The 5 Biggest Obstacles In Hemp Testing

With the federal legalization of hemp and the growing recognition of its medicinal benefits, it is very clear that hemp testing is now, and will continue to be, a fundamental aspect of the equation. 

Hemp testing helps growers to understand the chemical compounds in their product so that they can comply with federal requirements. It helps producers sustain quality and accuracy during the manufacturing process. Hemp testing ensures consumers have peace of mind. Perhaps most importantly, it provides validity to the hemp industry as a whole. 

Read on as we guide you through some common pitfalls in hemp testing and share the best ways to navigate the process.

1. LACK OF ONLINE ACCESSIBILITY

In 2021 and beyond, people have come to expect online accessibility for just about any interaction. Unfortunately, the hemp testing industry has been notoriously sluggish in curating online systems that would benefit hemp cultivators and operators.  

Proper online accessibility is essential for placing orders, obtaining accurate and credible COAs (Certificate of Analysis), and safely storing past COAs for easy reference.

A COA is a report that outlines concentrations of the cannabinoids (or other chemical compounds) present in the hemp sample. The testing lab issues the document after testing.

It is vital to find a lab that provides a smooth procedure for submitting orders and returning results.

2. DELAY OF RESULTS

On the subject of timing, delays during the hemp testing process can be very serious. Since hemp cultivation is seasonal, timing can make or break the entire harvest. Once a hemp sample has been submitted for testing, it is imperative that you receive an accurate report as quickly as possible. 

Harvesting season is a busy time for hemp growers and testing labs. With the increased demand, delays of test results are (sadly) a very real and threatening possibility. Delays are especially critical during hemp cultivation time, where crops may get hot and potentially end up unqualified for legal consumer distribution.

Make sure you opt for a lab that you trust will consistently be able to provide a fast turnaround time. Zera Hemp Labs is proud to offer a turnaround of only 3 to 5 days for all hemp testing results during the 2021 cultivation season. 

3. TESTING COSTS

Hemp testing is a fundamental aspect of the industry that promotes safety and validity. Because of this requirement, hemp testing is an inevitable expense. That said, getting into a regular cadence of testing does not have to break the bank. 

As with all things, it never hurts to price shop to get the best bang for your buck. Do some quick research on your lab against other competitors to give yourself peace of mind that you are not overpaying.

However, do not forget that cheap does not always mean good— it is vital to assess a lab’s credibility, effectiveness, and accuracy in delivering data before making a decision. If you manage to find quality services at reasonable prices, that is a solid win. 

Price transparency is an issue that should not be difficult for the industry to overcome. Here at Zera, we believe that all prices should be clearly stated in an easy-to-find and understandable way. For transparency’s sake, Zera Hemp Labs offers a $49 cannabinoid potency test. For more information on the rest of our testing prices, click here.

4. INACCURATE/FRAUDULENT COAS

The hemp industry is relatively new and regulations are still being established and solidified. Unfortunately, this leaves room for the fraudulent adjustment or misrepresentation of COAs. These occurrences may transpire in an effort to increase sales. 

As of late, this has been a hot topic, and it is something we at Zera Hemp Labs aim to correct. COAs impact everybody in the hemp industry, from manufacturers to producers to testers to consumers, and COA fraud is a flagrant safety violation that erodes trust in our fledgling industry as a whole.

To discern a tampered COA, ensure that the documentation is an official report sent by a lab, usually as a (.pdf) that has not been scanned or copied. If the COA contains a QR code, check that it works by scanning the code, which should automatically transfer you to the page of a credible lab.

Review the document for anything unusual, particularly the name at the top or any spacing alterations around the cannabinoid data. One of the most commonly altered figures is the CBD (cannabidiol) percentage. The higher the amount of CBD, the higher the cost of the product.

It is essential to be vigilant with COAs, ensuring that the document originates from an accurate, legal, moral, and safety-centered source. When in doubt, do not hesitate to reach out to a lab that you can trust.

5. EVER-CHANGING ENVIRONMENT

The hemp industry is booming, and massive progress has been made since the 2018 Farm Bill when the federal legalization of hemp occurred. Though the hemp industry is a promising venture, we are now just a few years short down the road. There is a long way to go in establishing a system with concrete policies that are set in stone.

With these unpredictable circumstances, knowledge and information are fundamental in staying ahead of the game. There is something new to learn every day. 

Allot some time for research on the hemp industry and its processes to avoid any missteps along the way. Subscribe to newsletters and blogs of your favorite hemp websites to remain informed and up-to-date on the industry’s movements.

BOTTOM LINE

No process is inherently perfect, and hemp testing has its own share of common issues. Whether it is a lack of online convenience, hefty prices, fraudulent COAs, or a lack of available resources, be aware of what you need and make sure you get it. You are entitled to a smooth process. 

With our intuitive and straightforward online ordering system, a turnaround of results within 3 to 5 days, and complete accuracy of trustworthy COAs at affordable prices— Zera Hemp Labs is committed to our customers’ needs. Furthermore, we acknowledge the importance of awareness by providing a growing library of hemp industry information and resources.

ZERA HEMP LABS IS HERE TO HELP

We believe that hemp testing is a critical and fundamental process that assures safety and professionalism in an industry that is still finding its footing. Though setbacks can and do occur, we are dedicated to serve and guide our customers throughout this journey by providing them with the essential tools and resources necessary to attain success. We are working towards revolutionizing the hemp testing industry and invite you to join us at any of the channels listed below.