We are all entitled to know what we consume and should be able to make an informed decision on what enters our body. It’s important to understand the ingredients of the product, its profile and any possible contaminants if you want to maintain consistent high standards of production.
CERTIFICATE OF ANALYSIS
A certificate of analysis (COA) is a lab report on the chemical make-up (e.g., contents) of a product. In the context of natural products, the COA shows the contents of the products and other tested compounds such as heavy metals, etc.
WHY DO COMPANIES TEST?
Analytical laboratory equipment like HPLC’s (high-performance liquid chromatographs) are not cheap, nor is the labor and expertise that comes with knowing how to use them. Taking this into consideration, why do a lot of these companies willingly choose to spend thousands of dollars per month out of their own pockets, just to have a “Third-Party Tested” label slapped on to their products? For a company like Terpen, because we care. We use the same products you buy from us. So do our friends, so does our family.
It ultimately comes down to transparency. With natural products in particular becoming more and more popular by the day, it’s becoming increasingly crucial for companies to establish a reliable and reputable name within the industry. People know what quality is capable of doing, so they are certainly not going to spend their hard-earned money on an (expensive) brand that’s not even confident enough to have their products laboratory tested.
In short, it is well within a company’s best interest to have their products third-party tested, even if it is costly for them. The average consumer is not feeble-minded, and they’ll be able to tell pretty quickly whether a brand is legit, or whether they’re full of it. So when they see that all-important gold “third-party” label slapped on the outside of the bottle, they know that they’re likely dealing with the former rather than the latter.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Thanks to updated regulations and a wave of recent research, natural products made from plants are gaining popularity with consumers in search of relief and relaxation. Now, more than ever, natural products are being used to treat everything from anxiety to inflammation with positive results.
Since today's products are made from plants and do not contain any psychoactive properties, they are legal across the entire United States. And now that consumers know they can enjoy those therapeutic benefits, they are more open to purchasing and using natural products as part of their regular health care routine.
Today's market is brimming with options. Determining which product is best suited for your specific needs can be particularly tricky, so research should be done on the part of the consumer ahead of purchasing any natural products.
FINDING THE BEST PRODUCT FOR YOUR NEEDS
Regardless of what you are trying to achieve or treat, you should first do some research into the brand and type of product that will best fit your overall needs. Since natural products gain in popularity, it has become increasingly difficult for consumers to discern which brands are pure, properly tested, and of the highest quality due to the rash of brands that have descended upon the market.
Sadly, a majority of products out there are not as pure as their manufacturers would have consumers believe. A lot of times, products are made primarily of synthetic materials or are even devoid of nutrients altogether. According to producers and industry insiders, the best way to ensure that the product you are purchasing is pure and of high-quality is to search for products that have been thoroughly and properly tested to make sure that what's inside the bottle is real and natural.
LOOKING AT LAB REPORTS
The best way to ensure that the product you are getting is pure, look for products that have been tested by a company other than the one that is manufacturing and selling it. Independent companies are not biased in any way because their reputations depend on the quality and reliability of their testing processes and procedures. Part of building that reputation, reliability, and trust for these companies is identifying everything that is in a product, whether the product's manufacturer is happy with the results or not.
According to product testing companies, the more tests run on a product by multiple testing agencies, the more complete a picture the consumer will have when it comes to a product's overall chemical makeup and purity. In essence, consumers should come to think of this not only as a means of spot checking, but also a second, and possibly, third opinion on the overall consistency and quality of a natural plant-based product.
ITS GOOD TO KNOW
Even though the main purpose of testing is to ensure the purity and quality of the product you are buying, another reason for testing is to identify any contaminants, pesticides, and other synthetic substitutes that may be within the product as well.
If you've been on the fence about purchasing natural products out of concern that it still may have some impure ingredients, rest assured that thorough testing will also provide that data to you as well.
REGULAR QUALITY CONTROL IMPORTANCE
In your search and research for the best quality natural products, you should also look for companies that maintain transparency with their consumers. These companies are unafraid to share any and all test results with the public and welcome the opportunity to have open discussions with consumers regarding the products that they sell.
Most legitimate companies do post their product's test results right next to the actual product descriptions in their online catalogue. Moreover, the best companies will always keep their product's test results up to date on their websites so that consumers can be confident that they are not looking at last year's results and aren't left questioning whether this year's batch still makes the grade.
