Some producers of hemp and CBD extractions are vertically integrated, meaning they grow the hemp they use to extract. Others purchase their starting material from a farmer or wholesaler. In either case, the raw hemp must be tested to produce a Certificate of Analysis (COA) that proves the THC concentration is below 0.3% before it can be legally sold as hemp or used for extraction.
Having a COA in hand from the farmers they buy from can lead many extraction pros to believe that additional testing on their extracts and concentrates isn’t explicitly necessary. However, regulations are strict, and there are complexities inherent in the extraction process itself that make further testing important and valuable. Extractors can benefit greatly from being familiar with the advantages that testing can provide at different stages of the process.
Extractors purchasing hemp that has not been screened for safety are leaving themselves vulnerable to unknowns regarding their starting material. While they’re not legally required to do so, obtaining their own COA provides extractors with data that is useful in the process and reduces this uncertainty.
Obtaining a full potency profile and confirming the absence of contaminants in the raw hemp helps with decisions about how to extract. Additionally, a complete COA provides peace of mind and documentation that extraction will not concentrate any unwanted impurities in the production batch.
It’s important that extractors do their due diligence in ensuring their product is safe for consumption and minimizing their liability. While many contamination risks occur during the growing or curing process, consumable hemp or CBD products can also be tainted by the solvents used during extraction.
By making sure their methods are safe and effective through testing for residual solvents among other things, extractors can be certain that products are safe. Including safety info and testing reports in product descriptions also gives consumers or infused product manufacturers confidence that the extracts are reliable and the extractors are trustworthy.
Testing can also be a critical step in helping extractors refine their process and dial in the effectiveness of their extraction process. Frequently testing batches for cannabinoid content and residual solvents help producers make small tweaks to ensure they get the desired results consistently.
Being able to dependably produce uniform products is another way to create consumer confidence, and it simplifies the marketing and retail processes. Not to mention confirming regulatory compliance, which is priority number one for anyone working with hemp.
Growing demand from consumers as well as manufacturers means there’s plenty of opportunity for extractors in the hemp industry. While there are many methods for extracting and final products can take different forms, consistency remains critical to earning trust from buyers. For those seeking success, testing can play a necessary role in fine-tuning the process to get reliable results.