How To Spot Fake CBD

Guest submission from Ivan Green.

Hundreds of people have been benefited from using Cannabidiol (CBD) – a substance scientifically proven to be safe for human consumption – even for children! 

It not only has a wide range of therapeutic benefits but also has been useful for treating numerous serious ailments and disorders. 

However, not all products touted as “natural CBD oil” are actually as natural they claim to be. 

Natural CBD is admittedly safe. But they don’t include products that are made from synthetic lab-produced cannabinoids or contain contaminants, high levels of hallucinatory cannabinoids like Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or other harmful substances. 

Using such products will do more damage to you than simply making you fail a drug test. You can end up falling horribly sick or even dead! 

With the growing popularity of CBD products, some unscrupulous cannabis growers and CBD oil manufacturers are taking advantage of loopholes in the existing regulations and the vulnerabilities of the common man in this country to push their business forward with cheap, artificial and untested products in the name of CBD oil. 

Cheap Synthetic CBD 

From a once non-existent market category to a $1 billion industry, the hemp-derived CBD has become a booming industry today. 

But, it was disheartening to hear of 50 people falling severely ill after using CBD oil in Utah last year. It is worse when we find out that the oil that those people unwittingly smoked up thinking it was genuine CBD vape oil did not even contain any natural cannabinoid, but contained some lab-produced synthetic cannabinoids

The reason why people fall for these products are usually because of three reasons: 

  1. Their low price, 
  2. Tall promises of curing all health conditions, and 
  3. Claims of not being detected on a drug test. 

The unfortunate thing is these people were plain and simple duped! The company lied to its customers, and as a result, harmed them in ways that their unwary consumers were not prepared for. 

These dangerous designer drugs had prompted the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a nationwide health warning about these man-made synthetic cannabinoids. 

This is precisely why most reputed brands who sell genuine products are obligated to present their proof of their genuineness to their customers. They post the results of their products tested by third-party laboratories, also known as a Certificate of Analysis, which tests not only for synthetic components, but also other contaminants like heavy metals and pesticides and heavy metals as well as natural cannabinoids that possess hallucinatory effects, like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, a natural cannabinoid found in cannabis plants).

Spice 

Known by different names – K2, Spice, Mr. Happy, Scooby Snax, and Kronic – is nothing but a group of lab-made synthetic cannabinoids that have been associated with a lot of people falling sick.

Originally designed by scientists for research, this drug is made from dried plant materials, sprayed with hallucinogenic chemicals. 

However, with the production method of this drug being published in scientific journals as part of their research, this knowledge also fell into the hands of some unscrupulous, over-ambitious drug makers, who used it to produce illicit drugs.

Once it hit the market, it came out as a new form of marijuana and people started rolling up the plant material into “joints” and smoking them like marijuana. 

This synthetic marijuana or fake weed is also sold in a liquid form that can be inhaled through a vape pen or mixed in tea to consume. 

Although these are man-made cannabinoids, it has the same effect on the human brain (especially the endocannabinoid system) as THC, but with far more intensity (even up to 100 times more intense). 

With no way to regulate them, there is no saying which hallucinogens are being used by the manufacturers to make their products.

The “Free” Scam 

Nothing in the CBD world is free. It simply can’t be. Manufacturing a bottle of genuine, natural CBD oil is expensive. If anybody tells you otherwise, be sure you are being tricked. 

While searching for CBD oil online, if you come across phrases like: 

  • Best Price, Limited Offer
  • Limited-Time Special Offer 
  • Special Discount For Only Today

Then be alert. Look up the brand and find out if their products are genuine. 

And if you see:

  • CBD oil free trial 
  • Or, they tell you to submit your credit card to free stuff 

DON’T BUY, REPORT. 

Some “free sample” offers are nothing more than hidden subscription ploy to force you to give away your credit/debit card details, which they will use to forcefully sell you low-quality products. You may even find it difficult to cancel the alleged subscription. You may have to call up your bank or credit card company to cancel their card to stop payments. 

Some other scammers will charge you more for what they are selling by simply calling it shipping and processing fee (while they send you a low-quality product). 

Quite a few reputed CBD brands offer quality products at a fair price. Do due diligence while looking for a CBD product and research on their makers. Find out everything you can about a company and the brand before you blindly fall for such “Free, Free, Free” lure. 

Pushing Hemp Seed Oil Instead of Hemp CBD 

Another reason for the confusion among users and abuse of the market is ignorance. Not only do you need to be wary about “fake CBD” and “free samples”, but you should also learn everything there is to know about how CBD is sourced and manufactured. 

If you have, you would know that hemp seed oil is not CBD oil derived from hemp. 

So, when you research on any brand, look for its ingredients on the label or their website. 

If it is Hempseed Oil, it will be listed as Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil.

If it is genuine CBD oil, you may see Cannabidiol, full-spectrum hemp, hemp oil, PCR (phytocannabinoid-rich) or PCR hemp extracts written on the label.

Also, look at their CoA for their products on their product webpages. 

Yes, they are lab tests, but not difficult for a layman to read and understand. It is meant for you, so it’s really quite simple. 

Hemp seed oil: Although a good carrier oil for CBD, it is not the same as CBD oil. So what is it? 

For that, you need to know where CBD oil is sourced. The best quality and most potent CBD oils are produced from hemp flowers. While the rest of the plant – like its leaves and shoots – may be used too. But, they have far less CBD content. 

The smaller seeds, in particular, have the least amount of it – traces at the best. Hemp seeds can be used to make hempseed milk or granola. They can also be cold-pressed to produce oil. But this oil is only good for cooking, making beauty products, or making paint. 

While hemp seed oil does have some benefits, like mild anti-inflammatory effects and skin moisturizer, it does not have sufficient levels of CBD to be called “CBD oil”. 

This means you would end up paying much for the product that it deserves. Intentionally or unintentionally, some companies try to push a cheaper product like hemp seed oil. 

Tricking Consumers with Products with low CBD content

Apart from hemp seed oil, there are other CBD products that don’t contain enough CBD to have any perceivable health benefits. 

Always look for the CBD content in mg on the label. This is the concentration of the CBD contained in the product. The total volume of the liquid does not guarantee CBD content. 

For instance, a 3 oz. bottle of tincture, priced at $50 and containing only 100 mg of CBD, may seem like a good deal. But, it is actually not. It is costing you $0.50/mg. A 1 oz. bottle, priced at $132 and containing 3000mg of CBD, is, in fact, a better deal ($0.04/mg). 

Making Sure You Get Quality Product 

By now, you must have understood that buying CBD oil isn’t as easy as you may have thought – click-click-click. 

You need to do a lot of research…

  • Research on how CBD oil is sourced, extracted, processed, purified, and the end product manufactured. 
  • Research on the companies and brands selling the products
  • Studying the CoAs, if they are provided by the companies. If they are not provided, they are obligated to provide one on request. 
  • Understanding the current market situation and the presence of synthetic cannabinoids, scammers, and cheap variants with tall claims.
  • The actual health benefits of CBD, so you don’t get lured by brands that make outrageous claims like curing cancer! 

Always make sure you get a high-quality CBD product when you place your order. Never let promotions, discounts or unrealistic claims fool you. 

When it comes to buying CBD, there is no bliss in ignorance, only suffering!

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