What’s in My CBD Oil? How to Read a CBD Certificate of Analysis (COA)?


CBD is one of the most popular natural supplements on earth. Many people have used it for years. But as with any new rapidly growing industry, there are bound to be some bad actors looking at ways they can take advantage. And consumers aren’t keeping up-to-date about what’s legal or not in their respective states. This might mean avoiding certain brands entirely.

This post is for wholesalers or manufacturers who work with CBD products. It will explain what an isolated certificate of analysis (COA) is, how they can be read and interpreted by you as the customer looking at them when purchasing a product from your supplier. We point out potential red flags that indicate low-quality products, so buyers are aware before making a purchase decision.

Additionally, it will teach them about obtaining their own certificates issued through testing laboratories accredited by third-party agencies such as ISO certifications bodies like ULcerts USA. This offers guidance on safety standards compliance within industries where these types of analyses may appear routinely conducted.

CBD Certificate

What is a COA (Certificate of Analysis)?

It’s important to know the source of your CBD. This is because it can affect its effectiveness. A COA (certificate of analysis) will tell you if there are any unexpected contaminants in a product or ingredient used during production. Contaminants that may have an adverse effect on how it works when ingested by consumers like yourself.

Many consumers are put off by the fact that a COA completed by the manufacturer themselves may not be as accurate. In order to ensure accuracy and transparency, some laboratories offer CBD testing services that certify products can contain no more than 0.3% THC in total cannabinoids. This ensures all traces have been removed. So you know exactly how much of each compound has made its way into your product with an unbiased analysis available if needed.

Reading CBD Certificate of Analysis

The COA is the most important document for verifying that what you’re buying has exactly what it says on the label. It typically contains lab results from testing done at an accredited facility. This should be read carefully to get all possible information about your purchase and understand which tests were run in order to arrive at those conclusions. There are some slight differences among different labs when reporting their findings. So take note if one report seems more detailed than another, but these reports follow similar formats overall.

Cannabinoid Types

The hemp plant is home to a variety of cannabinoids, including CBD. When selling full-spectrum oils, it’s important for your certificate of analysis to list all the detectable compounds, and this includes THC, which shouldn’t be present if not labeled as cannabis or at levels higher than 3%.

You may notice the initials ND next to some of these compounds. That means they were so low in concentration, our equipment couldn’t pick them up – lab speaks for “non-detect.”

Weight Percentage

This column lists the weight percentage of each cannabinoid. The reported value is just for cannabinoids found in products. Not including any packaging material or additives like waxes that might have been used during production to keep them uniform. They’re usually around 20% lighter, after all.

The data shows how different compounds are distributed throughout their individual mass – some may make up 80%, while others only account for 10%.


In the next column, we see a breakdown of what cannabinoids are present in each sample. For CBD oils specifically, this makes it easy to check that you’re getting exactly as much for your money by using an online calculator like God Bless Calculator. This can give information about how many milligrams (mg) or percentages remain per gram when buying from different brands’ potency levels.

Heavy Metal Analysis

Heavy metals like lead, mercury, and arsenic can make you sick. That’s why many manufacturers test for these as part of their CBD certificate of analysis. This is done to ensure that consumers aren’t exposed to unsafe levels in food products such as oils or supplements. In this section, there are two important places we need to look:

  • The first being at the tested concentration level, which tells us how much each metal was found during testing
  • The ingestible column under the “Use Limits” heading shows its maximum amount considered safe by government regulations- always far below the ingestion use limit.

Pesticide Analysis

Is your CBD certificate of analysis blank? If so, it might be because the tests for pesticides are not yet complete. You can find out more information in this section that looks similar to how heavy metals test results will look when they’re ready.

A usual list includes a name and level at which the chemical was found. Whether or not these indicate pass marks (a ‘pass’ meaning no detected particles). A well, limits on acceptable levels based on our findings from research studies done by Ph.D. scientists around the world who specialize exclusively in Gardens until now.

The red flags in CBD COA

With all the misinformation out there about CBD oil, it’s important to know what you’re putting in your body. Here are three signs your product isn’t up-to-standard:

  1. Too Little or Too Much THC: Too much THC may mean you are selling illegal products. Suppose the level of THC exceeds 3%. In that case, that’s a problem for products labeled as including it in states where cannabis is not legal, especially if they have been measured after synthesis or processing with other cannabinoids such as CBD. Quality manufacturers ensure their CBD levels meet what’s advertised while still being safe and affordable. So buyers know exactly what they’re getting themselves into before purchasing through COAs (cannabis exam reports).
  2. Products Missing Cannabinoids in the full spectrum: Full spectrum CBD oil may contain other cannabinoids in addition to the compound that produces the desired effect. If you’re expecting this product and don’t see any listed on your label, then it’s not good news – meaning they were probably omitted for some reason or another (most commonly due).
  3. Lab Results Completed In-House: This is a huge step that can mean the difference between success and bankruptcy. The best companies in this industry take every precaution, sending samples from each batch for independent analysis by an accredited third-party lab to ensure quality control of their products all along production lines. It’s much easier now than ever before because consumers don’t have to convince themselves; they just need some information about where those green checkmarks come from.

Is CBD certificate of analysis essential for selling your products? 

Consumers want to see that their CBD products are safe and have been certified. Lab results verifying the quality of each batch has become industry standard. So it’s important for those selling in this marketplace to make sure potential customers can access these certificates easily since they’re available on both websites or through QR codes printed on packaging materials themselves.


Want to make your customers feel confident in their purchase? You need certificates of analysis. These independent, third-party verifications show people that the quality you’re selling is what it says on its label. Not just some random product someone made up with no evidence or organization backing up statements about how good this “CBD oil” really works.