Categories: Cannabis

Here’s Why it’s Important to Read the Label on Cannabis Products

It isn’t hard for a brand to claim that their cannabis is “lab tested.” However, that isn’t authentic unless the brand provides access to results from a lab that is independent of the producer. This can give authentic results and vouch for the cannabis to be potent, pure, and safe.

Although some producers publish the results on their packaging, they are also dependant on region-specific labeling laws, which provides a limitation on the information. While some brands usually provide a Certificate of Analysis for batches or online products, usually via a QR code, others will be needed to be contacted directly.

Refusal of lab results could be an indication that either the product wasn’t tested or that there’s some reason that the company doesn’t want them viewed.

It is important to understand that some set of results may not be as thorough as others, and the tests performed are dependent on several factors which include that product type and its use that was intended, and local regulations.


Most results will always show the levels of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids, in terms of potency. These compounds are the active compounds that are responsible for the different psychological and physiological effects of different strains.
Although THC and CBD are the most common ones, other compounds that include THCa, THCV, CBDa, CBN, CBC, and CBG, are important too.


Terpenes are less commonly found in lab results. However, for some products, the terpene levels are provided. Much of the aroma and flavor of cannabis products are provided by terpenes. However, terpenes are removed intentionally from some products but are also desirable in others.

Moisture content

For some products, the Certificate of Analysis (COA) will reveal the moisture content in the test sample. There is an increased risk of fungi and bacteria thriving in the product if the moisture level is high (above 15%). However, the product could be dry and brittle if the moisture level is too low (below 5%), which will lead to a less enjoyable experience.

Residual solvents

Some methods used in the production of cannabis, extractions, in particular, can consequently result in low levels of solvent being left behind. Harmful health effects can also be potentially caused if the levels are too high.
The acceptable levels for several solvents can differ depending on the region, where common solvents such as butanes, propane, benzene, and xylenes, must be tested for.

Other safety tests

Other than residual solvent analysis, other tests can also confirm the safety of a product for consumption. In relevance, residues from plant treatment agents can likely be seen in the final product. Hence, this could lead to a long list of common pesticide compounds that may be tested.

Microbial growth is another concern in samples, typically in those with a higher moisture level. Microbial tests for things like E. coli, salmonella, yeast, and mold, are performed to ensure that the standards for the product are met.
Heavy metals are another significant concern in cannabis products. After absorption from fertilizers or contaminated soil, heavy metals could accumulate in the plant.

However, they are known to be highly toxic to humans and our bodies are not as efficient in their removal. Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury, are the heavy metals we need to be worried about. However, they are often accompanied by various others when documented in a COA.

A huge amount of information that is authentic and important is provided by lab test results, regarding the product, including its purity and potency. The results also confirm the safety of consumption. Consumers should be able to access the lab results relatively easily and should question the authenticity of the product if they can’t

Saher Asad Mir

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