How to test for strenght of cbd oil

How Is CBD Oil Strength and Potency Measured?

When considering the potency of a CBD product, most people believe it’s all about the strength of the cannabidiol (CBD) in the product. Certainly, CBD oil strength is a significant factor—if there’s not enough, it won’t absorb in the bloodstream for the sought-after effects.

But when discussing potency, what we’re really talking about is efficacy, aren’t we? And that involves a lot more than this cannabis compound’s strength. Both formulation and delivery are important factors and then, how well the CBD interacts with your endocannabinoid system (ECS).

In this article, we’ll discuss what you need to know about strength, potency, and the factors that contribute to a CBD oil’s efficacy. First, let’s do a quick review of what CBD oil is.

What Is CBD Oil?

CBD oil comes in four types: isolate, distillate, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum. Each type contains cannabidiol and an oil carrier. The oil carrier is a kind of healthy fat, most commonly cold-pressed hemp seed oil, but some brands may use coconut oil, olive oil, or grapeseed oil.

CBD isolate has only these two ingredients. The kind of oil and amount of CBD can vary, but it’s the purest kind of CBD oil—around 99% CBD crystal suspended in oil.

Distillation is an extraction process that separates and refines cannabinoids at a molecular level. It begins with crude extraction and then refines from there to remove more and more plant compounds until there is roughly 80% CBD. The remaining amount of the extraction will consist of traces of terpenes, minor cannabinoids, and other plant compounds.

Broad-spectrum, however, describes full-spectrum CBD that has had the THC removed. You may also see it expressed as ‘THC Free’ on a label.

Brand extract full-spectrum cannabis oils to preserve the greatest range of beneficial cannabinoids (including THC), terpenes, flavonoids, and other phytonutrients. In the U.S., full-spectrum CBD oil is legal as long as it contains .3% or less THC.

If you’re curious about the efficacy of CBD oil for pain, check out our page here for more information.

How Do You Measure Cannabinoid Strength?

The label may tell you the percentage of CBD in your oil, but that isn’t strength. This reflects more the purity of the CBD in the product. You need to know how much CBD, in milligrams, is in the bottle, so you can divide that by the amount you take to see how much CBD is in your dose.

According to Adie Rae, a cannabis researcher at Legacy Health, for high-potency CBD oil you need at least 35 milligrams per serving. If you are taking an isolate, or pure CBD product, the highest mg/ml amount is going to be the most potent and the most cost-effective.

CBD oil on its own requires higher strength to produce the intended effects and according to Dr. Alex Capano, chief science officer for Ananda Health. “Dosing for CBD is highly individualized and depends on many factors, including personal endocannabinoid tone and why you are using CBD.”

See also  Best cbd oil for bipolar

Regarding full or broad-spectrum CBD oil, potency has more to do with a CBD oil’s efficacy than its strength. And all of this has to do with the formulation. Scientists believe full-spectrum CBD oil to be more effective at lower doses than CBD isolate because of what experts call “the entourage effect.”

When you present different cannabinoids like CBD, THC, CBG, CBC, THCV, CBN, and whole-plant players like terpenes and cannaflavins, they work synergistically to optimize relief and well-being.

Initial research strongly suggests that cannabis plant compounds interact synergistically with receptors in the ECS. A 2017 study demonstrated that low doses of THC and CBD have the potential to treat neuropathic pain in mice. Dr. Ethan Russo has conducted studies that suggest both cannabinoid-cannabinoid synergistic interactions and cannabinoid-terpenoid interactions exist.

Delivery Format Can Affect CBD Oil Potency

When swallowed, CBD has poor bioavailability. If your CBD oil does not absorb into your bloodstream very well, its strength will not matter, and potency goes out the window. You can gulp dozens of mg/ml, but it will only absorb up to a certain amount.

The way around this is the delivery format. Tinctures that you take sublingually (under your tongue for 30-60 seconds) will enter your bloodstream through glands in your mouth, bypassing your gut and your liver. And, this is where the majority of CBD oil is obliterated or ushered out like waste.

Liposomal CBD, like Puffin Hemp, is a powerhouse of potency. Liposomes are little healthy fat bubbles that bypass the dangerous environment of the gut and liver. They deliver CBD into the bloodstream at a much higher rate than regular CBD. You can take a lot less liposomal CBD than regular CBD and have much more effective results because companies craft liposomal full-spectrum CBD to be stronger, more efficacious.

If you only need a baseline of CBD (we recommend Ananda Hemp Full Spectrum Softgels) for overall preventative health and wellbeing, swallowing a high-quality CBD oil daily is fine. But if you need potency, you have to think of sublingual tinctures or liposomal CBD oil.

Quality Can Affect Your CBD’s Potency

Whatever a label says, quality matters most — especially in terms of CBD oil strength. There are several things to keep in mind when shopping for a CBD oil.

It’s important to know where a brand sources its hemp from because hemp is a bio-accumulator. This means it cleans out soil by leaching impurities from it. The hemp plant literally has properties to purify the soil, making it a wonderful option not just for consumers, but for the environment, too.

