coa terpene for cbd oil

The problem with hemp and cannabis labels

You may have noticed recent headlines that warn against inaccurate hemp and cannabis product labels. Studies like the one published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) show that product labels often miscalculate cannabinoid potency or fail to report the existence of cannabinoids that are present in the products. In a study of 84 hemp labels, JAMA found that nearly 70% either over or under-represented their CBD potency. Moreover, 18 of the 84 hemp products contained THC. And in some cases, there was enough THC to produce unwanted intoxicating effects.

Unfortunately, JAMA’s study is one of many that show similar findings, which has led to a growing trend of consumer mistrust. That’s why it’s so important for reputable hemp and cannabis companies to test with third-party laboratories and publish their Certificate of Analysis for customers to review. It’s also just as important for laboratories like ACS to educate customers about what a COA entails and how to read it to find the most pertinent information.

Why are inaccurate labels so common?

Often the reason for inconsistent labeling is lack of federal and state regulation due to the infant nature of the industry. In other words, brands are launching products with unchecked information and zero transparency. But don’t get us wrong. Every inaccurate label you see is not the result of maniacal marketing. Some hemp and cannabis companies have good intentions, yet they may accidentally partner with an unreliable laboratory that provides false results.

So what can consumers do to guarantee the safety and quality of a hemp, cannabis or CBD product BEFORE they buy it? Check for a Certificate of Analysis.

What is a Certificate of Analysis?

Fortunately, many legitimate brands are partnering with certified third party laboratories to publish their lab results with a certificate of analysis (COA). A COA is a verified document that provides details about the testing lab, the brand and product question, along with the potency of the ingredients the product contains. In the case of hemp, CBD and cannabis, the ingredients refer to cannabinoids like THC, CBD, CBG and CBN. COAs may also include terpenes, which are the aromatic ingredients that contribute to the product’s scent, flavor and therapeutic profile.

In addition to the potency of ingredients, the COA is vital for consumers to determine whether or not the product is free from harmful contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides, molds and bacteria. USDA and State guidelines require that all products be tested. If there is no COA available do not consume or buy the product.

Where to Find a COA?

Many companies are starting to print QR codes on the product’s outer packaging, which can be scanned to view the full COA report. Other companies publish COAs online in the product description portion of their website. If the COA is not transparent from one of these sources, consumers should consider contacting the company to request a COA before purchasing the product.

How to Read a COA

//To be sure the label is accurate and the product is safe//

Header (sample COA)

The header of the COA is important because it contains details that help you trust the legitimacy of the data.

What to Look For First:

The first piece of information you’ll want to look at is the Report Date to be sure that the results are recent and relevant. Then you’ll want to confirm that the name of the third-party laboratory is listed prominently so that you can verify the lab’s existence and credentials. Then you’ll want to look for the name of the product’s brand and cross reference it with the brand listed on the product packaging. The names should match, unless the company contracted another manufacturer to make the product. If that’s the case, you may need to dig a little deeper to confirm that the COA is directly connected to the product in question. Finally, you’ll want to check that the batch number and description in the COA match what you see on the item you’re purchasing.

Results Summary

As a consumer, you may not need to look any further than the summary section of the COA because it provides all the key results at a glance.

What to Look For First:

In the example above, you can see that the hemp company tested the potency of all cannabinoids . You can also see that the brand conducted safety testing for contaminants ( residual solvents, heavy metals, pathogenic microbiology, etc. ) and that it passed every test. The presence of both ingredient and safety information tells you right away that this COA represents a full panel, as opposed to potency testing only.

Immediately below the testing summary, you can see the potency results for the most well-known and therapeutic cannabinoids . As a customer, you probably want to know how much CBD, CBG, CBN, or THC the product contains to deliver the effect you desire. Moreover, if you’re purchasing a hemp product, you want to be sure that it contains less than the legal limit of .3% THC. And you want to be 100% sure at glance.

Potency (Cannabinoids & Terpenes)

After the summary, you may want to dive deeper into the COA to discover exactly which cannabinoids and terpenes your product contains and how concentrated they are.

What to Look For First:

The Result (mg/g) column tells you how many mgs of each cannabinoid ( Analyte ) is concentrated within every gram of the product. Note that you may also see results measured in mg/ml if the tested product is a liquid or oil. You may also see blanks in the Results column, like in the COA above next to THCA-A. A blank result means the laboratory did not detect statistically significant levels of the compound.

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The % column converts the concentration of each cannabinoid from mg per gram to a percentage of overall weight of the product. This conversion is simply another way to look at the same Result, but is often easier for consumers to understand.

