Have you tried HHC yet? If not, you might have many questions before trying the new cannabinoid, including whether it’s safe to consume.
In short, HHC products, like other hemp-derived products on the market, are safe to consume, but only when they come from reliable sources and reputable brands. Like other cannabinoid products, third-party lab testing is crucial in determining HHC products’ quality.
Manufacturers make HHC using heavy metals in the process, which are then removed. However, low-grade products might still include these even in the final product and harm your health. That’s why it’s crucial to buy HHC products and HHC vapes from reputable retailers that provide heavy metal tests and certificates of analysis to customers.
What is a Certificate of Analysis (COA)?
Before premium brands make their hemp-derived products available for sale, they test each batch of their products at independent laboratories. A Certificate of Analysis (COA) is a document from an independent laboratory that demonstrates the amount of each cannabinoid in the product and shows whether a product is contaminated or includes harmful ingredients
Usually, hemp retailers test their products at different independent laboratories, so one product type might be tested by one laboratory, another one by a completely different one.
Although all independent lab tests analyze hemp-derived products for the same factors, such as cannabinoid profile and possible contaminants, these reports might look quite different and sometimes confuse consumers.
Knowing how to read a COA is essential to confirm the potency and purity of a product you buy. Unfortunately, the Hemp-derived market is pretty unregulated; a study in 2017 found that 70% of CBD product labels provided false information about the number of cannabinoids and other ingredients in the bottle. As a result, the only way to know you are investing in a high-quality, safe, and effective product is to see a certificate of analysis of a product that should be available on a brand’s website. Knowing that many consumers have trouble reading a COA, we’ve created this guide to help you better understand laboratory test results and used our COA for the HHC vape cartridge as an example.
How to Read HHC Certificate of Analysis
The Header of the COA
All HHC certificate of analysis has a header and a footer. In the example below, you see the independent laboratory’s name at the left and the company’s name on the right side, which ordered the test.
A batch number on the left is the lot number manufacturers assign to products to identify them quickly. Compare your product’s batch number on the bottle to the batch number on the COA to ensure you’re reading a correct certificate of analysis relevant to your product.
At the top, on the right hand, you can also see the date when the laboratory received the sample and when it completed testing.
The right column under the summary lists all the tested components of the product, including cannabinoids, heavy metals, pesticides, residual solvents, and other contaminants.
The Cannabinoid Section
The cannabinoid section indicates cannabinoids that are present in a product. It can help you determine whether a product is full-spectrum or broad-spectrum and what other cannabinoids are in the bottle except for HHC.
HPLC PDA stands for high-performance liquid chromatography Photodiode-Array Detection (PDA). It is an analytical technique used to identify components in a product, in this case, cannabinoids in an HHC vape cart.
The left column lists all cannabinoids used in the test. Limit of Detection (LOD) and Limit of Quantitation (LOQ) describe the smallest concentration of cannabinoids. The result section in percentages and mg/g indicates the amount of each cannabinoid. ND means non-detectable.
Heavy Metals Report
The section indicates whether any of the following heavy metals – arsenic, cadmium, lead, or mercury are present in the product and their amounts. The result shows the amount of each. In this case, there are no heavy metals in the HHC vape cart. ND stands for non-detectable.
Many foreign farms use pesticides in the growing process of hemp, which contaminates the product. Pesticides are harmful to humans. The research shows they can cause numerous diseases, including cancer. Therefore, knowing whether your HHC products are free from pesticides is essential to understand if it’s safe to consume. In this case, the product is free from pesticides with a non-detectable amount of each listed on the left and right columns.
All plants have microbes and bacteria, and hemp is no exception. Although not all are, some can be detrimental to your health, like salmonella, yeast, and mold. Usually, the extraction and production processes of hemp-derived products destroy these bacterias. Still, sometimes there’s a chance of these surviving through the process, so it’s crucial to assure your product is free of harmful microbes. The Microbials section in COA shows whether harmful bacteria and microbes are present in the product.
The Mycotoxins Section
Mycotoxins are toxic compounds. These are secondary metabolites produced by microfungi that are detrimental and possibly fatal in humans and animals. The mycotoxin section shows if there are any present in the product. Non-detectable amounts indicate there are no mycotoxins present in the HHC vape cart.
Some production methods like solvent extraction use harsh solvents, leaving a toxic residue in the final product. The residual solvents section in COA indicates whether unwanted substances from solvents are present in the products and in what amounts.
Terpenes are aromatic compounds giving each hemp strain its unique aromas and flavors. The famous theory Entourage Effect also plays synergistically with cannabinoids to produce effects. Thus, you might wonder if there’re any terpenes in your product. ND means there’re non-detectable amounts of terpene, while LOQ means there are the lowest concentrations.
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