You should always have proof your product was tested. Make sure it has a certificate of analysis (COA, which should be available either with the product or on the manufacturer’s or seller’s website.

Mislabeling can be a problem, which is another reason to confirm there is a COA for your product. In a 2018 study on the effects of artisanal CBD for the treatment of epilepsy, researchers stated that a key concern and challenge to their results was the variability that mislabeled CBD products introduced.

See also  Can cbd oil be strong for my dog

Good brands will make all of this information, their practices, processes and the source of their ingredients available. Their team will have backgrounds in science, hemp experience, and food-manufacturing know-how.

The Takeaway About CBD Oil Potency

Remember to look for a full-spectrum CBD oil in tincture form, which goes under the tongue or a liposomal form that you swallow. Always choose a high-quality product you can verify yourself.

Testing THC Levels in Oil & Extracts

As medical cannabis becomes a more popular treatment across the country, it is crucial that marijuana products dispensed under orders of physicians are of high quality and without harmful effects.

For maximum effectiveness, many patients now seek out more highly concentrated marijuana products like hash oil, hemp oil, and wax. Not only is the THC content in these products important, but the extraction processes can leave behind trace chemicals that can be harmful to the patient’s health. Besides testing THC levels, it is important to test for impurities like residual solvents.

There are various ways to test THC levels. Modern Canna Science prides itself on accurate testing to ensure that medical marijuana patients receive treatment that meets potency and safety expectations.

Why test cannabis extracts for THC and impurities?

The THC levels and profile in medical marijuana products can affect the medicinal benefits. For example, some cannabinoids are recognized to have anti-microbial and anti-convulsive effects. Patients and physicians need to be able to rely on these products to deliver the expected effects.

The hidden danger in many concentrated THC products is that they are produced with the help of solvents to separate the cannabinoids and terpenoids from the remaining plant matter. When these solvents are not effectively purged, the remaining impurities can present health risks.

Methods for testing THC

Modern Canna Science’s in-house laboratory is outfitted with state of the art equipment in order to provide accurate and reliable analysis of medical marijuana and low-THC cannabis products.

Our methods are tailored to the needs of the client and the type of product to be tested. Some of the options include, but are not limited to:

  • High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) – HPLC allows separation, identification, and analysis of the components in a mixture. We use it to quantify the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD), and several other cannabinoid concentrations in a sample of cannabis or a cannabis-derived product.
  • Gas Chromatography (GC) and Liquid Chromatography (LC) – Chromatography methods allow separation of small molecules, proteins, or nucleic acids. GC uses the different boiling points of molecules as the means of separation. LC relies upon the way molecules interact with chromatography medium as a means of separation.
See also  Determine dosage for cbd oil

Components separated by GC or LC may by analyzed by the most appropriate method, which can include:

  • Mass Spectrometry – Mass spectrometry allows mass analysis of the components through the use of deflection by magnetic fields.
  • Electron Capture Detector -ECD is sensitive to organic compounds. It operates by using a gas like nitrogen to capture compounds in the output of a GC separation.
  • Inductively Coupled Plasma – ICP uses a high temperature source to convert the atoms of elements in the sample into ions so they can be separated and detected via mass spectrometry. ICP is an effective method to detect and measure even trace amounts of heavy metals.
  • Microbial Analysis – Employs methods to detect unwanted compounds such as choliforms, yeast, mold, EColi, Total Plate Count (TPC), and more.

How to test the THC levels in oil

HLPC can be an effective method to test the THC level in oil. If the oil is of a thick consistency, the viscosity may need to be reduced with the addition of isopropyl alcohol before a solvent extraction can be used and the analysis is performed.

How to test THC levels in BHO?

Butane has oil, also known as BHO, that can be analyzed in manner similar to other oils.

A primary concern in BHO production is the level of impurities. In the production of BHO, butane is used to remove the cannabinoids from a plant, leaving behind a liquid butane and cannabinoid mix. The evaporation process then used to remove the impure butane in crucial in order leave behind pure cannabinoid oil. When the removal of butane from the hash oil is poor, it can contaminate the product and be harmful for the user.

How to test THC levels in wax

Waxes and butters have gained popularity as delivery methods for medicinal marijuana. As in the case of oils, the product must be adjusted for viscosity and reduced by a solvent in order to perform THC analysis.

Choosing the right THC analysis method

Whether you are producing or dispensing buds or a derivative product like cannabis oil, it is important to choose the right analytical testing method. The procedures for testing raw flower are not going to be the right method for testing cannabis THC oil content. For example, the GC method of extraction uses high heat that can convert some of the molecules in a sample. This is appropriate and expected for some types of samples but it will lead to an inaccurate reading of other types of samples.

Our expert lab technicians perform comprehensive tests on your medical cannabis, evaluating moisture content, pesticide levels, heavy metals content and more. To ensure your testing method is accurate and suited to your product, choose a knowledgeable medical marijuana testing lab. Modern Canna Science is dedicated to ensuring Florida’s medical marijuana meets patient and physician expectations and abides by strict quality assurance and control methods.