The CBD industry is worth billions of dollars and is growing at a staggering pace. It's new, it's lucrative, and while it no longer operates in a legal grey area, there are still many consumers who don't understand the rules and regulations and don't know how to source quality products.
This has created the perfect opportunity for scammers selling fake hemp extracts, flowers, and other products. Understanding how to spot fake CBD products will help you steer clear of contaminants and harmful substances, while ensuring you get the best product every time.
How to Spot Fake Hemp Flowers
The US hemp industry is tightly regulated. All growers are required to test their crops for THC levels, and the best companies will list extensive analyses spanning everything from the levels of terpenes to heavy metals and more.
Look for lab tested flowers every time and make sure the tests were conducted by a certified lab.
If the certificate of analysis (COA) isn't there, they probably have something to hide.
It's rare for flowers to be faked, but you may find some companies selling low-grade plant material as high-grade flowers. To avoid falling victim to such practices, look for whole flowers, always know what’s in pre-rolls and hemparettes before buying, and check company reviews to see what other customers are saying.
If you have a bad experience with a company, let them know about it. Give them a chance to fix the issue (all retailers make mistakes from time to time) and if they don't, let your thoughts be known. A bad review may prompt the company to take action and warn others away.
How to Spot Fake CBD
While fake hemp flowers are rare, the same can't be said for CBD tinctures, gummies, topicals, and other concentrated products. These are easier for companies to fake and as they often attract a higher price point, they can also be more profitable.
As with flowers, you need to look for third-party testing and complete transparency. If they are being too vague, it probably indicates that they have something to hide. Maybe they use cheap ingredients, maybe it's loaded with additives, and/or maybe the product contains no CBD at all!
Other CBD Hemp Scams to Look Out For
If you keep the above tips in mind, you should find high-quality, 100% genuine CBD every time. Always remember, though, that just because they advertise what looks like a real product, doesn't mean they are a genuine company.
Make sure you always...
Check the Price
As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Good CBD and hemp flowers don't come cheap and while discounts are common, you can't expect to pay rock-bottom prices for a top-shelf product.
Look for the catch. Is it from an old harvest, is it leftover stock, and/or is it shake/trim as opposed to whole flowers?
A scam website will try to convince you that you're getting the very best product at the lowest price possible, while a genuine company will be honest with you and tell you why it's cheap.
Check the Promises
The FDA is pretty strict about what can and can't be said when it comes to hemp and CBD. They don't allow CBD companies to make claims concerning health benefits and effects.
For instance, they can't openly state that CBD/hemp will cure a specific disease or make you high. If they are making these claims, you should be wary.
Watch out for Freebies
Companies are not in the business of giving their products away for free. Samples, maybe, especially if they can take your contact details and use them to spam you, but whole products? Not a chance.
One of the oldest scams in the book is to offer you a subscription service that begins with a completely free product. You get something that is worth $99 completely free, and if you don't like the product, you simply cancel the subscription before the end of the month and keep everything you’ve received up until that point.
It sounds like a great deal, and that's the point, because these deals lure people in and trap them in a very expensive cycle.
This scam began getting around a number of years ago and it usually revolved around some kind of miracle weight loss product made from raspberry ketones or acai berries. It was often backed by fake endorsements from celebs like Oprah and made all kinds of crazy promises.
As soon as you handed over your details, you were trapped. Many of them tricked you into agreeing to expensive subscription services, while others simply made it impossible for you to unsubscribe. Some would even steal your payment details.
The rise in popularity of cannabidiol has seen these subscription scammers switch over to CBD products. Not only are you going to get very low quality (and possibly fake) CBD oil, but you'll also be locked into making purchases you don't want to make.