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Why Are CBD Lab Sheets Important and How To Read Them?

CBD Lab Sheet

As you begin to explore the world of cannabidiol (CBD), you’ll quickly notice that top-rated brands provide lab verifications for their products. These CBD lab sheets – often referred to as certificates of analysis (COA) – are the key to knowing what is or is not in the important hemp extract that makes a CBD product special.

As a consumer, it’s very important that you understand how to read lab test results so you know exactly what you’re putting in or on your body! This article takes you through the general concepts of lab testing and outlines common screenings to empower you to verify any product(s) you’re considering.

Why are lab sheets needed?

In June 2018, the FDA approved the first pharmaceutical product containing CBD called Epidiolex. Despite this approval, the rest of the industry continues to operate in an unregulated space. There is currently no quality or content control on CBD products sold in the general consumer market.

On top of this, CBD has exploded into the mainstream consciousness and the industry is growing extremely rapidly. This growth has seen hundreds if not thousands of new brands flood the market in the last few years.

This opportunity has unfortunately attracted poor quality players in it for a quick buck. Without industry standards in place, the quality of CBD products is all over the place. Unlabeled CBD products are common and even worse there are reports of harmful synthetic knock-offs. As a consumer, this means you need to be very careful when shopping around.

Luckily, industry-leading consumer brands have led the charge by pioneering transparency practices. Top companies are publicly displaying full company information, disclosing their production practices, and providing product contents via lab reports. This level of reporting falls in line with some of the most comprehensive state-level medical marijuana testing requirements.

CBD Lab sheets empower consumers by providing the opportunity to discover exactly what is in each and every product they purchase. This is obviously essential in today’s unregulated marketplace. There are a growing number of brands including this practice in their business and even today we encourage customers only to purchase from brands that provide lab sheets for their products!

If you are a GENESIS LIFE customer or prospective customer, know that we provide lab sheets for every product we sell. You can find them all listed here, as well as on each individual product page.

Understanding CBD Product Composition

Before we begin to dive in and start looking at individual lab sheets, it’s important to understand the fundamental makeup of a CBD product.

Every product on the market contains a cannabis-extracted base ingredient in the form of a hemp extract or CBD isolate. These compounds provide the cannabis content that makes a CBD product a CBD product. You’ll find extracts and isolates offered for purchase as standalone products or combined with additional ingredients to create a specific type of product.

The difference between these two core ingredients is important to understand:

  • CBD extract is a thick, oily substance containing the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the plant. This extract also contains terpenes, amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins, fatty acids, and other compounds from the source material.
  • CBD isolate is a crystalline substance produced by further processing a CBD extract to remove all other compounds, leaving only the single CBD molecule – usually 95%+ pure CBD.

The contents of an extract or an isolate will vary depending on the hemp source and extraction method used.

CBD lab sheets allow you to determine the cannabis content, quality and verify that your product is free of contaminants including heavy metals, mold, pesticides and more. In some cases, lab reports may even be provided for other ingredients in a CBD product, like carrier oils.

How to Read CBD Lab Sheet Screenings

Now that you understand why we need lab sheets, let’s dive in and look at how to read them!

When a lab test is performed, there are a number of possible screenings that can be run on a given sample. These screenings are used to determine the potency and purity of the hemp contents of the product. Below we dive into the most common reports you’ll run across.

Please note that across these screenings you will see ‘ND’ repeated frequently. This is the abbreviation for ‘none detected’.

Cannabinoid Profile

Cannabinoids are the cannabis-derived molecules that provide the main therapeutic properties that people are after. These compounds include well-known examples like CBD or THC and lesser-known molecules like CBG, CBC, or even raw acid forms.

The cannabinoid profile is the most commonly offered of all screenings we will discuss. This report displays the cannabinoid content levels found in a given product. From this report you can determine:

  • The spectrum of a product by observing the presence of measured cannabinoids.
  • The potency of a product by observing the concentration of measured cannabinoids (often presented as a percent of weight or mg/mL).
  • If a product contains non-decarboxylated raw material by observing the presence and ratios of acid forms to non-acid cannabinoid forms.

Let’s take a look at a few example screenings broken up by spectrum:

full spectrum product contains a wide range of cannabinoids including THC:Full Spectrum Lab Sheet

broad-spectrum product contains a wide range of cannabinoids present, without Delta-9 THC:Broad Spectrum Lab Sheet

An isolate-based product contains only CBD:Isolate Lab Sheet

What About Full/Broad Spectrum Products Displaying an ‘Isolate-Looking’ Report?

