As Forrest Gump famously put it, “My mama always said, ‘Life was like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get.’” Which might be fine for some things in life but when it comes to buying CBD, or any cannabis product for that matter, you want to know exactly what you’re getting.
Fortunately, something called a QR code (QR stands for Quick Response) will tell you. It’s a type of scannable barcode, read by a smartphone, that contains large quantities of data about a product, more than could be printed on the package.
The first thing most people look for is the independent lab analysis stating which cannabinoids are in the product and in what amounts. For instance, you may need to know that the THC content isn’t more than 0.3 %, a legal requirement in 33 states. The QR code will also give you the manufacturer’s name and web address, when the product was made and its expiration date (the batch numbers), and whether the batch was tested for contaminants such as heavy metals and pesticides.
So far only a few states require QR codes. However, reputable CBD companies are voluntarily getting on board because it tells both them and their customer exactly what’s in the “box of chocolates.”
Indiana made QR code mandatory last year. This report covers some of the issues.