As the CBD industry continues to experience rapid growth, more companies are looking to jump on board the newest cash crop. Fake CBD oil products are beginning to flood the marketplace, threatening the well-being of users.
As research shows, pure and unadulterated CBD oil may unlock the body’s potential to heal from within itself. Studies suggest CBD benefits could range from reducing chronic pain to Crohn's disease, and anywhere in between.
However, some companies are just looking to make a quick buck and have no vested interest in your health. In fact, there has been an influx of news stories relating to people getting sick after taking fake CBD oil.
But don’t let this stop you from exploring your options for natural health, because there are plenty of reputable companies who work with your health and wellness in mind. Take a look at our 8-step guide to learn how to weed through the fake ones and find the right CBD oil product that works for you.
Guidelines for Identifying Fake CBD Oil
1. Fake CBD Oil May Use Misleading Labels
Companies will often use confusing terminology to try and trick customers into purchasing fake CBD products. Be wary of companies that use “buzzwords” because it’s often used as a tactic to evoke emotion but offers little actual value. While some terms may represent factual information, many companies will use them without any real relevance. Supermarkets are a great example! How often do you see products marked as “all-natural”, “organic”, or “cage-free”? Certain words skew our perceptions, making us think something is better than it actually is. Well, just like the food industry, some fake CBD oil companies will stretch the truth so you’ll buy their product.
Inspecting the label can help determine whether a product actually contains CBD, and precisely how much. Look for phrases that describe CBD oil as “Certified CBD,” “Pure Cannabidiol,” or “made from pure CBD.” Along with these phrases, a specific milligram amount of CBD should appear on the label. This information will help you better determine just how much CBD is in a serving size. The amount of CBD present in a product will help you better verify the potency, so you know how much you should take and what kind of effects you may experience.
Products that are missing any of this pertinent information should be considered a major red flag.
2. Determine the CBD Oil Origin Source
Aside from production, one of the prominent signs to know if CBD oil is real is where it came from initially. CBD can be sourced from either marijuana or industrial hemp and can be grown all across the world.
International growth and cultivation laws can vary vastly from country to country. What may be considered “natural” in Europe, may not be the same here in America. Take the time to research any company before you purchase from them.
Most reputable companies will make this information simple to find on their website (you can see ours here), or a customer service representative will be able to answer any questions.
Because CBD can come from both marijuana and hemp, some products may contain trace amounts of THC. CBD oil derived from marijuana will have some amount of THC, although some companies may not disclose how much. CBD oil from hemp, on the other hand, should contain very little to no THC.
Some scammers may say that their product comes from hemp and has no THC, but they may be making false claims- which is why it’s important to review third-party test results.
3. CBD Oil Third-Party Testing is a Must
Simply put, if there are no third-party lab tests, don’t buy it.
If a company fails to be transparent in their testing, what else are they failing to do correctly? Since the CBD industry isn’t FDA regulated yet, company transparency is critical.
By partnering with a third-party lab, companies can prove that the claims they are making about their products are accurate. Without this type of testing, a company can create any number of outlandish claims without any evidence to back it up. Lab results should be easily obtainable through a company website or through direct contact with a customer service rep.
This type of third-party lab testing is also costly and time-consuming, meaning not everyone will take the time and effort to do so. By investing in their product testing, companies show that they are in the CBD Oil industry for the right reasons and product transparency is an essential facet of their business practices.
"If finding third-party lab results is difficult, it could be fake CBD oil. Companies who aren’t willingly able to share lab results may have something to hide."
4. Determine CBD Oil Production Standards
Not all CBD oil is created equal. Even CBD that comes from the same plant can undergo various types of extraction and production methods.
Organic and all-natural growing is one thing, but cultivation and production must also meet the highest standards.
If they haven’t already provided the information, you should discover what kind of CBD extraction methods a company uses and whether they manufacture products in-house. Is any part of the manufacturing process outsourced to a third-party company? Do they ship their products themselves?
Take a closer look at how a company produces their product — if they provide this information. Many reputable companies utilize their own lab for production to keep an eye on every step of the process. Producers of fake CBD oil may be difficult to distinguish, so take your time and do the proper research to learn some of the necessary background information about any particular product.
Taking the time to properly research a product before making a purchase can go a long way to ensuring that your body is getting the proper nutrition.
5. Research Reviews
In the world of online digital sales, customer reviews are king. User testimonials give direct insight into how a company works with customers. These reviews are the easiest way to get a first-hand look at how a company treats its customers and how they give information about their products.
If a company lacks strong reviews, they probably don’t have reliable products. Established CBD Oil companies will have plenty of customer reviews for you to view. Check a company’s website and social media pages to get relevant reviews. Testimonials can also be a good way to gain insight into how a product directly affected a customer.
These testimonials can show how a product worked or didn't work for someone, and they can also give information on what it was like dealing with the company. If a company doesn't have many reviews or if they seem fake in any way, be wary of using their products. Fake CBD oil companies can often make false claims to garner potential customer interest.
6. Legal Information
With the rules and regulations changing on a weekly basis, the laws regarding CBD can be quite confusing. It may be legal in one state and not in another, depending on where the CBD comes from initially.
The laws surrounding CBD legality are continually changing on both a state and federal level. If a company can provide some legal background on its products, it can go a long way to ensuring your peace of mind. Reputable brands will be able to provide detailed information about the legality of all their products.
The ultimate legality of CBD lies in its origin: whether it came from hemp or marijuana. Hemp will have little to no THC—0.3% or less, to be exact—while marijuana-based CBD oil will have a specific THC-to-CBD ratio. THC is what makes it illegal, and fake CBD oil may contain higher concentrations of THC without disclosing that information. Reputable companies will be able to provide where their CBD comes from, what extraction process they used, and how much CBD concentration is in their products.
7. Beware of Outlandish CBD Oil Claims
Phrases like “miracle drug” or “cure-all” sound nice, but should be immediate red flags. Although research suggests how CBD can be for your health, further FDA testing is required to determine if it is a viable cure or prevention for any disease.
Companies that make outlandish claims in support of their product are usually doing so to cover up their lack of knowledge and could be potential scams. Labels that claim their product is a cure or prevention for any diseases can also be a red flag as the FDA hasn’t approved CBD as a potential medicinal product. Universal buzzwords like “miracle drug” or “as seen on” can be wildly broad generalizations that are used only to evoke customer emotion. Many of these terms have no informational value but are only used to lure you into purchasing a mislabeled product.
One of the greatest scam tactics is to offer a “free trial bottle” and all you have to pay is shipping and handling. Don’t fall victim to this old trick; that “one time” charge can quickly turn into a monthly “club” subscription with recurring charges that are difficult to remove. Reputable companies may offer discounts or even free trial offers but will never make you pay for a “free” bottle.
8. Make Contact with the Company
The best way to get the answers you’re looking for is to ask. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, there should be a phone number or email you can reach out to for answers.
Determine the easiest way to get in touch with the brand you are interested in, be it email, phone, chat, or social media. Generally speaking, the more information a company has available on their products and themselves, the more likely they can be trusted.
That does not mean just because a company has a website and informative pages you should immediately try their product without any research. The more research and homework you do on a company, the better peace of mind you’ll have when buying their products.
Don’t let fake CBD oil deter you from healing the natural way.
Do your homework, know your products, and heal with confidence knowing you’ve done the proper research
In the end, trust your gut. If something doesn't look, feel, or sound right, it probably isn’t. Just because there are a few bad CBD apples, doesn’t mean you should not inform yourself of the benefits of using CBD oil. As with any online purchase, be wary of the supplier and do your due diligence before making a health-related purchase.