How to Read a Certificate of Analysis for CBD

by | Dec 18, 2020 | CBD Education

CBD is one of the safest and most commonly used medications in the country. It is used to help treat several different types of conditions, including mental illnesses and physical health problems. When you buy a CBD product, you can look up its certificate of analysis to ensure that what you are about to take is safe and high quality. This is a document that describes the composition of a product, as issued by an accredited laboratory. It is an important piece of documentation to hold on to and refer to before use. But when you go to look at the certificate of analysis, you might find that you do not know where to even begin. That is because a certificate of analysis (or a COA) can be hard to read if you are unfamiliar with what you are looking at. When you know what to look for, however, you can ensure that the CBD product in your possession is one that is safe to use. 

How to Read a Certificate of Analysis 

Once you pull up the certificate of analysis for the CBD product you want to use, you will want to make sure that several things check out. Consider the following:


  • Check the date — The date on the COA should be recent. If the COA has an older date on it, that likely means that the company does not do the appropriate testing of the product as frequently as it should. An older date can also mean that they did not yield the same or better results in this batch, hence why they use older information.
  • Make sure it matches — It might sound like something so simple but make sure that the name on your product matches the name on the COA. You want to be gathering information about the product you have, not a different one. Typically, the name of the product is included in the header of the COA.

  • Check for legal levels of THC — The COA breaks down how much of what is in the CBD product you are looking up. That means it includes the amount of THC that is present in the product. The legal amount of THC in CBD is 0.3% or less, so on the COA, look for the percentage of Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC). Anything 0.3% or less checks out as being safe and incapable of producing any mind-altering effects.

  • Look to verify how much CBD is present — Under the line item “cannabidiol,” you should see how many milligrams per gram of CBD are in your product. You will want to make sure that the milligrams per gram in the product match with the marketed amount of CBD. This information may also be reported as milligrams per milliliter or milligrams in the entire product, so pay close attention to how the numbers in the COA are labeled.

  • Check the Microbe Test- The microbial test provides information on any potential contaminants that got into the product. Look for a result of ND which means “none-detected,” ideally.

  • Check for signatures — At the bottom of the COA, there should be a signature from the person who prepared the certificate and one from the person it was approved by. This is the last step in making sure that your COA reflects the integrity of your CBD product. The people carrying out the analysis should not come from the company or manufacturer itself. Unbiased, reliable reporting can only come from an accredited lab.

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Protecting Your Health

By making sure all of this information is correct, you are protecting your health and wellbeing. You never want to put anything into your body that could potentially harm you, which is why learning how to properly read a COA is critical. CBD is still considered a supplement rather than a medication by the FDA which means that CBD products are not closely monitored for quality standards and safety. Products can be labeled incorrectly or in misleading ways and consumers simply need to do further digging into products by reading the COA.

The COA will reveal the actual composition of each product. You can find it through a QR code on the label of whichever product you have purchased. Simply scan the QR code with your smartphone and read the COA according to the guidelines described above. Unfortunately, you cannot always see a COA before purchasing a product which can be frustrating. You may be able to google it, get it from the company directly by contacting them, or finding it from the third-party labs that do product testing, though. 

Shop CBD at Neuro XPF

One way to feel safer about your CBD products is to be discerning about the brands you choose. It’s important to understand and recognize quality brands that also test for heavy metals, mold, and other harmful properties in each batch of CBD. At Neuro XPF, we do just this. We ensure our products prove above average with our testing. We provide a certificate of analysis for each of our products, so you know exactly what you’re getting. Shop our CBD products today.

<a href="" target="_self">Kyle Turley</a>

Kyle Turley


Kyle Turley is a former NFL football offensive tackle. Outspoken with his use of Cannabis and CBD, he credits Cannabis for saving his life and continues to help create policy change around marijuana use in the NFL. He is a member of the Doctors for Cannabis Regulation NFL steering committee and is passionate about helping professional athletes suffering from physical and psychological issues recover with the help of CBD. Learn more about Kyle Turley

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