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How to know if a CBD product is fake?

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The farm bill 2018 legalized hemp derivatives federally. However, the bill does not guarantee regulation of CBD products. It resulted in several fake CBD products floating in the market.

This article will help you know some tricks and tips to identify fake CBD products and get your hands on genuine products, like NuLeaf.  What if one such product reaches you? Will you be able to spot it? If not, do not worry! We have your back.


 Tips to Identify the Red Flags in CBD Products

Aaron Riley, CEO of CannaSafe, a California-based ISO-accredited testing laboratory, said, “CBD products can contain no CBD or less than the claimed amount. The FDA has the initiative to put out CBD regulations, but guidance has been limited. This makes it more important for consumers to do their due diligence.”

Tips to Identify the Red Flags in CBD Products

So, here are tips on how you can spot a fake CBD product.

Lack of Information on Third-Party Testing

Any reputable and trusted CBD site will offer you a third-party certificate of analysis (COA). This certificate includes all reports on the performance of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids in the product.

While checking the COA, look for the batch number of products, levels of CBD and THC, and a certificate that mentions that the level of solvent residues, heavy metals, and pesticides are under the allowable limits. Riley mentioned, “If there is no information about product testing or if the product has an old and outdated COA, these are indicators that a product does not contain the advertised ingredients,”

Most sites offer information related to third-party testing on the brand’s official site. You might also get the COA of some products by scanning a QR card over them.

Too Good To be True

While purchasing any product or service, you should always keep this in mind. If an offer is too good to be true, follow your instincts and leave them. Also, avoid any CBD products making huge claims, such as completely  fixing your messed-up sleep schedule or instantly curing your anxiety.

According to federal regulation, a health supplement, such as CBD, cannot make health claims. The Federal Trade Commission and FDA only allow prescription drugs to make such claims.

Riley mentions that she avoids any CBD product that makes medical claims. She also sees marketing lingos, such as ‘100% CBD’ or ‘Real CBD’, as a red flag. Some other possible marketing scams involve a complicated purchasing process requiring one to subscribe or become a site member.

Missing Amount Per Serving

Sharing extraordinary information on labels is a red flag; not sharing minimum efficient data is also something to avoid. You should carefully check the label to know if the product has mentioned some required data or not.

The Price is too low

A question might strike you: why is CBD an expensive product? Everyone wants a low-cost product. Unfortunately, too low prices signify a fake product in the CBD world. CBD is a costly product. So, if you find something on a particular site that is very cheap as compared to its price on other sites, avoid it. They probably do not add the ingredients mentioned on the label.

The Ingredients

The ingredients mentioned in the label could give you various information about the CBD product. A commercial CBD product includes several subpar ingredients, such as preservatives, sweeteners, and poor-quality oil.

A part of the lead faculty in Natural Wellness Academy’s Cannabis Coaching Program and national board-certified health and wellness coach, Kristina Risola, believes that when it comes to CBD oil, a consumer should stick to only a product that includes only two ingredients, quality base oil and CBD.

Also, some brands might add natural terpenes to ensure the presence of terpenes lost in the production process, which is fine. However, Risola notes that if a product mentions hemp seed as the first ingredient ( like CBD oil) instead of a career oil, you should avoid it.

The Packaging

While a typical CBD oil comes in a bottle with a dropper, the quality of the bottle could help you determine the quality of the product. A high-quality CBD oil comes in either a dark-colored glass bottle or amber/brown bottle. This is because dark colors protect the oil from breaking down from UV radiation.

Also, quality brands prefer glass bottles instead of plastic because plastic breaks down after a particular time, making the oil contaminated. On the other hand, the packaging of a fake/low-quality CBD product includes clear plastic bottles.

So, these are some ways to identify a fake CBD product.

So, these are some ways to identify a fake CBD product.


 Ingredients in a Fake CBD Product

In July 2020, an analytical testing laboratory organized a study collaborating with United Cannabis Business Association. The test involved analyzing 17 CBD samples from unlicensed shops around Los Angeles. The study revealed that 70% of the samples failed to qualify as hemp and included excessive contamination.

Some of the common ingredients or contamination present in CBD products are additives, Vitamin E acetate, Heavy metals, and other toxins. If you find any such ingredients mentioned on the product, take a step back.

One of the ways to avoid fake products is to go for online sites with good customer reviews. If you are purchasing from an offline dispensary, try to ask your friends or neighbors whether they have ever purchased anything from that store. It is better to purchase from a known store when it comes to CBD products.


The market of fake CBD products is probably as large as real ones. So, you have to carefully analyze whether the CBD product on your shelf is a pure one or not. It might save you from an unhealthy experience with CBD.

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