Certificate Of Analysis

Scientist doing potency testing.

Certificate of Analysis

Certificates of Analysis (COAs) verify that a licensed third-party laboratory has tested hemp and cannabis products for all required potency and quality tests. More importantly, COAs prove that products' contents match their labels’ claims. Brands are increasingly publishing COA results, strengthening consumer trust and education.

Lab Results Report

Certificates of Analysis (COAs) verify that a licensed third-party laboratory has tested hemp and cannabis products for all required potency and quality tests. More importantly, COAs prove that products' contents match their labels’ claims. Brands are increasingly publishing COA results, strengthening consumer trust and education.
Download the COA as a PDF
Certificate of analysis compliance test sample for Cannabis Extract

How to Read a COA

Transparency is key to raising the bar on this industry’s quality and safety. Still, most consumers aren’t familiar with laboratory reports and may not know where to start. That’s Our user-friendly COA and How to Read a COA guide seeks to solve that issue.

Step 1 - Header

It’s essential to reference the COA Header first because this section confirms the identity of the product and testing laboratory.

What to Look For

Report Date

Consumers should check the report date to be sure that the results are recent and relevant.

Laboratory Name

The third-party laboratory’s name should be listed prominently so that customers can verify the lab’s existence and credentials.

Brand and Product Name

Customers should cross reference the COA’s brand and product name against the label description to be sure they match.

Batch Number and Description

The batch number and product description should align with the item in question.

Test Summary

The Tests Summary section of the COA features the tests performed and the critical results at a glance.

What to Look For

Some brands test cannabinoid potency only, while others screen for terpenes, flavonoids, and contaminants like pesticides, residual solvents, and heavy metals. Customers should look for products that receive the full range of safety and potency tests.
More importantly, customers should check that the product “Passed” all safety tests.

Potency Results

(CANNABINOIDS, TERPENES, AND FLAVONOIDS)

After the summary section, Potency Results tell the customer precisely which cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids the product contains and how concentrated they are.*
*Note some Potency Results will include cannabinoids only. Terpene and flavonoid testing are optional.

How To Read The Results:

The Analyte is the compound that the laboratory test is quantifying. For potency tests, Analytes are cannabinoids (like THC), terpenes (like linalool), or flavonoids (like quercetin).
The Result column tells the customer how many milligrams of each Analyte are concentrated within every gram. Some results appear in milliliters if the product is a liquid or oil.
Customers may also see blanks in the Results column. A blank result means the laboratory did not detect statistically significant levels of the compound. ?? There should never be  blanks its <LOQ which means its less than the “limit of quantitiation” or ND (not detected)
The % column converts each Analyte’s concentration from milligrams per gram to a percentage of the product’s weight. This conversion is another way to look at the same Result but is often easier to understand.

Quality & Safety Results

Quality and Safety Results consist of one or more of the following tests: Residual solvents, heavy metals, mycotoxins, pesticides, pathogenic microbiology, and moisture.

What To Look For First:

The Analyte column identifies the compound, in this case, heavy metals.
Consumers can see this product Passed all heavy metal tests by looking at the top right of this section. Still, they may want to review the specific results.
In that case, they’ll start at the Action Level column, which indicates the safe allowable limits for each analyte based on state and federal regulations.
The Action Level is measured in ppm or ppb. 1 PPM equals 1 mg/kg and 1 PPB equals 1 ug/kg. So if the Action Level is 500 ppm, the product can contain up to 500 mg of the toxin for every kg of product weight (If your brain is starting to hurt, just remember that 500 ppm is not zero, but it’s a teeny tiny acceptable amount).
Customers should see “<LOQ” next to every analyte that passed the screening in the Result column. <LOQ translates to “less than the Limit of Quantification,” which means the lab confirmed the contaminant was below the safe allowable limit.

Spanish Language COAs

Thirteen percent of the population speaks Spanish at home, earning it the title of the most common non-English language in the nation. In fact, the U.S. has the second largest population of Spanish speakers in the world after Mexico.

Regarding cannabis, 20% of young Hispanic adults and nearly 10% of people over 26 years old say they're daily cannabis users.

