What is third party testing? What does it mean? Why do so many companies talk about it? Why are there so many different testing companies? Why do they test differently?
The above questions are all important when it comes to making or using CBD (cannabinoid) Products. So, lets break them down.
What is Third Party Testing? Third party testing is when you take your product or sample and send it to an outside laboratory for testing. The problem with this is that you could send two samples of the same product to two very different labs. The results should come back the same, but many times they will not. Why? Because they may be using different testing equipment. The testing equipment may be set to different tolerances or settings for that sample. The results may be read differently and marked differently from one lab to the other even though the samples are exactly the same. The tests might of been run for different lengths of time at each lab. Lab A ran the tests for the sample 20 minutes where Lab B ran the test for 30 minutes. There are a whole list of things that can be different, these are just a few of the things.
What does it mean? Third Party Tested. It means that a sample was sent to an outside lab for testing and the results from that sample are in the posted report. Usually you will see a QR code on a product that you can scan and get the test results for that products batch.
Why do so many companies talk about it? Third Party Testing that is. Because it is used two main ways, one as a selling point, stating that they are doing whatever they can to make a safe product for you to purchase. Two, because it is important to know that the product you are buying and more importantly using on or in your body has been tested. You have to remember that this industry has very little regulation. Would you want to use something and put it in your mouth or on your skin if it was not tested?
Why are there so many different testing companies? Cannabis and Hemp have been around maybe since the beginning of time. We were not around then but these plants have been here maybe longer then humans have been. Cannabis in the United States has been changing from an illegal drug to a legal drug, starting with California and Colorado for almost 10 plus years now. Hemp was finally allowed to be grown again in all 48 contiguous states as of summer 2021. Soon, maybe within the next 3 to 7 years or more, you will see all states selling cannabis and hemp products. With this new industry, there are a lot of labs all over the country that say they can test for these plants. They are doing it each and every day, they have tests they run on the samples and they make a report for that sample. Its easy to find a testing lab. That is why it is so important to make sure the lab you use for testing, tests at the highest standards.
Why do they test differently? Because this is a new industry, there has not been a standard put in place yet. Who will the standard come from, the FDA, the USDA or will it be the DEA. Right now, all three have their thoughts and ideas but the real question is, who will be the one to oversee and run it. No one knows for sure at this point but we believe that we need to listen to all three. M Six Labs has decided internally in the summer of 2021 to only use a DEA Certified Laboratory for all our testing needs. We believe that currently this will give the best testing results, the most consistent test results, good or bad and allow us and all our clients and their customers to have peace of mind when it comes to products that we make. After all, in an unregulated, non standardized sector, should we not be on the side of caution. After all this is something that someone will us on or in their body.
Third party testing is a very important part of this industry. It will help make it better and stronger. It will someday have a standardization. That standardization will make any lab that wants to participate in this sector accountable.