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How is Delta 8 Tested by a Third-Party Lab, and What Do They Look for?

As delta 8 THC continues to become a more sought-after cannabinoid from the hemp plant, our industry is seeing a massive influx of products getting launched onto the market that “promise” to deliver the finest delta 8 possible.  However, are all of these products equally legitimate, pure, and high in quality?  Well, one way to find out is by looking for lab tests. These come from a third-party source and indicate that the manufacturer has their hemp extracts routinely tested by a licensed facility.

Lab tests are a great way to maintain quality control throughout the delta 8 market. With that said, they can be a bit confusing to the average enthusiast.  So, we are going to talk about the importance of lab-testing, what it means, and how you can access the results from these tests to learn more about a delta-8 product.

The Importance of Lab-Testing

Lab-testing is the type of process that all hemp manufacturers are responsible to engage in.  The process is simple enough.

  1. You get a sample of your hemp extract and send it off to a registered laboratory that specializes in the hemp plant. 
  2. They analyze it for important factors that determine its quality, and send the lab reports, along with the sample, back to the company. 
  3. Then, the company makes those lab reports public to customers.

It’s a way for companies to maintain quality standards throughout the industry. 

Without lab-testing, you cannot prove to customers that your products are high in quality, or even genuine.  It takes a third-party lab to create that level of trust between customer and manufacturer. More importantly than that, it’s how the industry regulates itself.

Does Every Company Have Their Delta 8 Lab-Tested?

Every company should have their delta 8 lab-tested, and almost all of them do.  But there are always new brands emerging that may try to sidestep this important process. Hence, those brands should be totally avoided.  Think about it this way: why would a company avoid lab-testing unless they had something to hide?

Are Lab Reports Accessible?

Any company that makes delta 8 products has a responsibility to make their lab reports as accessible as possible.  A customer should not have to dig to find them, because today’s customers largely expect to see them right away.  Lab reports should be clearly accessed on the company’s website. Either on an entirely separate page, or as a link within each product description.

Are Lab Reports Legitimate?

Lab reports should be legitimate, but some companies may try to fake them.  It is fortunately easy to spot a fake.  All lab reports should clearly state the name of the laboratory at the top corner of the report.  The name of the lab can be traced back through the internet to determine whether or not they are a real laboratory that is licensed to test hemp.  All of these labs must be registered with their state’s department of agriculture to legally have permission to test hemp and create these reports.  If a lab does not have an indication that they are registered on their website, they may not be authentic.

What Does a Third-Party Lab Look for in a Delta 8 Sample?

So, when a lab does actually get their hands on a sample of delta 8 extract from a company, what exactly are they analyzing?  The answer is more involved than you may think.  Let’s break down the core categories of that which these laboratories are testing for.

Category #1: Impurities

Impurities are tested for rigorously, and broken down into various categories, including pesticides, heavy metals, and solvents.  Some of these impurities can enter the product during the actual growing process, which is common for hemp that is not grown organically.  Some of these impurities can result from low-quality extraction processes, in which chemical solvents enter the finished product.  Sometimes, impurities enter the product due to poor handling, in which the extract becomes contaminated.  Ideally, the sample should be completely pure, as some impurities can be harmful in large amounts, such as pesticides.

Category #2: Microbes

Lab staff will also check for microbes, including bacteria and fungus.  Of course, microbes can be quite harmful, and indicate that the sample was contaminated in some way in many cases.  On the flip side, there are also “good” microbes that naturally occur in the plant material and are totally harmless to us.  Therefore, when looking at this section, you should read carefully to make sure that if microbes are present, they are not categorized as harmful.  Microbes are everywhere, and only a small portion of them can do us harm.  Some can be quite beneficial, as it turns out.

Category #3: Potency

The extract’s potency is measured to determine the concentration of delta 8 in the oil.  The potency should be extremely high in this case because delta-8 extracts are not supposed to contain any other compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes, being pure isolates or distillates.  If the extract given to a lab has been diluted in some manner, this little section of the report will let you know.

Category #4: Chemical Composition

The chemical composition refers to the breakdown of chemical compounds of the hemp plant that are in the final product.  Here is where you will get a good idea of whether or not there are terpenes in the extract, or other cannabinoids.  They should be listed according to volume, starting with delta 8 at the top.

Category #5: Safe Handling and Storage

Often, lab reports will give some indication as to whether or not the hemp extract has been handled and stored carefully to avoid contamination.  This is often the last bit of information on the lab report.  It goes without saying that delta 8 samples should be handled and stored carefully. And, in a way that totally avoids contamination altogether.

Using Lab Reports to Make Your Decision on a Delta 8 THC Purchase

So, how can you apply all of this important information to your delta 8 purchases?  Well, before you buy a product, always look for lab reports.  Again, third-party testing is a critical component of making a delta 8 product, and the only way to verify that the product a customer is getting meets or exceeds industry standards. 

From now on, when shopping for delta-8, or any hemp product for that matter, make sure that lab reports are accessible in order to verify a product formula’s overall quality.

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