Cannabidiol — the wonder supplement of the decade — has many consumers due to its popularity as a wellness and health-related supplement. Its immense benefits in helping people get rid of chronic pain issues, treating anxiety and depression, and also helping people sleep better is being researched and documented across the world.
Adding to its popularity is the fact that it is available in many different forms that can easily be consumed by people as per their preference. Not only is CBD available as an oil, that one can consume directly or add to one’s food and beverage preparations, but is also available in the form of tinctures, that one can just place under one’s tongue to get immediate benefits.
The other forms of CBD are capsules that people who don’t like the earthy and natural taste of CBD can use, without any worries about swallowing it like oil or placing it under the tongue like tinctures.
Fake CBD products
All these features and benefits have unfortunately led to a growth in spurious and fake CBD products that use inferior ingredients or worse no CBD at all as a part of the product and instead rely on cheap alternatives to replicate the taste of CBD but without any health benefits.
These fake alternatives, which offer no health benefits, have led people to doubt the health and wellness claims of CBD products and their overall effectiveness in treating different types of ailments. This is a bad practice and could affect the entire working of the CBD industry and the people associated with it.
In worse case scenarios these fake CBD products could also lead to harmful side effects for the people who use them and be detrimental to their health in the long run.
Being a new supplement, people are just getting accustomed to buying CBD as a health and wellness supplement. This lack of awareness makes it easy for counterfeiters to replicate CBD products and pass them on as the real thing.
Given the pricing of CBD products and how easy it is to make money from marketing duplicate products, many small time manufacturers and counterfeiters have started indulging in the unethical practice of producing products of low quality and even with CBD that is not sourced from the US (US CBD is considered of the best quality) and selling it as a genuine product.
The whole process of manufacturing and selling products that don’t have original and pure CBD in them is completely illegal and invites criminal prosecution under different statues of law.
Different types of fake CBD products
While some products are outright copies of popular and genuine brands, without the natural and pure ingredients the original products use, one can also find other types of products which are passed on as being CBD products, while what they may actually contain is the oil of plants similar to the hemp plant.
How to spot fake CBD products
To know the difference between an original CBD product and a fake product, you need to have a thorough understanding of CBD and the different types of CBD manufacturers use in their products. This information will also help you decide which form of CBD you should use and how it can benefit you.
While these factors are not important for one to enjoy the benefits of CBD, better awareness about them will help us easily differentiate between a fake CBD and an original one.
To help people differentiate between a fake and original product we share a few helpful tips so that you are easily able to distinguish between them and enjoy the benefits of using only original CBD products.
- What type of CBD is in the product
The CBD used in CBD based products can be classified into 3 different categories based on their extraction and the types of compounds they contain. It is very important to know the type of CBD being used in the product you are using since your overall wellness and health benefits depend on the same.
Any product claiming to be another form of CBD definitely needs a closer look, before you start using it. The different types of CBD produced can be classified as;
- CBD Isolate: The purest form of CBD, it does not contain any of the other compounds, present in the hemp plant. It is usually extracted using the CO2 extraction process and also known as 99% Pure CBD.CBD Isolate is a white crystal powder form that is mixed with coconut oil, to create CBD Oils that are easy to digest. CBD Isolate is preferred by people who want to experience the benefits of pure CBD only and want to increase or decrease their CBD dosage as per their specific needs.
The neutral taste of CBD isolate is also a favorite among people since they can easily add it to their favorite foods and beverages.
When checking for the originality of the CBD Isolate product, see if there are any other compounds or additives present in it, as their presence will indicate that this is not a genuine product.
- Broad Spectrum CBD: This form of CBD is favored by some manufacturers, due to the immense health and wellness benefits it offers as compared to CBD Isolate.Broad Spectrum CBD is prepared using all the natural compounds present in the hemp plant, through a careful extraction process under the strictest hygiene conditions.
All the compounds except THC are present in this CBD form to promote the “Entourage effect” wherein all of them work together for a cumulative better benefit to the user.
In case the product you are considering to buy is labeled as broad-spectrum CBD but also has THC present in it, you need to avoid buying the same. One can find broad-spectrum CBD being used in Oils, Gummies, etc.
