The Essential CBD Quality Standard

Quality that you can trust

Essential CBD is committed to providing safe, high-quality hemp-derived CBD (cannabidiol) products that meet our rigorous quality assurance standards: Essential Quality Standard (EQS). Without an industry-wide accepted standard for CBD product quality, Essential CBD created its quality standards and testing process, exceeding the country’s strictest medicinal plant quality assurance standards in California and Colorado. The EQS process certifies there are no added fillers or contaminants exceeding established legal limits in our products, and that stated product potency and ingredient lists are accurate. Through our EQS, consumers can rest assured they will receive the cleanest and highest quality CBD products.
Our quality assurance program includes testing by accredited and independent third-party laboratories, as well as our in-house analytical laboratory. This testing includes analyzing samples for purity, potency, and the presence of  contaminants, including pesticides, heavy metals, residual solvents, bacteria, mold, and yeast. We provide easy access to  test results for each batch on our website, which can be accessed by scanning the QR code on each of our product labels, or by clicking this link. Essential CBD will only release products to market after they pass our rigorous Essential Quality Standard, including testing by independent third-party laboratories.
All raw materials and ingredients used by Essential CBD are food-grade, non-GMO, and generally recognized as safe (GRAS), including our organic hemp seed oil and organic coconut-derived medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil. We only source CBD from suppliers who are cGMP and ISO 9001:2015 certified, registered with the FDA’s Food Facility database, meet GACP guidelines, and utilize industrial hemp from US commercial hemp farmers per the USDA’s Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 and Colorado Revised Statutes 35-61-101.
Our FDA compliant facility where manufacturing, production, and in-house analytical laboratory testing occurs complies with cGMP, GLP, ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 22000 standards, SQF, HACCP, and the U.S. Hemp Authority Certification Program. We set such high standards because we consider it our duty to provide the highest-quality and safest CBD products on the market.
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Supplier Standard

The Essential Quality Standardapplies to all stages of the Essential CBD’s supply chain, including independent farms, Essential CBD partner farms, processing facilities (e.g., extraction laboratories), and ingredient suppliers. Essential CBD and all of our partners must meet the highest standards in:

  • Agricultural practices
  • Materials authentication
  • Manufacturing practices
  • Traceability and chain of custody
  • Harvesting and collection practices
  • Ingredient storage and product packing
  • Hemp cultivar and chemotype selection
  • Extraction, distillation, and isolation practices
  • Quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC)
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Testing Standard

Essential Quality Standard testing begins with our suppliers, who test their products during and after manufacturing, analyzing each lot for its purity and chemical specifications to create a certificate of analysis (COA). All CBD material (isolate and distillate) is tested for pesticides, herbicides, and other toxic products before it is shipped to our facility.

The second round of testing is carried out in the laboratory at our production facility within 24-hours after receiving the products, ensuring the products’ physical and chemical characteristics match their COA. The third round of testing is conducted on each product batch we manufacture, testing for cannabinoid potency, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, residual solvents, bacteria (including Salmonella, E. coli, and Pseudomonas), yeast, and mold. Each round of testing confirms our supplies and products are free of contaminants and unexpected alterations. All independent, third-party laboratories used by Essential CBD are accredited and certified.

The Essential Quality Standard® protocol includes the following tests:

  • Purity testing
  • Microbial testing
  • Cannabinoid testing
  • Organoleptic testing
  • Heavy metal testing
  • Residual solvent testing
  • Pesticide and herbicide testing
  • Specific gravity and refractive index testing

The Essential Quality Standard® protocol relies on the following instrumentation:

  • Density meter
  • Refractometer
  • Bright-field microscope
  • Phase-contrast microscope
  • Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR)
  • Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)
  • Gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS)
  • Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)
  • Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS; with headspace analysis)
  • High-performance liquid chromatography with diode-array detection (HPLC-DAD)

Essential CBD’s in-house analytical laboratory currently includes the following major instrumentation, with plans for considerable expansion:

  • Density meter
  • Refractometer
  • Bright-field microscope
  • Phase-contrast microscope
  • Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR)
  • Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS; with headspace analysis)
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Testing Explained

Organoleptic testing involves the use of the human sensessight, smell, taste, and touch. The senses are used as the first line of quality testing to provide immediate clues to the acceptability of a product. For example, organic hemp seed oil that has an unusual smell, uneven consistency, or strange color indicates that something is wrong. This testing is used as a preliminary quality control step before any other tests are conducted.

Physical testing involves measuring the physical properties of materials for their authentication, including specific gravity and refractive index. Specific gravity describes the ratio of a liquid’s density compared to water, while density is defined as a liquid’s weight divided by its volume. Refractive index (RI) measures how fast light travels through a liquid, which is useful for material authentication because each liquid has a specific RI range.

Microbiological testing involves analyzing a sample for the presence of bio-hazardous microorganisms including bacteria, yeasts, and mold. The basic process involves collecting a sample with sterilized tools and then adding that sample to a sterile growth medium in an enclosed dish or plate under laminar flow. The sample is incubated for a period of time and then observed with a microscope for microbial growth. More complex testing for specific bacteria involves the use of quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Tests are performed on materials entering the manufacturing facility and on finished products prior to distribution.

Chemical testing involves a wide array of analytical instrumentation and testing methodologies. Due to the complex nature of analytical instrumentation mechanics and theory, we will briefly describe analyte testing below:

  • Cannabinoids are identified and analyzed for their quantity by GC-MS and LC-DAD. Which are testing methods using gas or liquid chromatography for sample analysis, based on the separation of the sample’s individual components. The sample is then analyzed by mass-spectrometry or diode array detection, which is used to identify the cannabinoids that are present and their quantities.

  • Terpenes are identified and analyzed for their quantity by headspace-GC-MS and headspace-GC-MS/MS. Testing methods using headspace-gas chromatography techniques for sample analysis based on the separation of the sample’s individual components. The sample is then analyzed by single or tandem mass-spectrometry, providing a reading about which terpenes are present and at what quantities.

  • Heavy metals are analyzed by ICP-MS, a testing method using a high-energy medium called Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) to ionize the sample. The sample is then run through a mass spectroscope, which separates the sample into its elemental parts and provides a reading about which elements are present and at what quantities.
  • Pesticides and herbicides are analyzed by GC-MS, GC-MS/MS, and LC-MS/MS. Those are testing methods using gas or liquid chromatography techniques for sample analysis, based on the separation of the sample’s individual components. The sample is then analyzed by single or tandem mass-spectrometry, which separates the sample into its component parts and elucidates which pesticides are present and at what quantities.

  • Residual solvents are analyzed by GC-MS, which is a testing method using gas chromatography for sample analysis, based on the separation of the sample’s individual components. The sample is then analyzed by mass-spectrometry, separating the sample to provide a reading about which solvents are present and at what quantities.
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