How Do You Avoid Fake CBD Oil?
CBD is experiencing a meteoric rise in popularity. New CBD brands are popping up frequently, with many consumers interested in trying various products to find relief for different ailments, such as insomnia, anxiety, and chronic pain.
Unfortunately, this surge in popularity has also prompted the creation of several unsavory products, some of which utilize poor-quality CBD and even others that contain fake CBD oil. This reality is why you need to understand everything about the CBD industry to ensure you make informed decisions about the products you purchase.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) derives from the cannabis plant. It helps your body’s endocannabinoid system, which is involved in numerous biological processes like digestion, immunity, metabolism, sleep, and more.
Because it comes from the cannabis plant, there is a common misconception that CBD will cause a psychoactive effect. However, this is untrue. The compound in cannabis that causes a high is, in fact, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Research into the possibilities that CBD may have for the health of both humans and their pets is ever-growing, specifically for its potential as a treatment for anxiety, tumors, and pain.
But unfortunately, because CBD is flying off the shelves, fake CBD oil that undergoes no quality or third-party testing is getting sold without anyone’s knowledge.
What is fake CBD oil?
Fake CBD oil is a substance that might be a completely different oil marketed as CBD. Or it is a low-quality product containing harmful chemicals and additives.
Because CBD is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is all too easy for fake CBD oil to get on the shelves. A 2020 study of 17 samples from unlicensed CBD sellers in Los Angeles yielded some shocking results.
Over 70% of the products were severely contaminated or did not qualify as hemp, and 42% failed safety testing.
What harmful substances are in fake CBD oil?
The harmful ingredients in fake CBD oil can be detrimental to your health, so it’s a good idea to be familiar with what they are. The most common harmful chemicals in fake CBD products are additives, heavy metals, and other environmental toxins like xenoestrogens.
One popular example of how dangerous additives can be is the recent deaths caused by vaping. While CBD oil is typically safe to vape on its own, several companies add unnecessary ingredients, like propylene glycol, vitamin E acetate, and sweeteners, which are potentially harmful to the lungs and body.
To grow hemp safely, farmers must take special measures to minimize the risk of heavy metal exposure. Unfortunately, some choose to take shortcuts, therefore compromising the quality of their hemp.
Hemp grows quickly, which also means that it can absorb heavy metals from the soil that much faster, and the modern world has made eliminating heavy metal exposure all but impossible. Those who sell fake CBD oil rarely take steps to use ethical and sustainable farming practices that reduce the heavy metals in their products.
Other environmental toxins
The air, water, and soil have become filled with environmental toxins. They’re unavoidable. However, there are ways to lessen your exposure to them, but you have to avoid fake CBD oil.
Unfortunately, commercial pesticides often contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) like xenoestrogens, which can cause hormonal mayhem in the body. And companies that sell harmful products don’t use farmers that help reduce the toxicity of their plants.
Sadly, it’s nearly impossible to tell whether a CBD product is fake just by looking at it, especially if you haven’t done prior research. This pitfall also makes it easy for you to buy low-quality counterfeits instead of getting the premium remedies you deserve.
Why is it so easy to fall for fake CBD oil?
There still isn’t enough regulation around the growth and distribution of hemp-derived CBD products. As a result, disreputable companies are cutting corners and selling untested, artificial products under the guise of genuine CBD oil.
There are three main reasons why you may be susceptible to these scams:
“Get this product free”
Manufacturing genuine CBD products is an expensive endeavor, so CBD is typically not a cheap purchase. However, marketers know that you love a deal. So brands assume you’ll fall for scams such as those offering free or cheap products.
Spice (also known as K2 and Scooby Snax) is a severely hallucinogenic drug composed of synthetic cannabinoids. It was originally developed by scientists for research, and they published their findings in publicly available scientific journals.
This exposure led to untrustworthy individuals learning how to produce Spice. This drug has the same effect on the brain as THC but on a much more intense level. And because of nonexistent regulation, there is no way to tell what hallucinogens are being used in Spice.
Selling hemp seed oil as though it is hemp CBD
Hemp seed oil and hemp-derived CBD products are not the same things. It is really important for you to thoroughly research exactly what you’re purchasing to avoid being duped. Hemp seed oil will be listed as cannabis sativa seed oil in the product’s ingredient list.
Warning signs that point to harmful CBD products
You should do your due diligence before purchasing any CBD product. Luckily, there are a few simple ways to check whether the CBD oil you have your eye on is a genuine or fake product.
You can’t find testing information
Reputable CBD manufacturers will have a third-party certificate of analysis (COA) detailing the results of screenings done on their products. This information should be easy to locate. It will likely be on the company’s website. Or, a link or QR code will be on the CBD product itself.
The product makes some outrageous health claims
Products that use marketing terms such as “cure,” “treat,” or “fix” should be avoided. For example, if a CBD product claims to “fix” your anxiety, run! Health claims such as these are only legal for prescription medications. Slick marketing is easy to fall prey to, so it’s essential to familiarize yourself with some of the jargon.
You can’t find an amount of CBD per serving
Good CBD products will tell you exactly how much CBD you will ingest in a serving. If you find one that doesn’t divulge this information or have a COA to back it up, it probably contains low levels of CBD or no CBD at all.
When it comes to CBD, you get what you pay for. CBD is expensive because growing hemp responsibly and third-party testing are expensive. A CBD product that is too cheap is likely of poor quality or contains fake CBD oil.
You are concerned about the ingredient list
A high-quality CBD product should contain CBD and a good carrier oil — that’s it. Sweeteners, preservatives, and other (cheaper) oils are unnecessary.
Strategies to find the highest quality CBD products
Now that you know how to spot fake CBD products, it’s a good idea to learn where to (and not to) purchase real CBD oil.
Don’t buy CBD at gas stations
Avoid buying CBD at gas stations. This setup is an easy trap because the CBD is usually in a prime position on the counter, and it’s typically cheap. But these products have been proven over and over to be either fake CBD oil or contain harmful chemicals.
Buy from trusted brands and dispensaries
A good rule of thumb is to find a dispensary or a credible brand online. If you’re looking for CBD to help relieve conditions like anxiety or insomnia, you need a remedy that’s as pure as possible and from a company that can readily answer any questions.
Someone with no health issues who’s interested in using CBD should also still stick with reputable sellers. But they could be a bit more flexible about the amount of money they spend. In other words, they don’t necessarily need the most expensive CBD product that a brand sells.
Find companies with organic CBD remedies
It’s a good idea to find products that use US-grown organic hemp. By buying US-grown organic hemp, you’ll be supporting local farmers. And you’ll buy products that don’t have any heavy metals or environmental toxins that hemp can contain. Kat’s Naturals only uses organic hemp sourced from Tennessee.
Avoid brands that use synthetic cannabinoids
Lastly, avoid synthetic cannabinoids like those found in the drug Spice. In 2018, the FDA stated that synthetic cannabinoids carry health risks such as seizures and vomiting. Additionally, man-made CBD is made with carcinogenic chemicals like bromide and fluoride.
Avoiding fake CBD oil requires research
As a result of the 2018 Farm Bill and CBD’s massive rise in popularity, counterfeit CBD products are popping up every day. These low-quality remedies are usually cheap and loaded with additives, harmful chemicals, and barely any CBD. Before purchasing a CBD product, research it thoroughly.
Make sure the company is transparent about all third-party testing, that the products do not contain unnecessary fillers, and that the items are not suspiciously cheap.