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CBD Lab results: How to read a COA (Certificate of Analysis)

June 07, 2023 3 min read

CBD Lab results: How to read a COA (Certificate of Analysis) - Leaf Remedys


CBD…  these three letters are associated with quality sleep, less pain, better health, and other benefits.

But just when you decide you’re ready to purchase a bottle for yourself, you hear, “Make sure you check the COA before you buy!”

COA… what’s that?!

You just learned what CBD stands for, and now you have three more letters thrown at you.

You’re in the right place. By the end of this article, you’ll know what COA stands for, what it means, and how to read one properly.


What is a COA?

Certificate of Analysis, or COA for short, is a report given by an accredited, unbiased, third party lab that proves the CBD product you’re about to purchase has been thoroughly tested for your safety [¹].

In other words, there is no favoritism. Everything is conducted and tested fairly to ensure the product is:

  • Accurately labeled
  • Federally legal
  • Safe to consume

A Certificate of Analysis of a CBD product should include a total list of:

  • Cannabinoids
  • Terpenes
  • Heavy metals
  • Pesticides
  • Microbiological levels

If you purchase a CBD product without a COA, it’s likely that the CBD product isn’t labeled correctly, and worse, could be unsafe to consume [²].

How do you read a hemp Certificate of Analysis?

At first glance, COA PDFs, or lab results, can look intimidating. They're filled with numbers, percentages, strange words, and a series of letters.

But once you know what you’re looking for, they’re not that complicated.

The first thing you should look for is the name of the company, or third party, that conducted the test in the first place. It’s usually in the top left corner.

If you want to take your research a bit further, you can Google the company and reach out to them directly.

Secondly, you’ll want to look for the batch ID number. It’s usually found under the company’s name on the left.

Next, check the date. Ensure that the date is recent, not several years old.

In the top right corner, you’ll likely see which company the test was issued for.

Now let’s dive into the meat of the CBD COA…

Both high quality full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD products should have a list of different cannabinoids, like CBDA, CBD, CBN, CBG, and more.

Accurate COA’s will list how much THC is detected in the test. Full spectrum CBD products must fall under 0.3% in order for them to be federally legal [³].

Broad spectrum CBD products are usually advertised as containing “zero THC”. But some companies don’t disclose that their broad spectrum CBD products do in fact contain trace amounts of THC.

This is why it’s imperative to check the COA. If you see the letters “ND” next to THC, it means no THC was detected.

The same is true for pesticides, heavy metals, and microbiological levels. “ND” indicates that these toxins are not detected during the test, which means the final product is safe to consume.

CBD Certificate of Analysis takeaways

We understand there are some really hard-to-read COA’s out there. And honestly, it all boils down to the third party that took the test in the first place.

Some companies like to make it difficult for consumers to read, whereas others focus on a more user-friendly approach.

Botanacor is one such company that’s leading the CBD industry in consistent, safe, and accurate laboratory testing [].

Their easy-to-read COA’s equip consumers with the right tools to purchase only the best and safest CBD products on market.

That’s why, here at Leaf Remedys, all of our products are third party tested by them. And the good news is they’re easy to read.

If you’re ready to tackle life's daily ailments and regain the balance your body’s been craving, then give our high quality, third party tested CBD products a try.

For all other questions or concerns, feel free to reach outto us, we’d love to hear from you.



  1. Department of Agriculture Industrial Hemp Act
  2. FDA: Warning letters and test results for Cannabidiol-related products
  3. Hemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill
  4. Botanacor