How to read a COA

By September 25, 2020 November 12th, 2021 COA, Data & Results

Reading a certificate of analysis (COA) can be confusing, especially when you’re trying to determine whether your hemp is compliant with the new USDA Interim Final Rule (IFR). We recently launched our Dry Weight Potency (USDA) test for final compliance testing and this article will cover the important parts of that COA.

Make sure to read our article on understanding our cannabinoid potency certifcate of analysis.

Sample Information

The first section of our certificate of analysis covers the sample and test information.

The sample name will be the name of the cultivar that was submitted for testing.
Batch ID is an optional field that can be used for internal batch tracking. It can also be used for additional information, such as GPS coordinates of your plot.
A unique identification number is assigned to each test. The Test ID can be used to confirm the authenticity of the lab report.
The Test Method (TM) number corresponds to the methodology used to perform the test. Dry Weight Potency uses TM14 (Cannabinoid Potency) and TM21 (Water Determination).
This will list the test type that was performed.

Profile Information

The second section of our Dry Weight Potency certificate of analysis contains the test data. The three most important data points of this section are:

  • Total THC content
  • Moisture content
  • Measurement Uncertainty (MU)
Limit of Quantitation (LOQ) is the lowest value that we can accurately count.
We take into account the moisture content of the sample and provide the “corrected” cannabinoid value.
Based on our measurement uncertainty (MU), we will provide a range for each cannabinoid.
The USDA requires that a lab provides the moisture content of the sample and the measurement uncertainty (MU). of the test method.
Total THC is calculated as follows: (delta-9 THC + (THCa * 0.877%)).
A “fail” equates to a concentration level of THC on a dry weight basis of higher than 0.3 percent + or – the measurement uncertainty.

Final Approval

The analyst that performed the test will sign off on their work and the data will be sent to our Quality Assurance team to review. Once the data has been reviewed, the certificate of analysis will be generated and uploaded to the customer’s client portal.

The chemist that performed the analysis will be listed here.
Our Quality Assurance department will sign off on the chemist’s work and will generate the COA.
The USDA requires that a lab provides the moisture content of the sample and the measurement uncertainty (MU). of the test method.

We're here to help!

If you’re new to hemp testing, we’re here to help make it a simple and pain-free process for you. To learn how to submit samples to our laboratory, you can review our step-by-step sample submission guide. We also have a knowledge base that contains answers to frequently asked questions. Our Customer Support staff can be reached at (888) 800-8223 ext. 3.