There are some cases where a product will claim to be full or broad spectrum yet show a cannabinoid report that appears to be an isolate. This can be due to testing the lower concentration end product vs the extract itself. It can also be due to the now-common use of low-cost HPLC testing.

If you run into lab sheets that look like this, there are two important things to check to confirm that the product is actually full/broad spectrum:

  1. The terpene profile will show a wide range of terpene content. Isolates will not have any terpenes (unless manually added back in).
  2. The ingredients list will show a phytocannabinoid-rich or oil-based extract. Isolates will show a crystalline extract. If there is no ingredients list, buyer beware.

Terpene Profile

Terpenes are the aromatic oils found in cannabis that are present in full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and terpsolate. These compounds offer potential health benefits and additionally interact with the cannabinoids and other contents of an extract in a phenomenon known as the entourage effect. Terpenes are stripped during the process used to create a CBD isolate, but are sometimes added back in to create what the industry calls a ‘terpsolate’.

A terpene screening displays the presence and concentration of terpenes in a given product, often measured as parts per million (PPM). These reports are generally straightforward to read showing the levels of each:Terpene Lab Results

Heavy Metal Screening

This screening verifies that an extract is free of heavy metal contamination. The report measures heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead against allowable limits:Heavy Metals Lab Sheet

Microbiology Screening

This screening verifies that a product is free of microbes like yeast, molds, E-coli, and salmonella:Microbials Lab Sheet

Mycotoxin Screening

This screening verifies that a sample is free of mycotoxins which are toxic substances produced by fungus:Mycotoxin Lab Sheet

Pesticide Screening

This report verifies that a sample is free of pesticides. This confirms that the hemp source was grown using pesticide-free and organic methods in clean soil:Pesticides Lab Sheet

Solvent Residue Screening

Many extraction methods used to create hemp extracts require the use of chemical solvents. This report displays if any solvent residue remains after extraction:Solvents Lab Sheet

Now that you understand why lab sheets are so important, and how to read them, you’re ready to set out to find high-quality products.



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Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, CBD Isolate: What’s the difference?

By now, when shopping for CBD Oil, you’ve probably come across products labeled as full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate and wondered, “what’s the difference?”. Don’t’ worry, you’re not alone. These terms sound similar, but they are far from being the same thing.

They are used to define which type of CBD is used in a product. Each type presents different important factors to consider and understanding the differences is essential for every CBD consumer. Let’s shed some light on this important subject by explaining that difference and discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each. A great place to start is by discussing the factor that defines each type of CBD — cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids: The What and Why


Within the Cannabis plant, there is a classification of compounds known as cannabinoids. Among these are CBD and THC, along with over a hundred others which scientists have discovered naturally occurring within different Cannabis strains.

Why are these important?

In 1995, researchers discovered that, by interacting with receptors in the human Endocannabinoid System (ECS), cannabinoids like CBD could deliver unique health benefits to the body. Later, it was discovered that each cannabinoid could affect the body differently. For example, while THC delivers the psychoactive effects associated with “getting high,” CBD does not. Actually, scientists have learned that CBD counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC.

With various ranges of effects delivered by other cannabinoids like Cannabigerol (CBG) and Cannabinol (CBN), the full collection of cannabinoids forms what is referred to as the “cannabinoid spectrum.”

The Cannabinoid Spectrum

The cannabinoid spectrum range contained within a product is what determines whether the product is full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate. You may be thinking how does that work exactly?

cannabinoid spectrum

To create a CBD product, the cannabinoid content is extracted from the Cannabis plant. Using methods such as CO2 extraction. During this process, other compounds found within the plant are also extracted.  This includes terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids. Depending on the strain and classification used for extraction, the composition and cannabinoid profile will differ. For example, Hemp, which is a classification of Cannabis Sativa, contains little to no THC.  Compared to the Cannabis Indica strain, Pennywise, which contains a 1:1 CBD to THC content ratio. Depending on the purpose of the end-product, companies will choose to extract from a strain of Cannabis that best suits their needs. Once extracted, the company can then choose to refine the extract to contain only specific cannabinoids and plant parts. It’s these contents of the refined extract that determines if the CBD extract is full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate.

Now let’s discuss what each term means. Moreover, help point you in the direction of which is best for you.

