Last updated on October 27th, 2021
Fake products, in general, are becoming more and more of a problem in any industry. You may have heard about fake Apple earpods or fake sunglasses or fake nutrients. You name it, if it’s popular then there are probably fakes out there, especially now in 2020 and people trying to scam you. In this guide, we talk about how to know if CBD is real.
Trouble is, it is getting harder and harder to tell the difference between the real CBD and the fake CBD. But, unlike some fake sunglasses or earpods, fake supplements and fake CBD oils can be dangerous as you are putting them inside your body.
A large part of why we started Hampanion was to combat this sort of issue, but unfortunately, not everyone buys from Hempanion 😉
Fake or counterfeit CBD products can be really dangerous as if they are fake then they will likely not contain as much CBD in them as advertised and worse could contain dangerous products.
I recently read a report on fake kids toys which were impossible to tell from the real ones but contained dangerous chemicals used in insulation, one of which can have an effect on gender development as well as other things.
Because children often put toys in their mouth, this is even more dangerous.Just a thought
Like all these industries, CBD is unfortunately affected by scammers and it is something you need to look out to be sure you are helping your body, not harming it. So we will go through some of the best ways to check a product is real or fake.
By fake CBD, I don’t just mean fake brands impersonating real brands. It is so easy to create a fake CBD brand, or any brand, that most fakes look like an established brand. Plus, with the rise of social media and social sharing, fake products are even harder to spot.
Top Tips for finding if the CBD is Real
1) Buy from a reputable CBD Shop
One of the best things you can do is to buy the CBD from a reputable CBD Shop like Hempanion. At Hempanion we vet every single product we sell for its quality and legitimacy so you don’t have to. We are the only UK CBD Store to do this.
If you are buying from a local shop then make sure it is a shop that has some knowledge in CBD. Headshops and Pharmacys are usually good for CBD as they know more of what they are selling. Cornershop’s and some more general shops can sell lower quality products, some without realising it.
So if you are buying online or offline then take note of where you are buying from.
2) Is the price too good to be true?
Like anything, if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is. If a product is much cheaper than its competition then it is worth checking out why that is. CBD, unfortunately, is not super cheap to make so there is a certain cost it is expected to be for different strengths and other factors like carrier oils.
If it seems super cheap then it is worth taking a closer look to make sure it is legitimate because there is often a reason it is so cheap.
3) Is is CBD oil of Hemp oil?
One of the reasons you can seem to see CBD oil cheap is some people are quite crafty with the way they word their descriptions and could just be buying hemp seed oil which is much cheaper, but it doesn’t contain cannabinoids.
You can view our full guide on the difference between hemp seed oil and CBD oil here. You should also avoid buying from marketplaces like Amazon or Ebay as it is not allowed to sell CBD and are probably not what you think they are.
4) Does the CBD have Lab tests?
The next thing to check is if they have lab tests to verify the quality of the CBD. You can find out more about this on our guide on things to look out for when buying CBD. You can do this by contacting us at Hempanion if it is from us or you can search the brand online and look at their website.
Beware though, it is becoming more common for people to fake the lab tests so make sure it was done by a reputable third party lab testing company.
5) Does the CBD oil make medical claims?
In the UK it is illegal to make medical claims about CBD products as it is classed as a food supplement and not a medicinal product.
This means you should be very wary when any brand or person selling is making medical claims about the CBD and what it can do for you. There are many benefits to using cannabinoids as a health supplement and there is lots of people and research that can testify to that. But it is a very individual thing and varies from person to person, what helps one person, may not help another.
Here at Hempanion we talk about the potential benefits and the things that cannabis-based products can help with but we do not make any medical claims, we take the time to link research and studies that are taking place, both positive and negative so that you can learn and make an informed decision on what is best for you.
So in short, you should be cautious if there is a brand or person on Facebook making wild medical claims as it is both illegal and there is simply just more research that needs to be done. Thankfully this research is coming out thick and fast and is showing positive results.
6) Does the oil have a very high percentage?
Apart from isolate CBD, then you should be wary of products with a higher percentage of CBD than 50%. It is very hard to make the oil work properly and be easy to consume as you get over 30% and more so 40%. But, higher numbers seem better to most people and this can be used by scammers to sell a fake CBD product.
When you get to 40% and over you need to warm your CBD to get it to soften and look after it a bit more so when you get even higher in the percentages it is not very user friendly so if it is a high percentage, and if it is not an isolate then there is probably something wrong.
Does the CBD Brand have a good reputation?
Checking the reputation of the brand is a good step to finding the legitimacy of the product and if it is safe to use.
You do need to be careful however and not just check the number of likes or followers as there are scammers that have created social media accounts and somehow got followers through various ways so it is good to look deeper. Take a look at the combination of these things below to make a judgement, any one thing may not be a bad thing but multiple may indicate something worse.
- Does it have a website and does it look legit.
- Does it have a phone number and is it a landline.
- Does it have an email that isn’t @hotmail or @gmail etc..
- Does it have a good following on social media
- Search for reviews of the product, are there complaints that come up when searching ‘brand x review’.
- Look for engagement on posts, are there negative comments on the posts.
- Has the brand been around for a little while something that has been going a year or longer is usually more trustworthy.
- Is there reviews on trustworthy review sites
How to check if you think you have bought a fake or counterfeit CBD oil?
There are a few things you can do to check if a CBD oil is legit. If you have used CBD a lot then you can taste it and you may be able to tell straight away but if you are new to it or the oil is flavoured then it can be harder.
First of all, if in doubt and think it may be fake CBD then throw it away and buy from somewhere else. It is not worth risking your health by taking a potentially dangerous product.
If you want to do some more investigation then first you can follow some of the steps above like checking the lab tests and checking the reputation of the brand. This will give you a very good indicator of quality.
If you think it is legit but want to take some more steps then you can check with the following things.
What does the oil smell and taste like?
Genuine CBD oil should smell and taste raw and earthy, or like cannabis. A lot of people don’t like the taste when they first use it because of its ‘earthiness’. If it is not meant to be flavoured then you should taste an earthy or ‘planty’ flavour that has an oily texture due to the oil it is mixed with.
It can be described as having a grassy or nettle like flavour. It should be noted that a lot of these flavours come from the flavonoids and terpenes in the CBD extract which are more abundant in full spectrum cbd oils, so if you have an isolate cbd oil then you may get less of this earthy flavour.
What does the CBD oil look like?
Full-spectrum CBD oil should be either green, brown or amber in colour. If it’s clear or very transparent with little to no colour, then the oil is most likely made with CBD isolate, mixed in with some kind of oil.
It should not be really watery or lack any sort of colour and taste of nothing but oil or it may be fake CBD.
Where to buy real CBD prodcuts that are legitiamate
Hempanion is the best place to buy CBD oils and products as we are the only place that thoroughly checks all the products we sell.
We could make our own CBD but we choose to find the best of the best and give an independent view on the CBD products. That way we can be unbias and helpful to anyone wanting to find the right CBD for them.
Our aim is to help people with CBD and there are enough brands out there that do a good job already so we provide a trustworthy place to find, compare and choose the right CBD for you.
We have spent countless hours categorising and standardising information to make it easy to compare products so that you can cut through all the sales hype and complicated bits of buying from other places.
If you have any questions then please do get in touch.