What Is a Certificate of Analysis & Why Is It Important?

person conducting a lab test

Kratom leaves contain two alkaloids, or natural compounds, called mitragynine and 7-α-hydroxymitragynine. These interact with opioid receptors in the brain and are believed to bring about effects like sedation, relaxation, and reduced pain. While these effects are still subject to research, it’s understood that the alkaloid levels themselves could differ if the farming practices are drastically different from those followed by native kratom farmers in Southeast Asia. In turn, this could lead to surprising, and possibly, detrimental effects for the user. 


Lab-testing helps to investigate the composition of a batch of kratom and determine whether it’s unadulterated or not. This is why it’s important to be familiar with a certificate of analysis and how to read it.


What Exactly Is a Certificate of Analysis (CoA)?

A certificate of analysis is a document that details the results of laboratory testing on a finished product. CoAs are commonly produced for products like botanicals, food, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and research products. In many cases, especially with botanicals, the CoA is required to analyze the level of a biological alkaloid or alkaloids present in that product. Standard testing parameters include confirming the identity of the drug and its level of purity and potency, and whether they lie within the product specification range. This along with a test for additives, impurities, and harmful substances is what constitutes a certificate of analysis


Why Are CoAs Important?

Without certified lab-testing, it’s practically impossible to benchmark kratom products and verify their safety and authenticity. And unregulated products in the wellness industry like kratom, in particular, must be held to a higher standard. As a customer, you should insist on detailed certificates of analysis from your kratom vendor. 


How to Read a Certificate of Analysis?

At Kratom Country, our lab tests follow a rigorous five-step process to ensure you receive only the best and purest kratom. Here’s what is analyzed in our certificates of analysis:


1) Plant Identity

Before we get to anything else, it’s important to establish the origin, species, and strain of the kratom being packaged. Kali green Maeng Da isn’t the same as red Maeng Da pills isn’t the same as Bali kratom capsules.


2) Alkaloids Test

The alkaloid content in a kratom product determines its potency and the experience it delivers. This test ensures that the alkaloid levels are within legally permissible limits. It helps deliver consistency for you as a customer so that you are aware of quantities and possible effects.


3) Adulteration Test

What is a kratom test without a certificate of analysis for adulterants? Nothing. Kratom is popular and plenty of vendors out there know it. However, in their hurry to get a product out to market, they can be lax with their tests for foreign substances. Letting impurities subsist within a batch can lead to toxicities and serious health implications. With this test, we ensure we only send out 100% pure kratom.


4) Heavy Metals Test

The kratom plant can absorb trace amounts of heavy metals like arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury through the soil. This test checks to see whether these substances fall within acceptable standards.


5) Biological Safety Test

Finally, we check for contamination with salmonella, E. Coli, staphylococcus, aerobic plate count, yeast, mold, and bacteria. This helps guarantee that your kratom is pure and unadulterated.  

When you read a certificate of analysis, consider how reliable the source is as well. Testing done by a reputable, independent laboratory is a must. You have to ask, what use is a certificate of analysis anyway if it’s just done in-house by the vendor themselves? At Kratom Country, we’re committed to 100% purity in all our products. We have the largest selection of kratom strains you’re likely to find in any one place, not to mention exclusive deals and an amazing loyalty program. Contact our support staff with any questions you have — they’re pretty awesome! Keep up with our wellness blog for more tips and kratom-related information.