How To Spot Fake CBD Oil?

Recent scientific studies have reported several health benefits of using CBD.  These studies have also established the fact that CBD does not possess any psychoactive properties. These reports paved the way for the US Federal Government to relax laws around CBD products.

However, despite the relaxation of these laws, there are still many doubts surrounding the legal status of CBD across the country. And with USFDA not regulating activities related to CBD, many unscrupulous sellers have started marketing fake CBD in the name of hemp-based CBD Oil.

Therefore, “How to Spot Fake CBD and how to Stop Fake CBD?” are the two big questions puzzling the law-making authorities, genuine CBD oil companies, and also many CBD users in the country.

Before delving deeper into the composition of fake CBD, it will be imperative to learn a few basics about CBD. It will be particularly beneficial for those new to using CBD.

What Is CBD?

CBD is the short form of cannabidiol. It is present in the Cannabis Sativa species of the plants. The cannabis plants contain more than 100 cannabinoids. Other than CBD, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most popular among these cannabinoids known for its psychoactive properties. 

Hemp and Marijuana plants are the two major sources of cannabinoids. Marijuana has been used for recreational purposes since ancient times. The Hemp plant, on the other hand, has until recently been grown industrially to manufacture paper, textiles, cosmetics, building material, and plastic, etc.

Does CBD get you high?

Until recently, all cannabinoids compounds present in the Marijuana plant were considered to possess psychoactive characteristics. However, recent studies have revealed that it is THC and not CBD, which is responsible for getting the typical high of Marijuana.

The reason for the different effects of the two compounds is hidden in the way these compounds interact with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) of the human body.

It is interesting to note that the ECS of the human body naturally produces cannabinoids to control various physiological functions like mood, appetite, sensation and motor function, etc. The system comprises numerous receptors throughout the nervous system and the peripheral system of the body.

Scientists in their various studies found out that THC binds directly with these receptors and affects the cognitive behavior of the human being and therefore gives a feeling of high. CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t bind with the receptors and thus does not influence the cognitive behavior responsible for producing the psychoactive effects.

What is the legal status of using CBD?

Apart from being non-psychoactive, CBD has also been found to offer many health benefits. This encouraged medical scientists, pharmaceutical companies, and lawmakers to work towards relaxing laws related to CBD. And the US federal government responded positively by making it legal to manufacture, sell and use Hemp-based CBD containing less than 0.3% THC.

Why only Hemp-based CBD products are legalized?

It is because of the fact that Marijuana contains a high amount of THC and a low content of CBD. Legalizing Marijuana-based CBD will allow farmers to grow Marijuana plants without any legal constraints. This will make it difficult for the law enforcing authorities to control issues related to the use of Marijuana for recreational purposes.

The Hemp plant, on the other hand, has a higher percentage of CBD with a trace amount of THC. So, it will be easy to ensure that the CBD thus derived does not contain any significant amount of THC that can be abused for recreational purposes.

What are the different types of CBD?

There are three major types of CBD extracts viz. Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and CBD Isolate.

Full Spectrum CBD contains all the compounds present in the source plant and thus offers the benefits of the entourage effect. So, apart from CBD, Full Spectrum extract also contains some amount of THC in it.

Broad Spectrum CBD contains all the compounds present in the plant excluding THC. So, it offers an entourage effect quite similar to Full Spectrum and at the same time does not contain any THC in it.

CBD Isolate only contains CBD. So, though it doesn’t get the benefit of the entourage effect it offers the advantage of not containing any THC in the product. 

What is fake or contaminated CBD?

After knowing the basics about CBD, now it will be easier to understand about fake CBD. While pure CBD contains plant-based CBD free from any contaminants and harmful additives, the fake CBD may contain many undesirable and toxic substances or may not contain CBD, at all.


Many additives can lead to serious health issues if mixed with CBD. Some of them include Vitamin E, Propylene Glycol, and artificial colors and flavors, etc. Many cheap brands use these ingredients to reduce the cost of the product.

Heavy Metals 

On the one hand, Hemp is a wonderful alternative to get CBD with very low THC levels. On the other hand, its high bio-accumulating properties pose some other kind of issues. Due to this special property, Hemp plants absorb all the substances including the harmful heavy metals present in the land.

Cultivating, hemp plant in a controlled environment is thus necessary to grow high-quality toxin-free hemp. However, it requires a higher investment to create the right environment to grow such hemp plants. Most of the spurious brands do not follow such practices thus expose consumers to toxic heavy metals by selling contaminated hemp products.

Synthetic CBD 

This is the worst form of CBD products. Scientists had developed lab CBD to study its properties and effects. Some manufacturers got hold of the lab formula and now using it in producing synthetic CBD. Rather than offering health benefits, fake synthetic CBD like K2, Spice, and Mr. Happy can actually lead to serious health-related problems.

As the synthetic formula is not governed by any regulation, no one can guess what ingredients go in making these products and what effects it will have on the users.