What is Full Spectrum CBD?

full spectrum cbd oil

Full spectrum CBD is an extract that contains all compounds found naturally occurring in the plant.  This includes terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids. The full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, and essential oils extracted from the plant work together to magnify the therapeutic benefits of each individual cannabinoid. This is commonly referred to as the “entourage effect“.

It was previously believed that CBD in its isolated form was more effective than Full Spectrum CBD.  However, in 2005, this theory was debunked by a study from the Lautenberg Center for General Tumor Immunology in Jerusalem. In the study, researchers found that test subjects administered with full spectrum CBD were provided with higher levels of relief, compared to subjects administered with CBD isolate. In addition, the results showed that full spectrum CBD provided enhanced effects with higher dosages. While the effects of CBD remained consistent with increased dosages.

What is CBD Isolate?

cbd isolate

In scientific terms, an isolate is the purest form of a compound, which is produced by singularly extracting that compound from its environment and isolating it from all other compounds. Thus, the term isolate or CBD isolate.

CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD.  Which is produced by removing all other compounds found in the plant including terpenes, flavonoids, plant parts, and other cannabinoids. CBD Isolate is typically extracted from Hemp, due to its low to non-existent THC-content.

What is Broad Spectrum CBD?

broad spectrum cbd oil

Broad spectrum CBD is found in the middle between Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate. Like Full Spectrum CBD, the other compounds found within the plant are preserved in the extract.  However, like CBD Isolate, THC is completely removed. In addition, because Broad Spectrum CBD contains multiple cannabinoids, it can deliver the enhanced benefits of the “entourage effect,” without the risk of psychoactive effects of THC.

What Type of CBD Should You Use?

Now that you have a general understanding of each type of CBD, you’re probably wondering why someone would prefer one over the other.  More importantly, which type you should choose. First, neither of the types is better than the others. Every individual has different needs or preferences. Consequently, determining which type of CBD is best-suited for their unique conditions.

To help point you in the right direction, here are some of the pros and cons of each type. Along with situations each would typically be best for.

CBD Isolate

The purest form of CBD, in which all other plant compounds and cannabinoids have been completely removed.

CBD Isolate

Best For:

  • Persons who were recommended to specifically take high doses of CBD
  • Persons with sensitivity to THC or other cannabinoids
  • Persons who regularly undergo drug screening tests
  • Persons who prefer light flavors or no flavor
  • Persons living in states that have strict THC-laws
  • First-time users that may be hesitant about other cannabinoids

Full Spectrum CBD

CBD that has been extracted from the cannabis plant along with all the other compounds and cannabinoids.

full spectrum pros and cons

Best for:

  • Persons who were recommended a certain THC to CBD ratio
  • Persons with more severe conditions or conditions that CBD isolate and Broad Spectrum could not alleviate
  • Persons living in states where Cannabis is legal

Broad Spectrum CBD

CBD that has been extracted from the cannabis plant along with all other compounds and cannabinoids, except THC.

broad spectrum pros and cons

Best For:

  • Persons with conditions that CBD isolate alone could not alleviate
  • Persons with sensitivity to THC
  • Persons living in states that have strict THC-laws
  • First-time users that are hesitant about THC

Final Thoughts on the Different CBD Spectrums

In closing, let’s reiterate that any one type isn’t better than the others. There are many factors that determine how a cannabinoid will impact the body. To include, the chemical makeup of the person. In addition, the height and weight of the individual, fitness level, fatty acid intake, and the individual’s history with other substances.

For some, Broad Spectrum CBD may be the best choice. As it delivers the full benefits of the Cannabis plant without the psychoactive effects of THC. For others, a high-dosage of pure CBD isolate may do the trick. Others may need the benefits that only THC can provide found in a Full Spectrum CBD product.

Research into the effectiveness of each spectrum at the individual level is still in its early stages. Therefore, it may take some time and experimenting to figure out which is best for you. As researchers continue to learn more about CBD, it may serve as a vital component in the future of medicine. With dozens of health benefits already revealed in existing studies, cannabinoids like CBD have the potential to impact the lives of countless individuals!

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CBD Oil Benefits

CBD Oil benefits for health and wellness are discussed by one of our GENESIS LIFE founders.  Also discussed is the science behind CBD Oil.

Recent studies suggest that CBD oil can help play a role in the treatment of pain from arthritis.  Likewise, the science is pretty compelling. CBD is filled with beneficial cannabinoids that directly trigger receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS).  The ECS system is a network of cannabinoid receptors that work to regulate all kinds of important functions in the body.

