The Importance of Testing CBD Edibles
CBD products are gaining more and more popularity. However, the problem of proper regulations and testing requirements still remains an issue. This challenge is having a major impact on the development of the market. In today’s article, we will talk about the importance and difficulties of testing in one of the most promising CBD market sectors: CBD edibles.
1. What are CBD edibles?
Generally speaking, CBD edibles are anything that can be eaten or drunk that is infused with CBD. Infused versions of various products, from coffee, tea and energy drinks to cookies, candy and even wine, are growing in popularity. Please keep in mind, however, that such products can only be produced and distributed in countries where CBD is permitted. To learn more about this matter, you can check the international and local CBD legislation or do a double-check if you already know the necessary information about the legal status of CBD.
2. How do CBD edibles differ from other cannabidiol products?
Since CBD edibles are a separate entity among the range of CBD products, they have their own features and distinctive characteristics that set them apart from other cannabidiol products.
- Consuming CBD edibles is one of the most common ways to take CBD.
We all eat and drink every day, so ingesting CBD edibles does not require one to spend extra time or have special equipment to do it.
- A wide range of products.
The variety of CBD edibles is astounding, which means they can be easily consumed in a variety of ways by people with different tastes and gastronomic predilections. CBD edibles come in the form of gummies, brownies, chocolates, butter, capsules and even lollipops. To learn more about some of these CBD products, and even DIYs on how to make them yourself, check out our latest articles.
- The way into the bloodstream.
CBD edibles are consumed orally, which means they find their way into the bloodstream through the digestive system. This is different from other methods of consuming CBD such as inhalation, sublingual or topical use.
- The possible time from taking to kicking in.
It can take about thirty minutes to an hour and a half from the time you consume a CBD edible for the effects to kick in. Actually, this is one of the reasons why edibles are often overconsumed, as some people may only experience the effects after a while, and that’s totally okay. We kindly advise you to be patient and follow the producer’s instructions.
- Potential duration of possible effects.
Also, consumers may experience the possible effects of CBD edibles for about three to twelve hours, depending on their unique body characteristics. Keep in mind that every person’s body is different and may therefore have varying experiences when taking CBD products. Before you consume any products, please consult your doctor about the possibility of doing so and, if yes, at what dose.
- Presence of THC.
Remember, if you take CBD edibles with THC, the potential effects of the THC can be more intense due to the process of THC metabolism in the liver.
As you can see, there are a number of differences that distinguish CBD edibles from other CBD products. In addition, these features give rise to characteristic requirements that can be applied to high-quality CBD edibles. We’ll cover these in our next section.
3. What are the requirements for high-quality CBD edibles?
It can be quite difficult to find CBD edibles that are truly high quality and satisfy all the needs of consumers. So, here we would like to guide you on some requirements that a decent edible CBD product should meet if it is to be chosen by discerning buyers.
- Equal dosage per serving of the product.
When it comes to products containing CBD, it is essential that the compound is evenly distributed among the servings.
- The quality of the cannabis.
It should also be high (has it been tested for contamination?). If the harvest was damaged in any way, it could potentially affect the quality of the product, since CBD is closely connected to it.
- Low levels of pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals and microbes.
The quantity of regulated pesticides that need to be monitored and controlled varies from one region to another.
- The natural composition of the product.
As CBD is a natural compound, it is vital to preserve its nature and structure.
- Testing potency.
This is on par with having low levels of pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals and microbes. Important in this step is to check how the main cannabinoids of interest for efficacy testing, namely THC, CBD and CBN, may interact with systems in the body.
- Some labs may also test the terpene content in a product.
Terpenes pose an analytical problem because they are non-polar and structurally similar, and there are many structural isomers.
While it’s true that there are numerous requirements for determining whether CBD edibles are of high quality, they can help ensure that you receive the best products possible.
4. What are the challenges of testing CBD edibles?
Testing edibles infused with cannabidiol is definitely a challenging process as there are a number of aspects that have to be considered when assessing a product’s quality.
- Storage conditions can affect the quality of a product.
The area where products are stored and improper handling of samples can have a crucial effect on the stability of the analytes being investigated. Given that representative samples are used for accurate testing, these factors leave room for bias in an unregulated system.
- Each product sample can have different potency.
The statement above makes it very difficult to determine the average potency of a product and subsequent correct dosage. Also, different types of samples will go through different preparation procedures.
- Edibles come in a wide variety of forms, which poses another problem when testing.
Each type of edible is characterised by unique complexity and requires a different testing process model. Moreover, thanks to new technologies in the CBD industry, almost any type of product can become CBD-potent and enter the market at any time.
- The CBD edibles market lacks standardisation.
Even though all cannabis products are subject to obligatory testing, regulations can vary from country to country and change periodically. Hence, managing CBD edibles testing is really demanding and can be daunting and confusing for producers.