Transparency is key to raising the bar on this industry’s quality and safety. Still, most Yet many brands fall short of educating this diverse community in meaningful ways.
At ACS, we believe education is critical to ensure equitable access for all Hispanic and Latin American adults. As a result, we recently launched Spanish-language COAs for all hemp and cannabis clients and products nationwide.aren’t familiar with laboratory reports and may not know where to start. That’s Our user-friendly COA and How to Read a COA guide seeks to solve that issue.

Download the COA as a PDF

Beyond
Compliance

Start Testing

What you'll find on a COA

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) does not allow farmers to clip their own samples for testing. Instead, they must enlist approved third-party laboratories to conduct this task. Through ACS’s designation as the largest DEA-registered
Locker room of CBD experts with collection of lab coats on a rack
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Over a Decade
of Progress

2008

A checkmark icon in white.
Founded as a Clinical Lab and received Federal CILA license
A checkmark icon in white.
Began SOP Development for cannabis testing ahead of regulations
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2015

Jerry Winters joined as CFO Achieved peak revenue of $27M, primarily driven by toxicology business Reduction of government insurance reimbursement rates in 2015 led to toxicology testing revenue declines in and after 2016

Plus icon in violetWhite plus icon

2017

A checkmark icon in white.
Began Testing Cannabis for self regulating Florida operators.
A checkmark icon in white.
Florida’s First Cannabis Products ever to be sold to patients were tested by ACS Laboratory.
A checkmark icon in white.
First to Report 11 Cannabinoids ahead of every laboratory in the US.
Plus icon in violetWhite plus icon

2018

A checkmark icon in white.
First to Report 16 Cannabinoids
A checkmark icon in white.
Expanded lab to 17,500 Sq ft. and grew staff to 80 team members
A checkmark icon in white.
First Hemp Sample test at ACS laboratory
Plus icon in violetWhite plus icon

2019

A checkmark icon in white.
ISO/IEC 10725 Accreditation
A checkmark icon in white.
First PAH  and Vitamin E Acetate
A checkmark icon in white.
First to report 18 Cannabinoids ahead of every laboratory in the US
A checkmark icon in white.
Awarded 21 Emerald Badges leading the US in standards measured by Emerald Test
A checkmark icon in white.
Florida’s First Test for Shelf Life & Stability
A checkmark icon in white.
First Florida Designated Hemp Testing Lab DEA licenses and CLIA certified
Plus icon in violetWhite plus icon

2020

A checkmark icon in white.
First Delta (8) / Delta 10 Test developed in-house as a proprietary method
A checkmark icon in white.
Testing Hemp from 48 States - also testing samples from 5 additional countries
A checkmark icon in white.
Awarded 21 Emerald Badges again leasing the US in standards by Emerald Test
Plus icon in violetWhite plus icon

2021

A checkmark icon in white.
Expanded Lab to  20,000 SqFt and grew staff to 138 team members
A checkmark icon in white.
First to report 21 Cannabinoids addition of THC-O Acetate plus 103 pesticides
Plus icon in violetWhite plus icon
Grey arrow pointing left
Grey vector arrow pointing to the right

2008

A checkmark icon in white.
Founded as a Clinical Lab and received Federal CILA license
A checkmark icon in white.
Began SOP Development for cannabis testing ahead of regulations
Plus icon in violetWhite plus icon

2015

Jerry Winters joined as CFO Achieved peak revenue of $27M, primarily driven by toxicology business Reduction of government insurance reimbursement rates in 2015 led to toxicology testing revenue declines in and after 2016

Plus icon in violetWhite plus icon

2017

A checkmark icon in white.
Began Testing Cannabis for self regulating Florida operators.
A checkmark icon in white.
Florida’s First Cannabis Products ever to be sold to patients were tested by ACS Laboratory.
A checkmark icon in white.
First to Report 11 Cannabinoids ahead of every laboratory in the US.
Plus icon in violetWhite plus icon

2018

A checkmark icon in white.
First to Report 16 Cannabinoids
A checkmark icon in white.
Expanded lab to 17,500 Sq ft. and grew staff to 80 team members
A checkmark icon in white.
First Hemp Sample test at ACS laboratory
Plus icon in violetWhite plus icon