- Full-Spectrum CBD: Similar to broad-spectrum CBD, full-spectrum CBD also contains THC in legally permissible limits, i.e. less than 0.3%. Some people prefer this form of CBD as it provides better relief against pain, anxiety depression, etc. Fab CBD is one of the best brands that produces full spectrum oils.The usage of this form of CBD needs to be carefully monitored to avoid an overdose, which could lead to harmful side effects and even lead to nausea, vomiting, headache, etc.
- Ask for third-party lab reports
The foremost and best way to know if the product you are using is not an original but a fake product is to ask the brand manufacturer or the store you are buying it from, for a lab report of the product.
Government authorities have made it mandatory for all CBD manufacturers to get their products tested by third-party labs for the authenticity of the CBD used in the product and whether it has any contaminants in it.
Known as the Certificate of Analysis (COA), it is a documented proof that certifies the purity and quality of the CBD, while giving you an in-depth review of the ingredients used in making that product.
The absence of a proper and updated lab report signifies that there is something wrong with the product, making it non-suitable for your use. Another thing that you need to note is that the lab report should not be more than 6 months old and is for the batch of CBD you are considering buying.
- Check the ingredients list
While looking at the packaging of the product, do check whether the CBD has been made from the hemp plant or hemp seeds, as both are different and don’t offer the same benefits.
Pure and original CBD is made from the hemp plant and has immense wellness benefits. Hemp seed oil, on the other hand, does not have enough CBD in it to be of beneficial use and is mostly used in beauty and industrial applications.
While pure and good quality CBD oil may have coconut oil, which acts as a carrier for the CBD and also aids your digestion listed, there will be no other ingredients. Fake products may have a list of chemicals and compounds listed to prove their authenticity.
- Check pricing & available offers
If the pricing of the particular brand you are considering to buy, has a very low price then the chances are that it is a fake product and not made using real natural CBD.
This is because the entire CBD manufacturing process right from planting and harvesting the hemp plants, to its extraction, testing, packaging, and marketing is very costly and makes it viable to sell their products at low prices.
Any brand that offers the CBD product at a price that is too good to be true or has hard to believe offers, when compared to other brands will definitely not be the genuine stuff. Do try and ascertain if the price or offer is genuine and the company has used the best quality CBD and process before you buy such products.
- Names sounding similar to popular brands
Do look out for products that have names which seem very similar to genuine and original products, so that they may pass off as an extension of that brand. Sometimes the packaging too may look very similar with just a little color difference between both the original and fake.
A closer inspection of the name on the packaging will show very subtle differences, with the brand name being spelt incorrectly with just a single letter, to add to your confusion. It is best to buy CBD oil online from trusted brands.
- The reputation of the store
Do consider the reputation of the store you are buying the products from and whether it is recognized for stocking only original branded products. One can always check the reviews of the stores, from previous customers to determine whether the online or offline store has been implicated for selling fake stuff.
The pricing and offers the store offers, would also give you an idea about the products the store sells and whether it stocks products that are not up to the mark.
- Speak to other CBD users
According to Dr Green of The Cannabis Radar: The best way to check which products are good and which are fake or of inferior quality is to speak to other CBD users, who will be more than willing to share their experiences in using CBD products.
CBD users are always proud of the health benefits they have received from CBD products and are always willing to help others have the same enjoyable, health-related experience.
Not only can they guide you on the different benefits CBD products offer, but also how to use them, the recommended dosage per day, and the brands that should be avoided at all costs, since they are fake and not of the best quality.
Do remember though, that what may be suitable for them, may not suit you while buying a CBD product based on their recommendation.
Conclusion: Buyer beware, and fact check
The health benefits related to CBD products are many, provided one is using the original and high-quality stuff. If you happen to use a fake or low-quality product unintentionally it will hamper your entire CBD experience and even cause harmful side effects,
Being well informed of the best, original brands in the market, what is a good price to pay for CBD products and the current offers the companies offer, will help you avoid buying a fake product. Once you are aware of a fake product, make sure that you share your experience with other CBD users, so that they too may gain from this knowledge.