As a customer you can quickly look at the % column above to realize that the product does not contain enough CBC, CBC, CBDV, CBN and CBG to have an effect on your mind or body. On the other hand, you can quickly see that CBD is much more prominent in the product at 18.5%. Finally, you can confirm that it does not contain any detectable levels of THC.

Safety Test Results

//Residual solvents, heavy metals, mycotoxins, and pesticides//

The sections above show the results of safety testing for harmful contaminants such as residual solvents, heavy metals, mycotoxins and pesticides. The Analytes tested represent the most common toxins in each category–all of which may cause illness, cognitive degradation and in the worst cases death. In the COA example above, the product was tested and confirmed safe on all counts.

What to Look For First:

Despite knowing the product passed all safety tests, you may still want to review the results. In this case, you’ll start at the Action Level column, which indicates the safe allowable limits for each analyte. In the ACS Laboratory COA above, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services determined the Action Levels that are safe for human consumption.

You may also notice that the Action Level is measured in ppm or ppb . 1 PPM equals 1 mg/kg and 1 PPB equals 1 ug/kg. So if the Action Level is 500 ppm for a toxin, the product can contain 500 mg of the toxin for every kg of product weight (If your brain is starting to hurt, just remember that 500 ppm is a teeny tiny acceptable amount).

Now, let’s move to the Result column, which is the most important part of each safety test section. In the Result column, you’ll notice “<LOQ” listed next to every analyte. <LOQ translates to “less than the Limit of Quantification,” which means the pesticide, metal, or microbial analyte was confirmed below the safe allowable limit.

As a consumer you want to be sure that every analyte tests below the safe limit before you purchase or ingest the product. Moreover you want to be sure that your product was thoroughly tested for every major contaminant. Look for COAs that test for at least 11 residual solvents, 4 heavy metals, 5 mycotoxins and 61 pesticides.

Safety Test Results Continued

Pathogenic microbiology contaminants are the most dangerous substances to ingest. If you accidentally consume the bacteria Listeria Monocytogenes, you will undoubtedly develop a fever, muscle aches, and occasionally gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea. You are also at risk of the infection spreading to the nervous system, which can cause pain, loss of balance, and seizures.

What to Look For First:

Because of how dangerous this analyte is, you want to look at the Result column and confirm that it says “ absence .” Any detectable level will warrant a Failed result.


In addition to the header, the footer is an important part of legitimizing the COA. The footer lets you know that the third party laboratory is transparent and accountable to its results. It also tells you more information about who the laboratory is and how to reach them with questions.

What to Look For First:

In the footer, make sure you find proof that the laboratory stands by its results. In the example above, you’ll notice that ACS Laboratory’s Head Lab Toxicologist and Principal Scientist both signed off on the COA’s data.

You’ll also want to locate the laboratory’s license and credentials to be sure that you can trust the accuracy of its methods and results. All labs MUST have a license number to be legally compliant. But, not every laboratory needs to have a CLIA No to test hemp and cannabis. If you see a CLIA number on a COA you can rest assured that the lab has undergone rigorous protocols to meet medical-grade laboratory standards.

Top 6 Red Flags to Watch Out For

//When comparing the COA to the product in question//

  1. Missing safety tests
  2. Missing cannabinoids
  3. No lab certifications
  4. Too much THC
  5. Less CBD (or other cannabinoid) than advertised
  6. Less terpenes than advertised


When cannabis companies engage in third party testing they’re showing that they value quality and customer safety above all else. Moreover, their willingness to publish the COA along with the product shows they are open and honest. During this time of great regulatory uncertainty, customers deserve nothing less than total transparency.

Want to learn more about ACS Laboratory’s COA and testing protocols? Contact us today.

How to Read a CBD Certificate of Analysis

As leading industry experts in all things hemp, no one knows better than Manitoba Harvest how important quality and transparency are when it comes to choosing a CBD oil. We also know that there can be a lot of information to absorb when you’re reading a CBD product’s Certificate of Analysis. So let’s break down what a Certificate of Analysis is, why it’s important, and what you can learn from it.

What is a Certificate of Analysis?

If you only remember one thing about buying CBD oil, let it be this: always look for a Certificate of Analysis, or COA. No CBD oil company is worth your time if they do not offer – in a clear, easy-to-find format – a third-party tested Certificate of Analysis for every batch of products they make.

