As the production, cultivation, and consumption of hemp and its products become ever more popular, a fleet of companies has opened their doors in order to cash in own this CBD revolution. But without much in the way of proper regulation for hemp-based products, how are you to know when you’re getting a quality product?
Over on our new Facebook Group, All Axis Pass, one of our members asked a great question: "Is [there] a system in place to test CBD to assure the customer that they are actually getting Pure CBD and not being ripped off [by] companies using any form of filler? Also to make sure [you’re] getting the proper mg as they claim?"
Nobody likes to get burned, especially on products that are meant to enhance their healthy lifestyles, not compromise it. So let’s devote some time to exploring how CBD is tested for purity and the lengths Axis Labs goes to ensure that you’re getting some of the finest quality CBD oil products available.
What Is Third-Party Lab Testing?
When seemingly anyone can start growing hemp and extracting CBD oil, the market has been flooded with products of questionable purity and potency. To distinguish quality products from lesser ones, most of the legit CBD companies are now making use of third-party lab testing.
These test results can separate fact from hype and are the most surefire way to ensure you’re getting a high-quality hemp-based product at a glance. Plus, these tests are good for both the consumer and the producer. By being transparent in what ingredients are being used and the quality of the CBD oil being infused into tinctures, creams, and capsules, consumers are treated to better products while producers are held to higher standards.
What Does Third-Party Testing Accomplish?
It should go without saying that having the government inspect your facilities, examine your products, and then pull them from shelves is a costly process, one that all by the largest food and drug companies can’t afford to have happen to them. So, this is where third-party testing comes into play.
Simply put, third-party testing isn’t required, but it’s a great way to protect your products, your brand, and more importantly, your customers. This is why many of the high-end CBD companies, Axis Labs included, choose to have these expensive tests performed on their hemp oil-based products. It helps them stand out from the crowd and also serves as a selling point for their products.
Other Factors To Consider
While the "third-party tested" label on the side of your favorite CBD capsules might be a quick way to separate quality from crud, there’s more to your CBD than just that sticker. The quality and purity of your CBD doesn’t start in a lab. It’s based on a wide variety of factors. If you want to make a more informed buying decision when looking for your next CBD tincture, keep the following in mind.
Where is the CBD Sourced From?
Hemp has been an agricultural mainstay for thousands of years. Indeed, it’s suggested that the fibers of hemp were used to make some of the earliest textiles. More recently, hemp has become the focus of fascination for the chemical compounds that can be extracted from the plant. Simply put, the quality of your CBD really starts with the quality of the hemp its sourced from.
Hemp is a "hyperaccumulator," which is a fancy way of saying that hemp readily absorbs anything in the soil it was grown in. It’s one reason that hemp readily grows basically anywhere, but it also means that the final purity of your CBD is affected by the soil its grown in. So, if you purchase CBD from a company that grows their hemp in a farm field behind a chemical plant, you’ll likely ingest some of the heavy metals that are in the soil in which the hemp was cultivated.
One of the best ways to guarantee you’re getting a pure and high-quality CBD product is to look into where the company sourced their hemp. A good rule of thumb is to buy products that make use of American grown hemp. That’s because U.S. farmers are held to high standards by the department of agriculture in whichever state they’re raising crops in. You can find out more about where a company gets their hemp on their website. For instance, Axis Labs proudly sources its hemp from only farms in Kentucky and Colorado.
Is It "Whole Plant" or "Full Spectrum?"
Another way to determine the purity and quality of your CBD product is to investigate just how much of the plant was used. CBD isolates are a popular choice for many companies, but whole plants are considered more effective. By using the whole plant, the CBD oil extracted from the plant has the related compounds that are also derived from hemp. That means you get all of the terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids that affect taste, aroma, and character. Not only that, but these other compounds actually affect the effectiveness of the CBD itself. Check the label to see if it’s whole plant or full spectrum as others call it.
How Much THC is Present?
Within any cannabis plant, you’ll find varying amounts of compounds like CBD, as well as THC. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive component in cannabis plants that leaves you feeling "stoned" or "high." Marijuana has a much higher concentration of THC than hemp does. Conversely, there’s more CBD in hemp than in marijuana, hence why manufacturers mostly use hemp when creating CBD products.
To get a more pure, and more potent CBD product, you’ll want to ensure there is little-to-no THC present. In fact, the optimal level of THC in your CBD oil should be more than 0.3 percent. Not only that, but you may run into legal issues if you source your CBD oils from marijuana plants anyway, as hemp is legal in all 50 states, but marijuana is not.
How is CBD Oil Made?
Finally, you’ll want to take a look at how the CBD is extracted and how the oil is made. There are a few methods for doing this (don’t panic, we’ll cover this in a future blog post), and each of them can affect the final purity of the CBD.
Typically, the lower the price on the CBD oil or capsule, the cheaper and faster the method of extraction. These methods use solvents like propane, hexane, and butane, which are harmful to your health. Other companies use pharmaceutical-grade ethanol to process their CBD. The ethanol removes toxins from the hemp plant. Many agree that this process extracts the most CBD from the plant, and is regarded as yielding the safest product. Finally, some companies make use of a supercritical CO2 extraction process. Use high-pressure CO2 in a cold environment, the CBD is removed from the plant, maintaining its highest purity in the process.
How Does Axis Labs Test For Purity?
As a leading provider of sports nutrition supplements and products, Axis Labs understands better than most the importance of quality control and testing. That’s why we diligently test all of our CBD products to ensure the highest level of purity and potency.
That’s why we trust Botanacor to perform our third-party lab testing. Based in Denver, just down the street from the Axis Labs headquarters, Botanacor is a specialty lab that works with all types of hemp-derived products. We submit a sample of each of our products to their lab. There it’s tested to ensure it’s within the allowable limits for THC, and its potency is measured thanks to an HPLC method with spectral analysis. To check for purity, our sample is also subjected to a solvents analysis to make sure nothing is left in the CBD from our extraction process. Finally, our CBD sample is given a microbial contaminant test to check for things like unwanted yeasts and molds.
The result is a clean and pure CBD product that is naturally effective and easy to use. We’re always pleased with the results of these tests from Botanacor. It’s why we proudly list the results right on our website!