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e. coli causing false positives in kratom testingINTRODUCTION
 
One of the most-asked questions we get is how it’s possible for two testing labs to get results that are so far off from each other. By the end of this article, you will have a crystal-clear view of why this typically is.

As a note, we are only going to refer to labs who are making a genuine effort to get as accurate Kratom testing results to you as possible. There are always bad players who find ways of inflating results, in an effort to please their clients and make themselves look good. (In our ours, any inaccuracies in testing results is only a negative, not a plus.)

Since lists can be so TLDR, here is our Top 8 List of reasons why Kratom testing can vary so much from one lab to the next, in a series of questions:

 

  1. DOES THE LAB HAVE DEDICATED MACHINES TO TEST KRATOM? – Here at Wonderland Labs, we have 2 machines that only run Kratom tests, and 2 machines that only run Kava tests. These machines are calibrated daily, and the columns, calibration curves, and methods are never swapped out to make room for other types of tests. This alone brings a consistency to testing that is unparalleled in the industry.
  2. HOW OFTEN DOES THE LAB CALIBRATE THEIR MACHINES? – There are several types of calibrations a lab can do with their testing machines. First, there is a calibration that is conducted on regular intervals using a pure MIT and a pure 7OH sample from a chemical supply house such as Sigma. When a machine is (properly) calibrated against this reference standard, the machine should be accurate within just a few percentage points.Wonderland Labs runs this reference standard calibration every 3 months. But we also have 2 further calibrations that we do on a daily and a weekly basis. The same time that we run a reference standard from a chemical supply house, we run a calibration standard based on those test results. This gives each of our Kratom machines a set of reference samples that range from 0.1% up to 100%.Then third, whenever we get an “expected” amount on any material that arrives, we will run a calibration sample alongside each set of tests from a client. That means every Sample Set automatically has a calibration sample tested simultaneously with material from each client is tested.See our full calibration schedule in “HOW WE MAINTAIN ACCURACY IN KRATOM TESTING” article elsewhere on our blog.
  3. WHAT TECHS ARE TESTING YOUR MATERIAL? – This may seem like a small detail, but despite the precision set of steps used for coming up with an accurate testing number, different techs can come up with results that may vary as much as 5%. At Wonderland Labs, a specific tech is assigned for each client. Whenever material from that client arrives, the same tech will run the preps for that specific client.
  4. WHAT EQUIPMENT IS BEING USED FOR SAMPLE PREP? – This may seem like another small detail, but the components used for testing are critical. 5 different pipettes can give 5 different measurements if those pipettes are not calibrated to give both accurate measurements and referenced to each other. It can get overwhelmingly busy in a lab. Material that is being tested for Kratom clients is often in such a rush that clients want their results yesterday. There can be multiple Kratom tests in a single day, that need to get crammed into all the other non-Kratom material that needs testing.Columns need to be changed, chemistry needs to be changed, machines have to get equalized, and the list goes on. Honestly, I don’t know how any lab that doesn’t have a dedicated set of equipment just for Kratom testing can get results that are within 5-7% variance.That is simply too wide of a margin for Wonderland Labs.
  5. IS THE MATERIAL DRIED BEFORE TESTING? – This is another much-overlooked aspect of testing material in the lab. This is especially true when it comes to testing high % Kratom extracts. Since those materials are so pure, they act like sponges when exposed to air.Our lab has a VERY controlled, low humidity environment because of this very reason. We’ve taken material, tested as is, and have seen a result of 60%. When we dry that same material on low heat for several hours, we’ve seen results as high as 15% higher. That is a MASSIVE change in what the client would get as a result.
  6. IS THERE A REFUSAL TO ADMIT FAULT? – We’re taught very early on to never admit error. We’re all human. We’ll using highly sensitive, and highly-sophisticated machinery that relies on constant calibration to remain accurate. Humans can make mistakes.Here at Wonderland Labs, we’re not afraid to admit to an error. And, if we are told of an error, or find an error during our post approval process checks, we don’t hesitate to admit it. Our main goal here is to provide the most accurate testing, at the most reasonable prices, and with the fastest results. This may sound like a recipe for disaster. But due to our extensive protocols that have been put into place from over 15 years of testing the potency of Kratom and Kava, disasters are just a thought about what could happen.
  7. ARE RESULTS BEING VALIDATED? – There are two types of validation for samples that get tested at a lab; internal validation and external validation. Most labs will run a single test, and then go with that result. What labs don’t tell clients though, is that results are typically only accurate within 5-7%. This is not unusual; it’s normal, even for highly sophisticated testing equipment.There are so many small steps that go into getting the final result, that any variance along the Kratom or Kava testing pathway can lead to magnified differences in the end. If a different techs preps your material with a different set of pipettes or graduated cylinder, if they use a machine to test after it’s run multiple other materials that same day, if the column has been switched since the last test, if the chemistry has changed from a buffer with 9.5pH to 10.0pH, to a while list of other variables – tests from one result to the next can easily fall within that 5-7% variance.Wonderland Labs takes extraordinary steps to ensure that we’re accurate from within 1-2% every test, every time.

    We also take the further step of asking for a “second opinion” when it comes to mission critical materials such as “input materials” that manufacturers are going to formulate entire batches of product over a long period of time. We know that there are often tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake in these moments. We’re not too proud to send samples out to 1-2 of our trusted labs to provide comfort to our clients that multiple labs are all in agreement with the exact number we provide you with.

    In fact, Wonderland Labs offers an exclusive “CUSTOM CALIBRATION PROGRAM” for any mission critical material. In this program, we build you your own set of calibration samples, and send the original input material out to our partner labs to get 3 results in total. We then have a meeting with the client, discuss the result, and agree on a path forward before any final numbers are placed onto a Certificate of Analysis.

    We didn’t realize how popular this program would be; which indicates to us how much of a need there was for a program like this in the industry.

  8. ARE YOU JUST ANOTHER DOLLAR SIGN IN A SEA OF DOLLAR SIGNS? – This might not seem like a critical detail. But Wonderland Labs takes personal pride in getting you results that you can trust, rely on, and UNDERSTAND.Keith (owner) gives his personal cell to all VIP clients. Clients then have instant access to him whenever a question arises, or whenever any time-sensitive issue comes up. Keith was on the Board of Directors for the Botanical Legal Defense years ago. After that started to take up too much time, Keith left it, but still wanted to find a way to give back to the community.Wonderland Labs seemed like the perfect way to do this, and that has proven to be true time and time again. Give us a try, and if you don’t feel your results are accurate, we are here to figure out why that might be, instead of just blindly defending the results we had over to you.

    We want to be your Trusted Partner in a sea of options. Kratom testing and Kava testing are what we specialize in, and have for nearly 2 decades now. We’ve got the first material we ever sampled in 2004, from a guy named Duncan. It’s an early Kratom resin, and that has been one of our favorite reference samples.

    Don’t blindly trust the lab that looks like it has the most money, is the biggest, or has a website that looks super slick and cost thousands of dollars.

    Trust the lab who specializes in the testing you want done, who cares about you as a client, and who always does what it takes to provide you with Kratom lab testing results that you can trust without question.

WHY CERTIFICATES OF ANALYSIS?

A Certificate of Analysis will confirm that any material is safe for consumption according to FDA guidelines. It doesn’t mean it’s legal for consumption, it just means that if the tested material were to be consumed, it would not contain any of the common pathogens that are most-often and most-likley to be found in foods and/or dietary supplements.

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