower, pre-rolls, blunts and cigars, the COA should show cannabinoid profile, terpene profile, overall CBD potency, microbiological, mycotoxin, pathogen, pesticide and heavy metal test results.
  • – For manufactured products like creams, capsules, tinctures or edibles, the COA should show all of the above PLUS residual solvents and Vitamin E Acetate.

5. Look for other certifications on the label, but beware!

  • Some companies claim their products are organic. It’s almost impossible to tell if the source materials used in a product are organic (grown without harmful pesticides and/or certified as organic) or not. And, testing companies can’t test if ingredients used in your purchased product are organic or not. Until Hemp CBD is regulated, it’s up to you if you want to pay the higher price point for products labeled organic. A product’s COA is the best way to determine if a product is pure or not.
  • Some companies claim to be regulated by legal cannabis organizations, but they aren’t. In Massachusetts, Hemp CBD is not regulated by the state’s cannabis regulatory organization (either the Department of Public Health or the Cannabis Control Commission). If a label claims it is certified by these organizations, it is fraudulent. In Massachusetts, the Hemp CBD market is overseen by the Department of Agriculture, however it is not regulated.
  • US Hemp Authority Certification
    The US Hemp Authority is a great organization. Companies affiliated or certified by the US Hemp Authority sell high quality products and often feature this label on their packaging:
  • cGMP Certification
    Current Good Manufacturing Practice certification is a necessity, for any product that is manufactured (oils, creams, capsules, soft gels, edibles, tinctures). Look for this certification on high quality product labels:

Our approach is different. JAYA products are certified to be safe and pure by MCR Labs, a premier, independent third-party accredited testing lab.

Our quality promise on every product. MCR Labs tests the purity, strength and manufacture date of our JAYA Hemp CBD products: scan the QR codes on each label and see for yourself. You can trust that the information you get off our products’ labels is accurate.

Certificates of Analysis (COAs) for Hemp CBD. Hemp CBD companies often supply certificates of analysis (COAs) on their product labels. You can find these certificates on most Hemp CBD product labels in the form of scannable QR codes.

6. You get what you pay for: High quality products are better for you. In general, CBD products with thorough, accurate and clear packaging labels and COA documentation are most often the best products on the market. Companies with high quality products are proud of what they sell and are more than willing to prove it to you. We think it’s worth paying a bit more to get a reliable product that’s safe, don’t you?

Be an educated CBD consumer. Know what’s in it before you buy it. Check the label to see if the product has an accurate COA, cGMP and/or US Hemp Authority certification, all trusted signs that the product is safe, healthy, and effective.

Questions? We’re here to help. Feel free to leave a comment below or contact us for more information.