Testing is a fundamental aspect of the production and distribution of hemp. Testing your hemp builds credibility, demonstrates compliance, and upholds the standards of a quality product. A cannabinoid potency test measures the amount of the cannabinoids in your sample product to ensure that it qualifies for legal distribution.
Since the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is no longer a banned substance and is federally legal within the United States. However, the harvest must contain a THC concentration of less than 0.3%. A cannabinoid potency test is a process that allows you to determine if your crops adhere to these measures.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are two of the most well-known cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. THC is known for its psychoactive properties, causing a palpable ‘high’ sensation. On the other hand, CBD does not elicit a ‘high,’ but it soothes and relieves symptoms of pain, inflammation, and anxiety.
Understanding and documenting the concentrations of these cannabinoids in your crops ultimately makes or breaks your investment, and the only way to gain that understanding is through testing.
Below are three of the most important reasons you would need a cannabinoid potency test:
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First and foremost, it is a legal requirement. According to the USDA, the standard testing regulation for hemp is to measure its THC concentration levels by the percentage of dry weight. If the THC concentration exceeds 0.3%, the crops do not meet the federal requirements and are subject to disposal.
Cannabinoid potency tests outline the cannabinoids in your sample, including THC. The documentation is returned to you as a Certificate of Analysis (COA), an essential tool in your arsenal as a hemp grower or distributor. The USDA requires that COAs must be included with every invoice during the purchase of a hemp product.
Growing hemp is not the most cost-friendly project. It entails substantial investments in equipment, labor, seeds, and much more. It is only fitting that you are granted the opportunity to sell your product and receive a return on your efforts and investments. However, this is not always the case.
Once your crops are ready for harvest, you must test them right away. Harvest season is a busy time for testing labs, and chances are you may have to compete for a spot among the many other hemp cultivators trying to test their products. If the waiting period extends for too long, crops tend to get hot, meaning the THC concentration increases beyond the regulated 0.3%. This can potentially ruin your harvest, and you would essentially have to destroy your crops.
Photo by Robert Franklin, via Tribune Photos
One effective way to avoid delays is to engage in early testing, known as vegetative state potency testing. With a vegetative potency test, laboratories can test the crops early in their life cycle to identify the CBD and THC potency. This helps you avoid the time-consuming process of waiting for the plants to reach maturity and possibly risking your harvest during busy testing season.
We are approaching just three years since the federal legalization of hemp, and there are many safety protocols still needed in this market. Testing for cannabinoid potency and obtaining a valid COA are essential policies that provide consumers with credible information in an industry that is new and complex.
A 2017 JAMA study found that almost 70% of CBD products in the market were either mislabeled or contained falsified information in their COAs. Some products contained higher amounts of THC than what was documented, enough to potentially cause impairment. This is a breach of the regulations, and most importantly, it is a medical concern to the consumers.
We at Zera Hemp Labs feel strongly about this, and we are dedicated to upholding the validity of the market by providing potency tests and accurate COAs. We believe that a COA is a powerful device that boosts your reliability as a hemp vendor. Not to mention, you will need this document for most, if not all, transactions within the hemp industry.
Zera Hemp Labs: We Want To Help
The hemp industry came to fruition because society rediscovered that this was a crop with extraordinary healing effects and vast industrial benefits. As entities in the industry, it is our responsibility to ensure that products designed to help people are accurately documented and systematically credible.
Zera Hemp Labs offers cannabinoid potency tests for only $49, with a turnaround of results within 3 to 5 days. We guarantee our services, even during the busy harvesting season. We understand the urgency, and we aim to make this process as easy and straightforward for you as possible. For more information, click here.