Have you ever wondered why different third-party testing labs can test the same samples or batches, but then provide varying test results?
Have your potency results ever been reported as > 100% CBD?
LET’S SHED SOME LIGHT ON THESE MYSTERIES.
Precision Plant Molecules manufactures CBD products from hemp and performs in-house analytical testing as well as third-party testing at accredited labs to ensure the highest quality products are delivered to our customers.
In Colorado, there are eleven state-certified analytical testing facilities for cannabis. Unbiased, outside testing can inform the grower, the product manufacturer, and the customer of the product potency and assure there is no contamination from harmful chemicals and microbiota.
But are third-party lab test results reliable?
Occasionally, seeing lab results over 100% purity can be very confusing. Many lab customers complain that results seem very inconsistent or don’t make sense at all.
Results over 100% values are due to the accumulation of uncertainty. Theoretically, you can’t have more than 100% of anything. Scientifically, when you combine the uncertainty of the chemical standards, laboratory processes, laboratory equipment, and laboratory personnel, the additive effect of uncertainty is a +/- value that can lead to a final value in excess of 100% for very pure compounds. Labs don’t adjust the values to just be 100% because that would completely negate the defensibility of the data. ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation requires test labs to minimize the uncertainty to the best of their scientific ability.
And what about inconsistent results?
Every test is influenced by pre-analytical variables like sampling technique and timing of collection, conditions of the growing environment, nutrient and amendment selection, etc. Plant material such as hemp flower can also vary a surprising amount, with a general normal variation between samples 4-7% within the same loci, and as much as 12-15% across the plant. Therefore, it is important to homogenize and give representative samples to the testing lab.
The results of third-party state-certified labs are reliable. Private testing labs and mobile testing labs do not have the same certification and may have greater margins of error. Having a good relationship with a reliable lab will help save both time and money and promote a higher quality line of products.
Here are some tips for when you send your samples for testing:
For flower samples, make sure you submit a well homogenized, representative sample since the sample prep technician may homogenize your sample, or they may not homogenize at all. Homogenization techniques vary, e.g. mortar and pestle or simply squeezing the bag that the sample was submitted in. This is one reason why testing results can vary from lab to lab.
Establish a good relationship with the analysts at your testing lab. Analysts have a passion for excellent customer service and will call you in person if there are issues with your samples. For example, PPM works closely with AgriScience Labs: Cannabis Testing Facility
because of their excellent customer service and superior testing procedures.
Don’t hesitate to call your testing facility if you are either confused about your results or if you have questions regarding the values.
Precision Plant Molecules
Analytical Lab Manager
PPM, is a science-based, non-psychotropic cannabinoids processor and supplier, serving the most exacting consumer products companies worldwide as a trusted supply chain partner. PPM’s chemistry-informed hemp extraction, refinement, and purification technologies, and its state-of-the-art analytical testing and R&D lab instrumentation ensure its products are consistent. We only manufacture fully traceable, clean extracts of the highest purity and customize them to each of our customer’s specific profile requirements. We are applying pharma and other industry methodologies to pioneering new products, including novel bioavailability, formulation ratios of CBD and minor cannabinoids and terpenes, and various oil and distillate offerings that are THC-free.
Founding Team Members (Academic Degree)
Dr. Andrea Holmes, CGO (Organic Chemistry, Ph.D.)
Steve Kazemi, COO (Chemistry)
David Symonsbergen, CSO (Organic Chemistry, Masters)
Sarah Lal, Analytical Lab Manager (Chemistry)
James Burlage, Business Development (Biology)
David Hanson, CEO (Engineering)