- The fees associated with testing CBD edibles are extremely high.
Prices are costing from 420 to 845 euros per batch and taking one to two weeks. On the other hand, it provides producers and consumers with high-quality products that satisfy the needs of both.
Despite the variety of challenges faced when testing CBD edibles, it is very important to understand that this step in the production of CBD edibles is essential to obtaining high-quality products.
5. CBD testing technologies
There are four main technologies that can be used for testing CBD edibles. They all have different features that we will cover below.
5.1 Gas or Liquid Chromatography
This testing technology is a powerful analysis tool. It is the industry standard and can provide accurate results. On the other hand, it is expensive and requires a long waiting period. Also, a skilled technician is required to perform this technique.
All forms of chromatography include a stationary phase and a mobile phase. In all other forms of chromatography that you will encounter at this level, the mobile phase is a liquid. In gas-liquid chromatography, the mobile phase is a gas such as helium, and the stationary phase is a liquid with a high boiling point that has been absorbed into a solid. The rate at which a particular compound passes through the machine depends on how long it spends travelling with the gas, rather than joining the liquid in some way.
A very small amount of the sample being analysed is injected into the machine using a small syringe. The needle of the syringe passes through a thick rubber disc (known as a septum), which is sealed again when the syringe is withdrawn. The injector is located inside an oven, whose temperature can be adjusted. It is hot enough to cause the entire sample to boil and enter the column as a gas along with the helium (or another carrier gas).
5.2 Near Infra-Red Spectroscopy (NIRS)
Near infra-red spectroscopy or NIRS is a technique that provides high-speed results but is less accurate than the previous method. NIRS is an analytical method for fast and accurate testing of food products. NIRS measurement is a widely used method in the food and agricultural industries and is a convenient, low-cost alternative to chemical analysis. It also requires skilled labour to perform this technique.
The NIRS region of the electromagnetic spectrum ranges from 700 to 2500 nanometers. NIRS measures the light that is scattered from and through the sample material, and this can quickly determine the properties of the material. This process does not affect the material itself in any way.
The NIRS measurement then converts this information into data that forms the basis for further action, whether in research, quality control or manufacturing. This type of analysis requires little or no sample preparation and can measure multiple parts in a single scan. It can also examine uneven surfaces. Thus, the near infra-red range is ideal as a method for analysing various foods.
5.3 Thin-Layer Chromatography (TLC)
This measurement technique has the worst accuracy compared to the other three. It is faster than gas or liquid chromatography, but slower than NIRS. It also requires skilled labour to perform it.
So what does this technique involve? Thin-layer chromatography or TLC is an affinity-based technique used to separate compounds in a mixture. TLC is a versatile separation technique that is widely used for both qualitative and quantitative analysis of samples. TLC can be used to analyse virtually any class of substances, including pesticides, steroids, alkaloids, lipids, nucleotides, glycosides, carbohydrates and fatty acids.
With TLC, the stationary phase is a thin layer of adsorbent material, usually silica gel or alumina, deposited on an inert plate surface, which is typically glass, plastic or aluminum. The sample is applied to one end of the TLC plate and placed vertically in a closed chamber with an organic solvent (mobile phase). The mobile phase moves up the plate due to capillary forces, and the sample components move at different distances depending on their differential affinity for the stationary and mobile phases. When the solvent reaches the top of the plate, the plate is removed from the developing chamber and dried. The separated components appear as spots on the wafer, and the retention coefficient of each component is estimated.
5.4 NIRS + Motion Mechanics + Image Analysis
Of the four testing techniques, this one produces a worse result than gas/liquid chromatography, but better than the two others. It is very fast and doesn’t require skilled labour.
This method is a complex of three segments. The first of these is near infra-red spectroscopy (NIRS), which is a spectroscopic form of testing that uses the light spectrum to assess the chemical composition of an object. By shining specific wavelengths of light on an object and detecting the intensities of the wavelengths that reflect back, spectrometers evaluate the chemical composition of a sample material without changing it. What is motion mechanics? This is a technique that examines CBD products in action. Image analysis, in turn, is a technique that tests products by making decisions based on their images.
This method uses specialised equipment, and modern devices can deliver accurate results within five minutes.
There are a number of different techniques for testing CBD edibles. Each of them has its pros and cons, but all of them can be used to provide customers with high-quality products.
Testing is one of the cornerstones for producing high-quality CBD edibles. Overall, we are seeing great advances in testing technologies and hopefully this will be accompanied by the development of a standardised system of requirements for CBD edibles in Europe. Taking into account the tremendous speed at which the CBD edibles sector is developing, we can expect further challenges to arise in the testing process. We hope this information about testing edible cannabidiol products will be useful to you. If you want to receive more interesting and engaging content, don’t hesitate to contact our team of professionals and follow our blog.