Why is a COA so important? Hemp is naturally a bioaccumulator, meaning it easily absorbs substances from the earth. That might include pesticides and other harmful chemicals. The extraction method that a CBD oil company uses can also affect the quality of its products: some extraction methods and carrier oils can lead to volatile, inconsistent products or unsafe chemical residues. We are proud to us a CO2 extraction process that is free of solvents and harmful residues and organic Coconut MCT Oil as our carrier oil.

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Our Product Testing Page makes it quick and easy to look up the lot number of your CBD oil product – oils, softels, and CBD protein powders all have lot numbers (located on the bottom of every container of Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract with CBD).

You type that lot number into our Product Testing Page, et voilà, a COA! The information you’ll find in a COA can be broken down into six major categories. Let’s look at each of them:

Cannabinoid Profile

This section of the COA details precisely which cannabinoids are present in this batch. Here, you can see that CBD is the most present cannabinoid, and there is less than .005% THC, which occurs naturally in hemp – that’s far less than the maximum 0.3% THC that can legally be present per the 2018 Farm Bill.

The “profile” section shows that you’re getting all the goodness of CBD with less than .01% THC.


We love terpenes! You love terpenes! And there are so many great ones in every batch of Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract. This section of the COA breaks down which ones are present and in what quantities. We encourage you to read the blog post linked above to read about the benefits of terpenes, and to do your own research and look up terpene names to learn more.

Microbiological and Mycotoxins

The “microbiological” and “mycotoxins” sections’ job is to assure you that your Hemp Extract product is free from harmful microorganisms. Mycotoxins that come from fungus are commonly found in plants – but you definitely don’t want them in the hemp extract you’ve made part of your daily routine, and our CO2 extraction process removes them safely and effectively. Microorganisms like bacteria, yeast, and mold are an important safety concern – as they should be for any reputable CBD company – and Manitoba Harvest adds steps in the manufacturing processes to ensure that Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP) are followed to ensure these harmful microorganisms do not get introduced to the product.


Other contaminants are commonly found in plants, such as solvents, pesticides, and heavy metals. Once again, you can trust our CO2 extraction process to remove all those unwanted contaminants. Hang on, you might think, what’s up with those hemp plants having so many contaminants? Good question! The hemp plant is a natural bioaccumulator – meaning it easily absorbs substances from the soil, including pesticides and harmful chemicals. Scientists are even studying how well hemp plants could be used to naturally clean harmful substances from soil all over the planet! That’s why our extraction process is so important: it rids the hemp extract of those chemicals while still maintaining a stable, consistent product with no chemical residues.


“Organoleptic” is a science-y word for the sensory experiences that food and other ingestibles create. Our Organoleptic profile shows consistent shape, size, and color – the organoleptic profile on the COAs of our CBD oil drops and sprays also note odor, and the COAs for our CBD protein powder indicates flavor.

Physical Dosage

This section can vary a little depending on the product, but in short we want to assure you are getting exactly the amount of Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract with CBD that we say you are. Information here may include the fill volume of a bottle of oil drops, the fill weight of a CBD softgel, and a softgel’s “rupture time” (or how quickly it begins dissolving into your system).

We stand behind every single Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract with 100% confidence, and encourage you to spend some time with a batch report of any product you purchase. We know that you deserve the kind of transparency and peace of mind that a Certificate of Analysis offers so you know you’re getting an absolutely premium CBD product.

Check out a Certificate of Analysis by visiting our Batch Reports page! If you have any questions, that’s what we’re here for. Give us a call at 1-(800)-665-HEMP(4367), or use our contact page to reach out.

The information provided is for informational purposes only. None of the information provided here should be considered medical advice or treatment recommendations. Consult with your health care provider if you have questions about incorporating CBD into your wellness regimen.

What are the terpenes used for in CBD?

We’re hearing more and more about CBD oil and how it’s being used by people suffering from a variety of health issues, including anxiety, insomnia, or illnesses like multiple sclerosis or fibromyalgia.

An important component of cannabis plants, and plants in general, that promotes this therapeutic aspect are terpenes. Terpenes, elements present in cannabis but not psychoactive like CBD, offer impressive health benefits.

In the botanical field, terpenes are a defense system to prevent plants from being eaten by herbivores or damaged by high temperatures. They also attract pollinators such as bees

For humans, different terpenes have different effects and health benefits. Every plant has a unique blend of terpenes and every human will react to them differently.

In this article, we will find out what exactly terpenes are and why they are so important. Finally, we will look at the most well-known terpenes, their benefits and their use

What are terpenes?

Terpenes are volatile compounds found in plants and responsible for their aromas. We encounter terpenes every time we smell a flower or taste fresh fruit. They are all around us.

