In 2015, the FDA tested 18 CBD products from five different companies. In 2016, they tested 22 CBD products from 8 companies.
This was in a bid to smoke out the false advertising that is rampant in the CBD industry.
It was found that 9 of the products had no CBD whatsoever, while 11 products had less than 1mg of CBD. This low of a dosage is merely a placebo.
The rest claimed on the packaging that the product had 16 times the CBD content than it actually had.
Most of the companies embroiled in this shut down after the report was released. The rest just revamped their sites and promised that big changes had been done.
Late 2017, CBD users experienced a major shocker where 52 people in Utah were taken ill after using what was found to be fake CBD.
The Centre for Disease Control tested the products used by the victims. They found that the product did not actually have CBD.
It only had a synthetic cannabinoid called 4-CCB.
The problem with synthetic cannabinoids is that they are incredibly unpredictable. There is no telling how they will react with your body.
Synthetic cannabinoids interact with the physiology through the cannabinoid receptors and the effects could be life threatening.
Cannabis is a schedule 1 drug. Cannabinoids are quickly rising to the top of the list of preferred therapies for a large percentage of medical conditions.
This makes the demand much more than the supply.
Due to the illegality, ramping up the supply to match the demand proves a little difficult. This then leaves room for fraudsters to make a quick buck with fake products that are cheaper.
You are on your own as there is a blatant lack of regulation of CBD products. But there are a few things to look out for to ensure that you are getting good quality CBD products.
How to Spot Fake CBD Products
CBD Test Results & Company Reviews
There are hundreds of brands of CBD products, most of which even have an online presence. In this day and age, if you cannot find a company or any information about it online you should avoid it at all cost.
Run as far away as you can from that product and company.
On the company website there should be information about the company itself. Read through the history of the company, and be sure to read through their description of their production process.
Find out about how they conduct business, try to find news items about the company, or run a background check on the company.
There is a lot to find out from just their social media and their interactions with their customers. The company should also be ready and prompt with enquiries.
The chain of supply of the product could be the problem.
Some companies might produce legitimate products only to have some fake ones slipped somewhere between the warehouse and retailer.
The company must have complete control of the production process and supply chain.
There should be a detailed report of how the raw materials are sourced. Cannabis/Hemp is incredibly phytoremidiative, meaning that it pulls its elements out of the soil.
Therefore, if the soil has toxins and heavy metals, the same compounds will end up in your CBD oil. And these are certainly not things you want to administer into your body.
The company should give an assurance that the CBD is sourced organically.
You must look for the company’s credentials.
What’s the company’s reputation as it pertains to health and wellness? What is the company’s standing in the industry?
Such questions will give insight into whether the company could risk the reputation of the company by dealing fake CBD products.
The CBD Product Itself
The FDA has just approved its first CBD drug, Epidiolex.
However, this still means that manufacturers cannot use direct health claims to market their CBD products, unless of course you are GW Pharmaceuticals who manufacturers Epidiolex.
CBD companies cannot come right out and say this product will cure your cancer. In fact, some companies have been penalized for this.
It is illegal and it is false advertising, so you should do everything you can to stay away from companies that make these claims.
The packaging should always have a list of ingredients. If there is no list of ingredients, put the product back on the shelf and move on.
If there is, read through the list of ingredients very carefully. The ingredients included should all be organic. They should not be unpronounceable and strange.
If you have done your research well, you should be able to understand all the CBD product ingredients.
Raw CBD oil still has all sorts of other constituents like chlorophyll and terpenes. This oil will be dark green or black.
Once it has been decarboxylated, the color might be a little lighter but still green or black. Decarboxylation is a chemical process that helps to give the product a faster reaction time.
Later, the product may be filtered.
Once it is filtered, it will turn into a light brownish-golden color. The terpenes mentioned are not all bad, as they have their own set of benefits.
They are elements that give the cannabis its aroma that can vary from strain to strain.
In most cases, CBD companies publish detailed versions of the lab results on their websites.
Try to go through these, as the lab results will have some very confusing numbers and terms.
The most important things to look for will be concentration first. How much CBD content is in a prescribed amount of the product?
Another thing is the toxicity. This is a measure of how much harmful substance is in the product.
To be clear, this should be nil. Alarms should sound in your head if you are unable to find this information on the packaging or company website.
Point of Purchase
Do not just get your CBD products from anywhere. Find a well reputable website like Wellicy or a local shop with well informed professionals who can help you make the appropriate decisions regarding choice of administration and dosage.
The same professionals will also know how to look for quality markers and will be more than happy to show you the testing results for their products.
If they hesitate showing you results or do not have 3rd party testing results for their CBD products, you should not buy from them.
The Price of CBD Products
CBD processing is not cheap, the extraction process alone is enough to dig deep into the company’s pockets.
Add this to the cost of legally sourcing organically grown hemp. Then you have to run test upon test.
In addition to this, the company has to have an independent third party lab run a test to back up their own tests.
There is also the cost of running a business that is not exactly allowed under federal law. This attracts some fees. It is a rigorous and expensive process.
So you really think CBD products would come cheap after all this? No, of course not!
If you found a CBD product on the discount rack going for a third the usual price, turn the other way and walk out.
Do not expect a cheap CBD product.
This is actually a good way of weeding out the fake CBD products. However, the fraudster could be smart and price their fake CBD at par with legit CBD products.
Only proving the importance of making sure you are only buying CBD products that are independently tested by a 3rd party lab!
Home Made CBD Products
This whole fake or real problem is part of the reason some people decide to just make their own CBD products at home.
You will be careful about the quality, and you will be sure of the CBD content in the product.
Just ensure you are purchasing high quality CBD oil from a reputable company when making your own CBD products at home. Because if you buy CBD oil that contains little to no actual CBD, then you will be effectively making your own fake CBD products!
So if you decide to go the DIY route, just make sure the raw CBD ingredients you are using for your own products are quality and actually contain the correct amount of CBD as listed on the label.