Nil or Negligible CBD

Some sellers are offering CBD with no CBD or a very negligible amount of CBD in their CBD oils. Many brands are offering Hemp seed oil in the name of CBD oil. It is important to note here that hemp seed oil is a good carrier oil to make hemp products, however, it is not potent enough to be used as CBD oil. These low quality products do not offer any health benefits to the user. 

What are the Effects of Fake CBD?

The effect of fake CBD will depend on the type and amount of contaminants.

In the case of CBD oil with no or a negligible amount of CBD, there won’t be any direct harm. However, it will indirectly harm by not providing the desired benefits to the consumers. This may create doubt on the efficacy of CBD products in the mind of the users and they may discontinue taking CBD in any form.

Synthetic CBD and CBD contaminated with toxic heavy metals, poisonous environmental substances like Xenoestrogens or artificial additives can cause serious health issues. Some of them may include hallucinations, seizures, psychosis, suffocation, increased heart rate, and BP, etc. It can even be fatal in some cases.

How to spot fake CBD oil?

Now comes the most pertinent question around the fake CBD. How to spot fake CBD oil amidst such a huge crowd of CBD sellers?

Well, spurious sellers will use all their wits to disguise their fake products like hemp seed oil as the purest CBD oil. However, if you are alert and aware, you can separate fake CBD from the genuine one. Here are a few ways to know how to spot fake CBD oil.

Check for the type of CBD

Check for the type of CBD used in the product. If the seller is not declaring whether CBD is made with Full Spectrum, Broad spectrum, or CBD isolate, it is a clear indication of fake CBD.

Check for the percentage of CBD

CBD starts to solidify at around 60% concentration. Above this concentration, CBD oil takes the form of a paste. So, if a seller is claiming more than 60% CBD concentration, in all its probability, such CBD oil is not genuine.

Observe the appearance of the oil

Pure CBD oil has a brown or amber appearance. Some CBD oil may also appear green in color. CBD oil produced using CBD Isolate may be transparent or have a very light color. So, check for the type of CBD declared on the product label. If it is Broad or Full Spectrum oil and is transparent, then the CBD oil is fake.

Smell and taste the Oil

Full and Broad Spectrum oils with no added flavor taste and smell earthy or like a weed. However, if the CBD oil with these types of extracts tastes and smells nice despite no added flavor declared on the product label, such CBD Oil has more chances of being fake. However, CBD oil made with CBD Isolate may not have any taste or odor.

Observe the name of the brand carefully

Many spurious sellers keep the name of their brands that may sound or spell almost similar to the popular genuine CBD brands. They may even copy the color or the packaging pattern of the renowned brands with very subtle differences. Such brands are fake without a doubt. 

How to Stop Fake CBD?

Once we know how to spot fake CBD oil, the next big question is how to stop fake CBD oil or how to avoid using fake CBD. Here are some of the tips to stop using fake CBD oil.

Third Party Lab Report

This is the best way to know the composition of CBD and avoid using fake CBD. The genuine CBD brands get their product tested through a competent third party laboratory. The third party laboratories test the composition of the product and the content of THC, heavy metals, and chemicals in the product.

Besides, genuine sellers also share these third party lab reports and Certificate of Analysis (COA) transparently on their official website or make them available to the public on request through email.

Do not buy from a company that does not get its product tested from a third party or does not provide its COA for public viewing.

Product Label

The product label on the packaging provides a lot of information about the product. You should not buy the product if you find this information to be incomplete, incorrect, or dubious. Selling Hemp seed Oil as real CBD oil, declaring no THC on the label of Full Spectrum oil, and having artificial additives in the CBD, is enough to stop you from buying such products. 

Price and offers

Manufacturing high-quality Full Spectrum and other types of CBD oil involves many processing steps requiring advanced equipment and skilled man-power. Therefore, the operational costs of producing CBD are quite high.

In addition, the gap between demand and supply also increases the cost of CBD. Therefore, real CBD oil is quite expensive, unlike hemp seed oil. So, be cautious if you find unreasonably cheap CBD and avoid buying such products. Also, if a CBD company is offering hard-to-believe schemes and offers, check for their credentials before shopping for its products. 

Reliability of Stores 

Well-reputed stores do not sell fake products like synthetic CBD or hemp seed oil. Besides, they have their own methods to distinguish between fake and genuine sellers. So, check for the reliability of the online or offline stores before placing your order for the product.

Know from the other CBD users

Ask the users already consuming CBD. They will give their frank opinion about their experience with a particular brand or the store. Moreover, they can also suggest the right brands and stores for shopping. Further, these users can also enlighten you on the fake brands that should not be entertained at any cost. 

Final Words

Pure CBD products offer multiple health benefits. However, finding a genuine CBD is quite tricky, particularly if you do not know how to differentiate between genuine and fake CBD.

Hopefully, through this article we could provided you with the right information on how to Spot fake CBD oil and also how to stop or avoid buying fake CBD oil.

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