Full Spectrum, Spagyric CBD and The Entourage Effect
If you’ve researched CBD at all, you probably know a little bit about exactly why full spectrum CBD acts more potently within the body by enabling the entourage effect. In brief though, each compound activates only a portion of the endo-cannabinoid system. Therefore, to fully activate it and experience the full effects of CBD, we need the full plant profile. That’s the essence of why full-spectrum CBD is more potent than isolate. The compounds in CBD that interact with the endo-cannabinoid system work better when they’re allowed to work together.
Full Spectrum CBD Labelling and Lab Reporting
So, knowing that we want full spectrum CBD, how does the average consumer go about making sure that they get it?
You’d think it would simply be a matter of typing “full spectrum CBD” into a search engine and picking the best deal from the results, right?
Unfortunately, the reality is more complicated than that. Though CBD has been cultivated and used for thousands of years, it was only relatively recently that it was able to be grown in the USA and the law is still playing catch up. There’s currently almost no regulation that says what does or does not qualify as full-spectrum. This means there’s nothing stopping predatory companies from selling cheaply produced CBD, that barely contains a fraction of the plant profile, as “full-spectrum CBD”.
This is a particular problem for first time buyers who do not have a source they can trust. They may also not know what warning signs to look out for or what to expect from a genuine versus inferior product. We’ve talked to so many people that said that CBD “just doesn’t work” for them when in fact the problem was they were using isolate or something that was mis-labeled as “full-spectrum CBD”.
So, if you’re wondering how to find a CBD supplier that you can trust to give you a genuine, potent product, the easiest answer is, find one that lets you see their lab reports. If they don’t have lab reports, or aren’t willing to share them, it’s an excellent idea to ask why not. If this information isn’t public, the company might be worried about you being exposed to what they don’t want you to be aware of.
How To Read a Full Spectrum CBD Lab Report
At Happy Buddha Hemp, our lab reports are front and center on our website because our Spagyric CBD extraction method creates the fullest full-spectrum CBD we’ve seen in our twenty years in this industry. However lab reports, like most technical documents, don’t mean much if you don’t know how to read them properly, so now we’re going to tell you exactly what to look for and how to avoid confusion.
Before anything else, make sure the lab is ISO accredited, certified by appropriate state bodies, and, very importantly, not associated with the CBD company you’re buying from. Look for the lab’s name, which should be prominently displayed, and then look them up to confirm their bona fides. Here’s an example from one of our reports:
The lab test should also specifically mention the product it is for and what type of extract was used in the product. Ideally, this will also be prominently displayed, as in the above image. However, every laboratory reports their information differently and it can be confusing. If you’re not sure what you’re looking at, don’t be afraid to reach out to the CBD supplier with questions. If they’re not willing to help and explain, that may be a big red flag.
Reading Full Spectrum CBD Lab Reports
Once you know that you’re looking at a lab report from the right CBD product from a reliable, independent lab, how do we actually read it?
Again, let’s use an example from our website. All CBD lab reports should contain a table that looks like this, with the same column headings, or very near equivalents.
The first column “Analyte” is the compound being tested for – CBD, THC CBN…etc. The compounds that are in the lab test depend on what type of extract was used, but at a minimum they should be showing you CBD, CBDa, CBG, THCa, Δ8-THC and Δ9-THC.
The LOQ column shows the lowest limit that the test can identify. If it is below a certain amount, it will appear as non-detectable (ND) on the lab report. The Amount mg/unit column tells you the amount of mgs that are in the entire final product and the Amount mg/g shows how much of each compound is in a gram of the product.
CBD should almost always be by far the compound with the highest amount, while the THCa should be marked as ND otherwise you risk being impaired by using the product.
The best way to be certain of that is to look for data specifically about the THC Content.
A “Pass” here means that the THC content of the CBD extract is below the legal limit of .03% and there is therefore no danger of impairment with normal use.
Beyond Organic Farming, Heavy Metals, Pesticides and CBD Safety
Cannabinoid compounds aren’t the only things that can end up in CBD products however. Raw CBD extract will be combined with many other ingredients to create the final product you receive. These other ingredients can introduce problematic chemicals to otherwise organic CBD. Even before it leaves the field, hemp can be contaminated by trace elements in the ground thanks to its qualities as an excellent phytoremediator.
So a full lab report will include not only tests for the presence of CBD compounds, but for the absence of things like heavy metals and agricultural chemicals. Arsenic, Cadmium and Mercury are all common heavy metal byproducts of industrial processes that can stay locked in soil for decades. So make sure that the lab report addresses these at a minimum.
Similarly, many pesticides can also leave harmful traces in the soil. It’s important to ensure that the sample has been tested for these, as well as microbial and mold presence that can take hold if low quality growing or processing methods are used.
Safe and Potent Full-Spectrum CBD
We hope you feel empowered by this information to better judge the quality of CBD products. As always, our advice is, if you’re unsure, ask. A company that is proud of its product will always be eager to work with you and answer your questions because they will trust that the truth will speak for itself. If you have any questions for us, we have more resources available online to help you find the right CBD for you, or schedule a chat with a member of our Hemp Advisors team today to get your questions answered on a call at a time that’s convenient for you.