- Jason Cragholm in CBD

Why Every CBD Brand Should Make COAs Publicly Available

It’s imperative that CBD brands make it as easy as possible for consumers to identify high quality CBD products. Fortunately, there are specific steps that CBD brands can take to prove their CBD products are the best

One of the most important steps is CBD brand transparency, which starts with having all of your products tested by a third-party lab that is not affiliated with your company and making all test results accessible to consumers through publicly available Certificates of Analysis (COAs) - an official document that shows the results of scientific tests performed on a product, including CBD products. 

Why CBD Brands Should Make COAs Publicly Available


Hemp is a “remediation crop” which means anything that touches it could end up in the final products made from it. Through a process called phytoremediation, the hemp plant naturally cleans toxins from soil and stores those toxins throughout the plant. It also absorbs man-made pollutants and heavy metals like lead, nickel, cadmium, and selenium. 

CBD manufacturers that prioritize quality and safety will only source hemp from cultivators who take steps to grow plants that aren’t exposed to pollutants, and they’ll do the appropriate testing to prove it. They’ll also use extraction and manufacturing processes that don’t risk adding residual solvents or other dangerous chemicals to their products. 

Furthermore, CBD manufacturers that care about the safety of consumers and the quality of their products will invest in testing (sometimes multiple times throughout the production process) and won’t try to hide those results. Instead, they’ll make the results freely available to consumers on their websites by publishing their COAs online. 

Consumers can review the COAs to see a list of chemical components in the tested CBD product and their quantities at any time. Having access to this data helps consumers feel confident that the products they’re buying include the advertised amounts of CBD and THC but don’t include dangerous components that could be harmful if consumed.

What COAs Should Include


The data in a COA can tell consumers a lot about the quality and safety of a CBD product. 

COAs should include the batch number being tested, and the corresponding batch number should appear on associated product labels. A COA report should also include the name and amount of all cannabinoids found in the product being tested. 

In addition, a COA should include test results for chemical components that should not be found in CBD products, including:

  • Microbials: Such as mold and salmonella which can be found in products derived from plants
  • Residual Solvents: From the extraction process
  • Heavy Metals: Like lead, arsenic, and methyl mercury which could pass to the plants used to produce the CBD product from the soil those plants were grown in
  • Pesticides: Including pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides introduced on or near the plants used to manufacture the CBD product
Again, testing is key, and third-party COA reports are the most valuable tool that consumers can use to identify the safest CBD products.

Remember, a research study by the Center for Food Safety and the Center for Cannabis Safety found that nearly half of CBD producers received failing or nearly failing grades based on their production and processing methods, testing protocols, and transparency to consumers. 

A separate study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that of 84 CBD products tested, more than one in four (26%) contained doses that were lower than what was printed on the product label.

Those research results should tell you the CBD brands that commit to safety, quality, and transparency in the future – and make their COAs publicly available to prove it – have a significant opportunity to gain sizeable market share in the near future. 

And when those CBD brands get high QualSCORE Quality Ratings and obtain SAFE Certification for their CBD products, they’ll be well-positioned to dominate the market!

Consumers Want CBD Product Transparency


Consumers want transparency from CBD brands, and they want to know that the CBD products they buy are safe, high quality, and effective. A 2020 study by High Yield Insights puts this into perspective. Consider these statistics from the study:

  • Only one in three consumers (34%) are confident that CBD products are safe.
  • Fewer than one in five consumers (19%) can distinguish safe and effective CBD products.
  • Only 16% of consumers are confident in the potency or concentration information on CBD product labels.
  • Fewer than one in three consumers (29%) understand how much CBD to take.
Bottom-line, consumers need more confidence in the safety, quality, and efficacy of CBD products. Use COA reports and QualSCORE to prove to them that your brand is among the best on the market.

Want to learn how QualSCORE can help your CBD brand dominate in the marketplace? Follow the link to schedule a free 15-minute demo.
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