Posted on

how to test cbd oil

Our national love affair with CBD has hit a rough spot. America, we have trust issues.

To be fair to the manufacturers, we adapted the FDA’s guidelines for label accuracy regarding small amounts of nutrients in dietary supplements, which is the category CBD products most clearly resemble.

Take it to the lab

Products delivering within 20% of advertised CBD are highlighted below:

This is also a fact: These products are getting better. Full federal legalization is only 11 months old and manufacturers are improving their processes every day.

The FDA considers a supplement misbranded if it delivers a nutrient at a dose at least 20% below or 20% above the value declared on its label.

However, because heat is required in this process, acid forms of cannabinoids like THCA or CBDA cannot be identified. This is where HPLC becomes a favorable way to test cannabis potency because it can identify the acid molecules of major cannabinoids before they will convert to their corresponding compounds through the heat of smoking or baking. HPLC instruments use an ultraviolet wavelength detector to identify the cannabinoids, so it is much more inclusive of various forms of cannabinoids in their free form or acidic state. HPLC is often the preferred choice for potency testing.

MATRIX: Flowers/Plants, Derivative Products and Edibles
ANALYTES: 20 count

At ACS Laboratory, we currently test flower, edibles and extracts for 20 different cannabinoids, which can alleviate symptoms related to several common conditions: mood and behavior disorders, gastrointestinal and neurological ailments, and pain and sleep-related issues, to name a few. Refer to the FAQ section below that explains more about each cannabinoid as well as the importance of potency testing.


No. The two primary ways in which cannabis potency is tested is either by Gas Chromatography (GC) or High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Some companies use GC due to its speed of analysis and simplicity in finding common cannabinoids like THC, CBD or cannabinol (CBN). This method imitates the process of heating the cannabis product, so if the product will be smoked, this method can provide insight on the potency of different cannabinoids in this form.

Cannabinoids occur mostly in the plant resin that’s produced by the structures known as trichomes. Trichomes help protect cannabis from insects, animals, fungi, light contaminators and other environmental attackers. The sticky resin is also rich in terpenes , which are responsible for the plant’s smell, taste and therapeutic effects.

Additional (Optional: Total 20)

It’s also important to understand your product’s potency to meet market demand for high THC or CBD levels. You can also utilize potency results to educate your customers with information they need to determine the proper dose for their specific symptoms. When a product’s cannabinoid profile is transparent and documented, customers can work with their dispensary professional to find the best strain for them.

To handle with care

A minimal amount of material (0.1 gram) is needed per sample to provide a unique and effective way of analysing the cannabinoid profile in various mixtures such as plant parts of cannabis, trichome resins, oils, tinctures and edibles products (ice-creams, cookies, teas…). Alpha-cat helps you to assess the effect of any specific strain with:

CBG, THCV & CBD effects predominate producing a feeling of relaxation (stoney, sleepy)


Alpha-cat’s kits contains bottles of chlorinated hydrocarbons, labelled as hazardous and the following precautions should be observed at all times:

Alpha-cat gives the opportunity to determine the cannabinoids present in each material sample and reveals the levels of each individual cannabinoid present in terms of its concentration.

REGULAR Kit Alpha-cat 10 plates Number of tests*: – THC & CBD analysis: 40 – Chemotype prints: 10

THC effects are dominant over indica effects (activating, energizing)