How to Spot a Fake COA
Whenever you buy a hemp-based product, one of the first things you should look for is a lab report, also known as a certificate of analysis (CoA). This piece of paper is the only piece of objective information regarding the product you’re eyeing, which means that the information it contains comes from an objective source rather than the company that is trying to sell you their hemp.
A lab report should be provided for each hemp product on the market, as this has become standard throughout the industry, and a major way in which the industry regulates itself for the benefit of consumers. But, beyond looking for the lab report itself, you should also look for the signs that tell you that the lab report is authentic, because, believe it or not, some companies make fake lab reports, usually to hide the fact that what they’re selling is either illegitimate, illegal or extremely low in quality.
What is a Lab Report?
A lab report, or CoA, is a sheet of paper that comes from a third-party laboratory that has been given a license by their state to have the authority to test samples of hemp produced by businesses. When a company that sells hemp produces a new batch of a flower product or a hemp extract, it should be sent off to a laboratory to be analyzed. This allows the laboratory to record objective, unbiased information about the overall quality and legitimacy of the hemp that a company is using to make their products.
Once the laboratory sends the lab report to the manufacturer, the manufacturer should put the lab report on their website. This can either be found alongside the product description, or on a separate page that simply puts all of the lab reports together.
Why are Hemp Lab Reports So Important?
A hemp lab report is a critical piece of content provided by any company that sells hemp products. The hemp industry has had to work hard to prove its legitimacy to consumers, and sadly, the market does have some fake as well as generally low-quality products out there. A hemp lab report gives a brand a chance to prove to consumers that they are producing authentic, high-quality hemp. The overall practice of lab-testing also gives customers the confidence they need to buy cannabidiol (CBD) or delta 8 THC, as they know that they can verify that what they’re getting is the real deal.
Third-party testing of hemp products is also required by law, primarily to ensure that the products comply with federal legislation regarding hemp. The law requires that all hemp products contain no more than 0.3% delta 9 THC, and this is one of many things that labs test for during the analysis process.
The Standard Information You’ll Find on a Lab Report
Lab reports all contain the same pieces of critical information pertaining to the hemp that has been tested. Here are the key things that you’ll find on a lab report.
- The Breakdown of Chemical Compounds: At the top of the page, you’ll find a breakdown of each chemical compound present in the hemp sample, including its cannabinoids and terpenes. Here, you will be able to see how much delta 9 THC is in the product to know whether or not it complies with the law.
- The Presence of Impurities: There will also be a section that tells you whether or not there are any impurities in the product. Impurities can include solvents like butane, or another ingredient that accidentally made its way into the hemp.
- The Presence of Toxins: Toxins like heavy metals must be tested for, as they can be extremely harmful to our health if consumed in any way.
- The Presence of Microbes: Microbes are also identified in a lab report, such as certain bacteria and fungi.
Can a Lab Report Be Faked?
Alarmingly, some very disreputable brands out there will fake their lab reports, hoping that customers just don’t notice. A fake lab report is not common to come across, since it’s so easy to identify, but this doesn’t stop all companies from doing it. In fact, these brands are not only deceiving customers, but they’re breaking the law, which means that it is hard to trust that they are selling authentic, safe, and high-quality products. Instead, choose a com[any that does offer legitimate third-party lab reports like Sconi Boys. This way, you will know confidently that you’re getting only the finest hemp that the market has to offer.
Now, fortunately for you, there are some simple ways to know whether or not you’re looking at a fake lab report.
Tip #1: Consider the Company’s Reputation
Before you do anything else, it’s always good to determine the reputation of a hemp company, in order to have an idea as to whether or not they’re even likely to fake a lab report.
- A company that has great reviews and is generally known as a trustworthy brand is unlikely to fake their lab reports, as it’s clear that customers are happy with the products they sell, and because they wouldn’t want to damage their reputation as they have a lot more to lose.
- Similarly, a company that doesn’t offer contact info on their website is more likely to fake a lab report.
- Failing to offer a means for contacting the brand implies that they don’t want you to contact them, because they have something to hide.
Tip #2: Look for the Lab Name
At the very top of a lab report should be the name of the lab that created the report. You can look this name up to see if the lab exists, and to check to see if they have a state-provided license that indicates that they are permitted by their state to test samples of hemp.
Tip #3: Look for Information Missing or Whited Out
A lab report that clearly has critical information, such as the THC content, missing is a big warning sign that you’re looking at a fake lab report. Information that has been whited out doesn’t indicate a fake report necessarily but can mean that the company is clearly trying to hide information from customers.
Tip #4: Search for a Certification Number and Date
A lab report should have a certification number and date, both of which further verify that the hemp has, in fact, been tested by a legitimate laboratory and allow the lab report to be referenced by the lab. A lab report that is missing this information is likely a fake.