Table of Contents
At Kats Botanicals, we believe that we have a responsibility to our customers to provide safe, high-quality CBD products. The popularity of CBD has the market flooded with poor-quality, unsafe products that often contain CBD derived from plants sourced from unknown origins. This lack of standardization and regulation places CBD consumers at risk. At Kats Botanicals, all our products undergo rigorous third-party lab testing.
Why Is Third-Party Testing Important?
Unfortunately, until the research catches up to the overwhelming anecdotal evidence to support the therapeutic uses of CBD, it is not regulated. In fact, there are no CBD regulatory agencies to monitor the quality of CBD products on the market yet.
While the Farm Bill of 2018 legalized CBD products with less than 0.3% levels of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC, CBD is not considered a therapeutic substance or a supplement.
Different drying methods and weighing procedures during hemp harvesting can alter the CBD content of a product. Without a uniform method of these tasks, some CBD products may have very high levels of THC.
This means that it is up to individual companies to ensure the CBD products they sell are high-quality. They must also contain the correct amount of CBD as advertised and no potentially harmful substances.
Third-party lab testing offers a non-biased way to reassure customers of the quality and potency of our CBD products and minimize any risks associated with purchasing CBD online. Third-party lab testing ensures the quality of our products, and gives Kats Botanicals the confidence to offer these beneficial CBD varieties to our valued clientele.
How We Lab Test Our CBD Products
To ensure transparency and accountability to our customers, we have partnered with the team at Altitude Consulting who use state-of-the-art technology to assess and analyze a number of important factors that contribute to the quality and safety of our CBD products.
While lab testing for CBD is not standardized across the industry, Altitude Consulting lab testing adheres to the rigorous state regulations for the chemical analysis of consumable products. The team of analytical chemists has extensive experience using verified extraction and analysis methods that are used by labs across the world to give accurate data for a wide range of factors including potency, purity, and terpene profile.
The team at Altitude Consulting values industry transparency just as much as we do at Kats Botanicals. They operate with an open-door policy that allows their clients to tour the facility, ask questions, and evaluate data alongside their chemists.
What Do We Test For?
Kats Botanicals relies on our lab reports to meet the safety and quality requirements to make a reputable product. We focus on providing a product that is clean and pure, as well as consistent, so our customers always know what to expect from Kats Botanicals CBD products. To achieve this, we submit our products to testing across a broad range of factors that contribute to the overall quality of the product.
The most important test to run on a CBD sample is the potency of the CBD contained within the product. Because the CBD industry is unregulated, disreputable companies can advertise that their products contain high levels of CBD, but only add a negligible amount to their products to capitalize on the popularity of CBD products.
To reassure our clients of the potency and effectiveness of all our CBD products, we have our third-party lab test for the percentage of CBD contained samples of each of our products. Our lab testing partner uses the latest liquid chromatography technology and software. This generates an accurate profile of the eleven most common cannabinoids found in hemp, including not only CBD, but also the level of THC found in CBD products.
Hemp-derived CBD naturally contains low levels of THC, but to comply with legal and safety restrictions, CBD products may contain no more than 0.3% THC.
Cannabinoid Purity Profile
CBD products are composed of different forms of CBD: extract and isolate. At Kats Botanicals, we offer CBD products that just contain CBD isolate, which means they do not contain terpenes, THC, or other cannabinoids. Alternatively, you can buy products that contain full-spectrum CBD, meaning they contain a full range of cannabinoids, including CBD, terpenes, and trace amounts of THC, but no more than 0.3%.
As part of the testing for the cannabinoid profile to ensure potency, the lab assesses the complete spectrum of cannabinoids found in the sample. This indicates to the customer the level of CBD purity in the product. Our full-spectrum products contain a variety of cannabinoids, which also includes low levels of THC. Our isolates only contain CBD. The cannabinoids are measured in milligrams/grams and percentages.
In some cases, CBD isolate is preferable to full-spectrum CBD, including using CBD for pets. Providing data about the level of purity allows customers to make an informed decision for their health and well-being.
Terpenes are other cannabinoids found in trace amounts in hemp that work to enhance the effects of CBD through a process called the “Entourage Effect.” Different terpenes have different effects on how CBD interacts with the body, and can have some beneficial health benefits on their own. By testing for the presence of certain terpenes in our CBD products, we ensure that we are offering the best CBD products on the market.
Genetic and environmental factors, as well as how the hemp for CBD is processed, affect the types of terpenes present in the final product. Our third-party testing lab analyzes our product samples for over 40 different common terpenes to give a detailed profile on the chemical makeup of all our CBD products.
The Terpene Profile tests for those cannabis oils that help deliver the CBD throughout the body most effectively. This is measured in parts per million, or PPMs, and accompanied by a bar graph which highlights the presence of each terpene in the batch.
To extract the CBD from the hemp plants, the raw material goes through a chemical and mechanical process that uses solvents to separate the potent CBD from the other compounds found in the plant. The CBD is then purified to remove any remaining solvents. These can be harmful to humans and can cause serious health issues including liver damage and asthma. However, if the extraction process is ineffective, residual solvents can remain and contaminate the CBD extract and consequently, products made with CBD.
To determine whether solvents are present in a sample, the team at Altitude Consulting uses Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) technology to measure the levels of these volatile compounds. The test measures the levels of 16 common solvents used in the extraction and cleaning of hemp for CBD. These are also measured in micrograms and grams.
There is a wide variety of microorganisms that can contaminate CBD products, starting from agricultural practices to manufacturing to storage. While many of these microorganisms are naturally-occurring in the environment, some such as E.coli and salmonella can cause severe health issues, and can potentially be fatal in people with compromised immune systems. This is why we send all our CBD products for microbial screening at a third-party lab testing facility.
There is no federal oversight determining acceptable thresholds for the presence of microbes in CBD products, but even low levels of harmful microbes can cause intestinal distress. We aim for each of our samples to report that no colonies are detected.
Fungi that naturally colonize cannabis plants produce metabolic waste by-products called mycotoxins. These toxins are poisonous to humans, and in some cases can be fatal. There are two mycotoxins that are associated with CBD: aflatoxins and ochratoxins. These toxins can contaminate CBD products during the extraction and manufacturing process.
Using chromatography, our third-party lab can isolate these harmful compounds to determine what percentage is present in the sample. A sample should contain less than 20 parts per billion (ppb) to be considered safe for human consumption and receive a PASS or FAIL designation.
Kats Botanicals is committed to providing consistently high-quality CBD products to our customers. To give you peace of mind, the lab reports for each batch of CBD products tested by Altitude Consulting are available upon request, and we are happy to speak with our customers personally to clarify any terminology or data.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Disclosure