CBD chocolate is a great (and tasty!) way to dip your toes into hemp-based products. However, how do you know if a CBD product is safe?
Fortunately, lab testing can help users ensure that the CBD chocolate bar they are consuming is safe. However, not all lab tests are created equal. Here’s what you need to know.
Do You Know What’s In CBD Chocolate?
On the onset, this seems like a simple question. Isn’t a CBD chocolate bar simply a combination of both CBD and chocolate? Well, yes… and no.
Chocolate is uniquely difficult to test for both THC and CBD potency. But why is this? According to chemist and lead researcher Dr. David Dawson of CW Analytical in Oakland, California, cannabis-laced chocolate is a “veritable organic soup of compounds”, which makes it a difficult food to test.
In other words, chocolate’s high fat content can camouflage both THC and CBD. This means that even if something is “lab tested,” the label might not accurately represent the THC or CBD content in the chocolate bar. Such mislabeling, even if unintentional, results in mis-dosing.
How can this be allowed to happen?
It’s important to remember that we’re still in the “wild west” of CBD products. The industry is still not as well established and safeguarded as, say, the alcohol industry.
When it comes to purchasing beer, wine, or liqueur, chances are that you don’t worry about the stated alcohol content. You probably also don’t worry much about whether the beverage has any biological toxins that may be dangerous.
This is because the alcohol industry is so regulated and highly inspected that no matter the store or brand, a safe and homogenous product is virtually guaranteed.
Until these safeguards come to the CBD industry, consumers need to know about lab tests and how to interpret the results.
Why CBD Lab Testing is Important
Just because a CBD chocolate bar is sold in a store, it doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily high quality. Furthermore, the nutritional facts listed on a product label won’t tell you the whole story.
For this reason, it’s highly advisable to read the fine print of the Certificates of Analysis (COAs), before purchasing any CBD product.
Reputable brands that care about their customers will submit their CBD chocolate to 3rd party labs for testing. These independent labs then release a COA report, which details accurate measurements of cannabinoids. The COA will also detail whether the chocolate bar also contains vitamins, heavy metals, and/or pesticides.
Some manufacturers will test their products internally. However, this is not always a reliable metric. These companies can be biased towards their own products, spinning the numbers for their products to look more attractive than they actually are.
True transparency comes from the brands that send their products to reputable, third-party labs for testing. Reliable CBD brands will often reference third-party lab results on their website. If a CBD brand makes no such reference on their website otherwise, then they probably should not be trusted.
How to Interpret Lab Results for CBD Chocolate
Lab results are often filled with scientific-jargon, but consumers should still be able to easily analyze them. There’s just a few elements to look out for when choosing CBD chocolate.
Evaluate the THC and CBD levels.
COAs are generally divided into two columns. The left side will include the THC and CBD levels. Many CBD products will also include some level of THC, so you’ll want to make sure that the THC content is under the 0.3% that is permitted by law.
Next, double-check whether the CBD levels match the potency (%) and the amount (mg) that the manufacturer has listed on the label. If these numbers don’t line up, then it’s probably a good idea to look for another CBD company and chocolate bar.
Take a look at the terpene readout.
On the right hand column of the COA, you can find the terpene profile. For new users, this probably won’t mean much. For CBD connoisseurs or those looking for more sophisticated benefits, then terpene profiles can tell you exactly what benefits you can expect.
Limonene, for example, can result in mood-lifting benefits whereas myrcene helps with insomnia relief. The terpene readout provides more nuance to the specific experience that can be expected.
Look out for heavy metals and pesticides.
While this is important for everyone, this is especially true for those with serious medical conditions. Heavy metals and pesticides can be very harmful to those with weakened immune systems. Though these elements can be harmful to everyone, those with more serious health conditions should be more cautious.
Heavy metals and pesticides could potentially be in the chocolate bar, depending on how the cannabis plant was grown. With a less-trustworthy CBD company, chemicals may be sprayed on the plants, and the quality of the land the hemp was grown on also plays a role.
Quality hemp growers ensure that they are growing their plants on clean land and with clean practices, to produce healthy flowers and safe CBD.
As you can probably imagine, it costs money to run lab tests. Some companies may choose to test internally, which can produce biased results. Shady actors in the industry may even attempt to “spin” their numbers.
If the CBD company you are interested in does publicize lab results, it is a sign of legitimacy in the CBD industry. This also means that the company has the funds available to ensure their products are safe.
This is why it’s so important to turn to reputable companies who invest in third-party lab testing. Companies that prioritize transparency and safety should be rewarded with business to send a clear signal to the industry that these traits matter to consumers.
Where Can I Find A CBD Chocolate Bar?
Of course, you’ll want to choose a CBD chocolate bar that has the CBD content it advertises. You should also make sure that it tests negative or has extremely low quantities (LoQ) of heavy metals and pesticides.
Once you find a chocolate bar that meets these specifications, consider checking out the company’s other products. If they were honest and transparent with their chocolate bar, then chances are that their other CBD products are also high quality.
Gataka is a trusted CBD company that continues to grow in popularity. Lab results from 3rd party testing are easily accessed on the homepage of their website. Best of all, Gataka has a wide range of CBD products ranging from CBD chocolate bars to CBD peanut butter cups.
Stay safe, and enjoy!