Leafly testing reveals that Mountjoy Sparkling has no hemp extract in it whatsoever.
I received an anonymous call on my direct line this morning:
"0% hemp extract. False advertising. You're going down."
The news that provoked the call was certainly upsetting for our customer base; Leafly performed a test that revealed 0% CBD in Mountjoy Sparkling CBD.
How could this be possible? Am I being ripped off by a company I appreciate and trust?
Absolutely not. I will elaborate below, but in short, we do not rely on tests of the finished sparkling water, as the results are too variable to be reliable. Instead, we get a NanoTonic formulation test and then adjust our metering per bottle accordingly. We also test a concentrate of our sparkling water. Both these results are publicly available on our web site product info page. The results are also accessible by scanning a QR code on a Mountjoy Sparkling bottle or sales materials.
You may notice in viewing Leafly's results that of our fellow CBD water producers received the same results as we did, furthering our acknowledgment that testing our finished product is not an accurate method of measuring accessible CBD. We use process testing in our production, which relies on potency testing of our NanoTonic solution, then translate the results of those tests to get an accurate batch recipe. View our most recent process test.
Lab testing of beverages is notoriously inconsistent and unreliable, therefore, process level testing is the only way to ensure a consistent product. Whether this is due to the extremely low concentrations in a single-serving drink, or the particular nature of liquids, lab procedures, or the resolution of lab equipment, or the chemical makeup of NanoTonic, I do not know. This chart shows the results of some testing we ran. Note that not only is the content of the finished product greatly different from the true content, it is not unusual for the content to come up "undertermined," or as Leafly put it, 0%.
Fortunately, we don't need to rely on these tests to ensure a consistent product. We send our NanoTonic formulation out to a trusted lab for a potency test. Then we adjust our equipment to meter for each bottle and batch run, accordingly. This procedure assures the most consistent and accurate formulation possible.
I offer Leafly to join us and follow along on a production testing workflow at any time. I welcome their oversight and would take seriously any informed comments they might have. And we would have the consistency of working with a single lab.
You need only do a Google search for “cannabis lab test results variation lab to lab” or a similar phrase to get an idea of how inconsistent results can be. Leafly suggests an error of +/- 20%. However, from lab to lab, we have seen variations as high as 50%.
In sum, potency testing is useful, but only to a certain extent. Results from lab to lab are inconsistent. Results within a given lab are inconsistent. Finished beverages present a particular challenge, to the extent that if you're looking for consistency of any sort, you're likely to find yourself pulling your hair out.
The solution for a beverage manufacturer is to entrust the last reliable measurement point, which is the analysis of the NanoTonic ingredient. If we put this much in, then it is there, just as when you add half a cup of sugar to a cake batter, you know it’s there.
I would also suggest that for any beverage company the ultimate affirmation is the customer’s experience. This is what we work towards at Mountjoy Enterprises: your experience of our product, which is a combination of flavor, feel, looks, and consistency. The latter is dependent upon process testing. Relying on full dilution testing, such as that in the Leafly test, would give you wildly disparate product runs. A bottle could have 1/3 or 3x the proper amount of ingredient, or if the Leafly results are to be believed, an infinite amount (divide anything by 0).
Once again, I invite Leafly to join us on product testing to further flush out these test results. I would welcome their insight and value their input.
As for our anonymous caller, I'd be happy to talk with you at any time. Give me a call and let's share our experiences of lab results, CBD, and its efficacy.