The ECS system plays an important role in our bodies.  Thus, some CBD oil benefits may include promoting mental wellness, influencing appetite, and facilitating nutrient transport.  Secondly, working with the immune system, it helps you deal with daily stress and works to regulate pain perception. When you take CBD, the cannabinoids travel to your CB2 receptor. The CB2 receptor gets a lot of attention because of its therapeutic potential and ability to help the human body manage pain.

For people struggling with arthritis, or severe inflammation and pain in the joints, CBD can be a game changer. In fact, research now suggests that CBD may be doing double-duty by helping to relieve pain and by causing the CB2 receptors to trigger the reduction of inflammation.

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Cannabidiol (CBD): How Often Should You Be Taking It?

How Does Cannabidiol (CBD) Work?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, works directly with our endocannabinoid system (ECS).  The ECS is a complex network of receptors responsible for some of the most vital biological processes. The ECS helps regulate sleep cycles, anxiety, mood, metabolism, and pain sensation, among other functions. Upon consumption, CBD interacts with ECS receptors located through our nervous and immune systems.  These ECS receptors act as “chemical messengers” that help improve how cells respond to stimuli affecting all these processes.

How Long Does It Take for Cannabidiol (CBD Oil) to Work?

There is no simple answer to this question. The amount of time it takes for CBD to take effect varies widely depending on what type of CBD products you use. It’s important to note that CBD still delivers the same benefits regardless of delivery method and time. Here are the most popular CBD products on the market today and how long each takes to begin working:
Sublingual Oils and Sprays: Sublingual formulas include oils, tinctures, sprays, and terpenes. Sublingual CBD oil is dropped under the tongue where it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. Users typically begin to feel the effects of CBD within 5 to 15 minutes when using sublingual CBD products.
CBD Oil for sale

Edibles: CBD edibles have become one of the most popular forms of CBD products thanks to their fun shapes and familiar taste. Although they are not always the most healthy choice due to the sugar found in most products. CBD infused or sprayed edibles include gummy bears, chocolates, and other popular candies. It can take up to one hour before users begin to feel the effects of edible CBD.

Smoking: One of the fastest-acting methods, CBD inhaled by smoking begins to take effect within the first 5 minutes. While smoking CBD is effective and provides fast relief, it may irritate the lungs if users are not used to smoking.

Vaping: Similarly to smoking, vaporizing delivers almost immediate results. This method is considered a healthier alternative to smoking since it produces vapor instead of smoke.

Capsules and Tablets: Like edibles, CBD capsules and tablets can take anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour to take effect.

Topical Solutions: Unlike most CBD products, CBD topical formulas like pain balms target specific areas of the body. Topical CBD is absorbed directly into the skin upon application, but it can take 15 minutes to hours before the targeted area begins to benefit from CBD.

How to Dose Cannabidiol (CBD)

For the best results, users should take CBD daily. You can choose to stick to one delivery method like CBD oil or use a combination of products for a more diverse regimen. Either way, this will not alter how CBD affects your body unless you change the overall dosage. But how do you determine what CBD dosage is right for you in the first place?

If you are new to CBD, finding the right CBD dosage may prove to be a tricky task in the beginning. The best way to find the perfect daily dose of CBD is to start small and keep track of your body’s reactions for the first couple of days. Gradually increase the amount of CBD you take per day until you find the right dosage for your specific needs.

Another important aspect that needs to be taken into consideration is individual tolerance levels. For example, if you have been using CBD for years, your tolerance levels are more likely to be higher than that of a new user. Other factors that may influence your tolerance level are the frequency of use, gender, body mass index, and product potency.

Where To Buy Cannabidiol (CBD)

Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and hemp-derived products are now legal at the federal level. As a result, Genesis Life CBD products now ship nationwide. Our collection of high-quality CBD products includes oils, capsules, balms, and dog treats. All Genesis Life products have been tested by an independent lab to ensure quality and safety.

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Why Have CBD Oil Products Been Villianized part 2?

Despite numerous testimonials and studies that proved the health benefits of CBD, the purchase and especially selling of CBD products can be quite difficult still today. Especially online. The 2014 Farm bill allowed for the possibility of pilot programs of industrial Hemp farming in all 50 states. One main stipulation was that the industrial Hemp being farmed, could not contain greater than 0.3% Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive cannabinoid found in Marijuana, which gives you that high feeling. The final decision resided with each state, whether they would allow hemp farming or not. This video discusses how decisions made almost 50 years ago, still impact us today and have shaped societies view on Hemp, especially in the United States.