What You Need to Know About Testing CBD Products
Though medicinal use of hemp plants dates back to 1400-2000 BC, domestic use of hemp plants was restricted from the mid-20th century through 2018. With the Agricultural Improvements Acts of 2018, industrial hemp—including its extracts and derivatives—was newly defined as a legal agricultural commodity which now provides opportunities for using hemp-derived chemicals in products.
Hemp-derived chemicals may come from cannabis—a hemp plant commonly used to produce marijuana and cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are chemicals reported to interact with the central nervous system. Over 80 cannabinoids have been identified and grouped based on the structural chemistry of each compound. Some cannabinoids are known to be psychoactive (e.g., delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)) while others are not psychoactive (e.g., cannabidiols (CBD)).
Of these compounds, non-psychoactive CBD is the primary therapeutic cannabinoid of interest. Under the current federal Controlled Substance Act, CBD from industrial hemp containing less than 0.3% THC (dry weight) is no longer classified as a Schedule 1 (i.e., high potential for abuse, illegal) controlled substance and is legal. This also includes derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts and salts of isomers of industrial hemp. (Marijuana is still considered illegal under federal law.)
Food, drug and personal care products containing CBD are still subject to FDA regulation. Presently, three FDA-approved drug products containing pure or synthetic cannabinoids exist on the market. Use of cannabinoids in dietary supplements, as food additives or in new drug products is subject to regulatory evaluation and approval following appropriate testing. As such, claims made for products that contain cannabinoids may influence how the product is viewed by regulatory agencies like the FDA.
We offer a range of analytical expertise including product potency evaluation and safety testing. Our analytical team can assist you with the various types of evaluations required for CBD testing.
Our potency testing methods allow our clients to quantify the exact number of cannabinoids in a given product, confirm and quantify other cannabinoids and ensure the lawfulness of the products (i.e., THC levels do not exceed 0.3% dry weight).
Pesticide testing is available to verify that Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) do not exceed EPA limits. We also offer microbiological and mycotoxin testing to confirm the absence of harmful bacteria and their end products.
Additional important components of CBD testing include terpene and residual solvents testing. Terpenes are aromatic compounds responsible for the color, flavor and smell of cannabis. Terpene testing is an important part of CBD testing approaches as terpene ratios are highly influential with regard to the medicinal properties of cannabis. Residual solvents testing checks for harmful residual solvents (e.g., acetone, ethanol, butane, etc.) leftover from the CBD extraction process. Though most CBD extractions CO2-driven extraction, event solvent-free extractions can produce residual solvents.
CPT Labs is proud to provide our clients with support for their products from the study design phase to claims testing. The precise nature of the product under evaluation will dictate which departments assist with your testing needs. Historically, our drug and personal care clients utilize a combination of our many departments, including:
- Clinical—Custom protocols to meet specialized testing and approval needs based on product use are available.
- In-Vitro Safety—We offer an optimized in-vitro program for efficient, high-quality dermal and ocular irritation screening.
- Microbiology—CPT Labs provides microbiology evaluation programs for all product areas including sterility validation and stability testing programs.
- Photobiology—From SPF protecting efficacy to water resistant testing, CPT Labs is an industry leader in photobiology testing programs.
- Analytical—Our experts provide both testing plan development and testing support to help our clients submit properly executed DNA, IND, and ANDA documents.