In addition, the best companies will go the extra step and not only post their product's most recent test results and ingredients online, they will also include labeling mirroring those same results and ingredients either within their product's packaging or on the products themselves. A good company will not have their consumers searching for the answers they are looking for.
In your ongoing search for the best products and retailers available, you should keep in mind that those test results also act as an indicator for that retailer's reliability and reputation. Since the industry is still considerably young, all consumers should follow the old saying, "Buyer Beware," as sadly, most companies out in the market today are only producing and retailing products to make a profit and do not have the health or the best interests of consumers in mind.
In following along with a company's testing regimen and doing your own research and due diligence, you will be sure to find a reputable company that makes and sells the highest-quality, purest, most effective product on the market today. It is these companies that will create a strong future for natural products and all of the wonderful health benefits that they offer.
Lastly, companies that run through many rounds of testing through many independent labs also symbolize a deeply invested seller interested in complete and total transparency with their consumers. So, before you invest your money in a product to help with your health needs, remember to take some time to do the research so that you can find the best, most effective, highest-quality product available.
ASK FOR TEST RESULTS
Always also ask to see a product’s COA, or certificate of analysis. That document shows how a product performed on tests checking for levels, and the presence of contaminants.
Most products made with from natural plants doesn’t require testing of the finished product. So any COA for those final products comes from testing the company arranged on its own. Though not all manufacturers take that step, many do. That includes even some companies that use imported products.
If an online manufacturer or a retail store doesn’t have the information, or refuses to share it, avoid the product and the retailer.
For even more assurance about a product’s quality, we recommend checking the COA to see whether it says that the lab meets “ISO 17025” standards. That suggests the lab adheres to high scientific standards. Also look to see whether a company uses lab testing methods validated by one of three respected national standard-setting organizations: the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists (AOAC), the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP), or the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP).
The FDA has tested the chemical content of compounds in some of the products on the market, and many were found to not contain the levels of ingredients they claimed to contain. It is important to note that these products are not approved by FDA for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease. Consumers should beware purchasing and using any such products.
Accurate testing of the product is essential to ensure our products have the highest levels of quality, potency and purity. We measure levels using state of the art High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) equipment. In addition to testing levels in every batch, we run a full unique profile and test for microbiological contamination, heavy metals and pesticides before making any products.
Our 3rd party testing facility has researched and developed an analytical testing method by using state of the art High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC to separate, identify, and quantify each component, or active ingredients at low levels (parts/million).
We test for terpenes to identify the compounds that produce the color and distinctive flavors to the final product. Terpenes are considered to have many beneficial effects as well. We test for these compounds to ensure our product has a consistent color and flavor profile which meets our high standards of production.
We also test for pesticides which is important to analyze so we have assure the safety and purity of the products. If the plant has been treated with pesticides a final product containing a significant concentration of these could cause unwanted side effects. We only use natural plants that is grown organically as nature intended but continue to test for these pesticides to verify our product is 100% organic. No GMOs.
Testing for bacteria or mold on the plant material is also done to ensure there are no harmful pathogens which could be consumed and cause unwanted side effects.
Although we do not use solvents with our method of extraction a complete lab test should also include analyses of residual solvents. Solvents can be used by other companies for extraction. High concentrations of solvents can lead to unpleasant health effects and or result in an unsafe product that could be volatile. Solvents are not used so we run this test to verify that there are no detectable solvents.
INDEPENDENT LAB TEST
We also validate our tests by employing 3rd party independent labs across the globe to test our products. The labs that we work with are just a few in the world that are qualified and capable of doing the testing that is necessary to meet our quality standards. We make sure there is never a question of what an individual is receiving when they make a purchase.
Homogeneity measurement is most commonly the result from a series of tests performed to ensure that products have consistent amounts of active ingredients throughout a batch, across batches, or even within a single unit.
It is especially important for the safety of consumers that each portion has the same reliable measurement. Our detailed operating procedures ensure that we take sufficient number of samples of a product in a batch to yield a significantly significant measurement of the level of consistency in a product.
Some states require homogeneity testing, and others require that each portion of a batch matches label claims. Whether required by state law or not, this is a critical test to ensure product consistency.