There are more cannabis products than ever before, with new companies flooding the marijuana market on almost a daily basis. As more products hit the shelves in dispensaries across the country, it can be difficult to distinguish between professional companies that offer high-quality cannabis products and cannabis companies that are out to make some quick cash. In a marketplace inundated with new products, it’s vital consumers know what products are safe and effective, as well as what companies they can trust.

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In order to stand out in a market that is consistently coming up with the “next best thing”, companies are adding test results to their labels to ensure they’re meeting their customers’ expectations. If you’re marketing marijuana to the masses, getting your cannabis products analytically tested by a third-party lab and adding test results to your label is vital to your success. Not only does it offer the consumer peace of mind but it builds the trust that’s imperative to your continued success.

What is Third-Party Cannabis Testing?

Cannabis products are tested in an independent third-party laboratory to provide consumers with information about the products, as well as to ensure products meet any current regulations. A third-party laboratory is one that has no connection or association with the cultivator, manufacturer, company, brand, or consumer. It is an independent testing company in which the results of the test hold no significance.

The objective of third-party testing of cannabis products is to guarantee consumers they are getting a quality product they can trust. When test results are added to the label of a product, consumers are immediately given the assurance that this is a quality product they can trust.

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The most common test results will include cannabinoid profile and potency, terpenes, residual solvents, pesticides, and microbial contamination. Adding these test results to your label ensures your customer that you are providing high-quality cannabis products that can be trusted.

Cannabinoid Profile and Potency Testing

CBD & THC Chemistry

Cannabinoid profile and potency allows consumers to know the precise cannabinoids present in the product. Not only does it offer specific levels of each cannabinoid present (a strong strain like Sour Diesel typically contains between 20-25% THC), but also informs consumers of what cannabinoids the product contains. These include THC, THCA, CBD, CBDA, and CBN.

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Terpene Testing

Testing for terpene content in a product and adding those test results to your label allows your customer to determine the smell and flavor of the product, as well as the effect the product will have. Not only are terpenes responsible for the various aromas of different cannabis strains, but also contain different health benefits. Limonene, for example, has antifungal and antibacterial properties and is also believed to be an anti-carcinogen.

Residual Solvent Testing

Cannabis concentrates are extracted using various solvents such as butane and CO2. The chemical extraction process (think butane) sometimes leaves residual solvents in the end product. When third-party labs test for any residual solvents left over in the final product, manufacturers can then make any modifications necessary so they can offer the highest-quality concentrates available.

Pesticide Testing

Cannabis plants not grown organically are subject to a wide array of pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides. Pesticide testing will determine if any of these chemicals contaminated the cannabis plant during its growth cycle and are present in the final product. Because pesticides can be harmful to human health, knowing what pesticides are present in a product allows consumers to determine whether they want to consume a particular strain or product.

Watering marijuana plant by aerosol can iStock / Zbynek Pospisil

Microbial Contamination Testing

While there are some microbes present in natural products, microbial contamination can contain serious health risks. Deadly Salmonella outbreaks are a perfect example of microbial contamination. This is why third-party labs conduct microbial contamination testing. Testing cannabis for possible salmonella and E. coli contamination are both regarded as opportunistic pathogens and have a zero-tolerance rule when it comes to products ingested by humans.

Adding Test Results to Your Label

Whether selling concentrates, flower, tinctures, or salves and creams, customers are entitled to have all the information they need to make an informed decision on the product they are choosing. With test results offering the information they need, you guarantee your customers they are getting a credible, high-quality product they can trust.

In an industry that’s rapidly growing, more and more people are interested in getting in on the legal cash crop cannabis has become. It’s important for companies seeking success in the industry to offer products the consumer can rely on.

Anyone can say they make the best product or grow the dankest weed, but all cannabis is not created equal. Adding test results to your label is one way to gain your customers' trust and loyalty. Not only can they see test results for themselves, but know you’ve taken the extra step to ensure you’re offering high-quality cannabis they can believe in.