2019

A checkmark icon in white.
ISO/IEC 10725 Accreditation
A checkmark icon in white.
First PAH  and Vitamin E Acetate
A checkmark icon in white.
First to report 18 Cannabinoids ahead of every laboratory in the US
A checkmark icon in white.
Awarded 21 Emerald Badges leading the US in standards measured by Emerald Test
A checkmark icon in white.
Florida’s First Test for Shelf Life & Stability
A checkmark icon in white.
First Florida Designated Hemp Testing Lab DEA licenses and CLIA certified
Plus icon in violetWhite plus icon

2020

A checkmark icon in white.
First Delta (8) / Delta 10 Test developed in-house as a proprietary method
A checkmark icon in white.
Testing Hemp from 48 States - also testing samples from 5 additional countries
A checkmark icon in white.
Awarded 21 Emerald Badges again leasing the US in standards by Emerald Test
Plus icon in violetWhite plus icon

2021

A checkmark icon in white.
Expanded Lab to  20,000 SqFt and grew staff to 138 team members
A checkmark icon in white.
First to report 21 Cannabinoids addition of THC-O Acetate plus 103 pesticides
Plus icon in violetWhite plus icon
Today's agenda image
Joseph Jeffries' contact information image
How to read a COA header image

How to read a COA
(certificate of analysis)

01

HOW TO READ a COA Presented by Joseph Jeffries Client Success Consultant, ACS Laboratory

02

TODAY’S AGENDA Who is ACS Laboratory? Hemp & Cannabis Labeling Issues What is a CoA? Review a CoA, Section by Section CoA Red Flags, Spotting a Fake Audience Q&A

03

WHO IS ACS LABORATORY? Founded in 2008 Largest in Eastern US In-House SOP Development Exceeding Natl’ & State Requirements Awarded 21 Emerald Test Badges National Leaders In Certifications

04

HEMP & CANNABIS LABELING ISSUES JAMA study found 70% of products misrepresented potency Over 20% contained unmentioned THC There’s a lack of education. The industry is infantile. There’s a lack of testing.

05

WHAT IS A COA? COA | Certificate of Analysis Analytical Report of Product Content from an Independent Laboratory Safety & Potency Verification Includes All Performed Tests Proof of Product Compliance Provides Consumers with Confidence & Transparency

06

HOW TO READ a COA

07

READING THE HEADER Determines the Relevance of Data Includes Lab Info to Verify Credentials Shows Company That Contracted Testing Batch Number & Description Matching Product QR Code to Verify Authenticity 2 3 1 4 5 6

08

READING THE SUMMARY RESULTS Lists & Summarizes All Tests Performed Quick Overview of Safety / Compliance Results Breakdown of Common Cannabinoid Potencies Alludes to Quality of Product

09

READING THE POTENCY RESULTS Cannabinoids & Terpenes Only Not Pass/Fail Results Exact Compounds and Concentrations RESULT: How Many mg of Each Analyte Per Gram or mL of Product Presented as a % of Material LOQ: “Limit of Quantification” Lowest Accurately Measurable Blank Results Signify No Significant Quantities of Analytes

10

READING THE CONTAMINANT RESULTS Safety Testing for Harmful Contaminants Action Levels Established by Florida Dept. of Health Heavy Metals, Residual Solvents, Pesticides and Mycotoxins All Have Established Action Levels Microbiology is Presence/Absence Pass/Fail System 1ppm = 1mg/kg 1bbp = 1µg/kg

11

READING THE REPORT FOOTER Legitimizes the COA Shows Lab Stands Behind Results Includes Lab Contact Information Displays Lab License Number Principal Scientist’s Signoff ACS Laboratory COAs CLIA ID Number Lab Toxicologist Signoff

12

COA RED FLAGS SPOTTING A FAKE Lack of Contaminant Testing Failed Contaminant Testing (possibly remediated) Missing Common Cannabinoids No Laboratory Certifications Noncompliant THC Levels THC/CBD >10% Variance of Claim Less Terpene Content than Claimed

A bit
about us

ACS laboratory is continuously awarded the most Emerald Test Badges in the country for cannabis and hemp testing facilities, establishing ACS as an industry benchmark for accuracy, consistency and proficiency in testing results. Founded in 2008, ACS Laboratory is DEA licensed and CLIA licensed laboratory with the largest state-of-the-art testing facility in the Eastern U.S.
About Us