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The purpose of terpenes is to protect the plant they inhabit, while giving it a unique aromatic specificity. Terpenes are one of the reasons why there is such a wide variety of cannabis plants, with different tastes and aromas. Some terpenes are very powerful and can have therapeutic functions.

There are several hundred different terpenes in the world, and more than 200 have been identified in cannabis plants. There are surely many more to be discovered. However, only a few terpenes in industrial hemp are concentrated enough to be considered significant. We will detail some of them in this article

Terpenes in CBD oil

In order to understand their usefulness in CBD oil, we must first differentiate between terpenes and terpenoids. Terpenes are the natural compounds in the flower or bud of the cannabis plant. Terpenoids, on the other hand, are terpenes that have been chemically modified. The process of drying and hardening a cannabis flower leads to the formation of terpenoids.

For example, Full Spectrum CBD oil will contain terpenes because the entire cannabis plant is used in its production. On the contrary, CBD isolate will not have any because it is pure CBD. Many of the plant’s natural components are lost during production, including other cannabinoids and terpenes. To remedy this, some manufacturers add terpenoids to supposedly enhance the effects of CBD.

Scientists have been studying the properties of terpenes for some time now and have come to an important conclusion. Hemp cannabinoids (like CBD) work more effectively in the presence of terpenes, rather than when isolated on their own.

This suggests that full spectrum CBD products would be more effective in a physiological sense. More studies need to be conducted to better understand the full spectrum of CBD and the benefits of terpenes on the body. So if you’re looking for a CBD oil that contains a range of beneficial and natural terpenes, you’ll opt for a full spectrum product

You can find high quality Full Spectrum Premium CBD on our 321 CBD French store.

The benefits of terpenes in CBD

Terpenes are very important in cannabis because not only can they tailor the experience of CBD oil users, but they can also enhance the effects of the main cannabinoids. Many users find CBD oil with terpenes more beneficial than a distillate or isolate product.

Also, each terpene has its own set of benefits. For example, oils high in linalool and myrcene, two terpenes known for their mild and relaxing properties, are effective for sleep. CBD oils with terpenes like limonene and caryophyllene can be used to help provide energy and increased levels of concentration

Terpenes therefore offer incredible therapeutic functions: anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, analgesic, antimicrobial etc. It is impossible to list all terpenes and their benefits in one article. However, we can distinguish the most well-known ones and their benefits.

The 5 terpenes to know in CBD


Myrcene terpenes are among the most common terpenes associated with hemp. They have a rich, earthy, herbal scent. Although it is the smallest terpene in cannabis, it can produce powerful relaxing effects on the body, leading to feelings of drowsiness. As for its health benefits, Myrcene has antibacterial and analgesic properties.


Another very common terpene in hemp is Linalool. It is a compound that has a floral and delicate aroma, common to many plant species (including lavender). As for the effects of terpene Linalool, some brands add it to their topical product line for its lovely scent, which is commonly used in aromatherapy. Linalool works effectively on sleep and anxiety.


The terpene Limonene is commonly found in the peels of citrus fruits, especially lemons. It is also a crucial terpene in many hemp extract products, and adds a wonderful boost in terms of the flavor and aroma profile of a CBD oil. Limonene is known to have antifungal properties. It can also improve mood, reduce inflammation and curb anxiety. Adding Limonene to CBD oil can increase the absorption rate of other terpenes.


Pinene terpenes are found in pine needles. But they are also found in several distinct strains of hemp. Pinene is also found in a number of conifers, as well as in some citrus fruits. It has a distinct aroma, and its presence is immediately recognizable in a variety of CBD products. It has been mentioned in traditional Chinese medicine for its therapeutic qualities. It can be used as an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and bronchodilator.


One of the most abundant terpenes of all, Caryophyllene is found in cloves, cinnamon and black pepper, as well as in hemp. It offers a woody, spicy aroma. The most intriguing feature of this terpene is its ability to interact with the endocannabinoid system in the same way as cannabinoids. In addition, it can produce analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects.

How to choose your CBD oil with terpenes?

When choosing your CBD oil, first make sure that the product has been tested by a laboratory and has a valid certificate of analysis. This will give you a better chance of knowing if it contains terpenes, and if so which ones.

The CA or CoA is a certificate of analysis that includes a phytocannabinoid profile listing the levels of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids, as well as the terpenes in the product. It is the most important tool for determining the quality and purity of a CBD product

Overall, it’s clear that terpenes are essential not only in hemp, but also in a countless variety of plants and their essential oil extracts. Terpenes can give an extra boost to any hemp product. To check out our terpene-rich product lines, visit our French CBD store.