If you look on the shelves of most health food aisles these days, it seems like CBD is everywhere. There are many reputable brands producing quality CBD products, but there are also plenty of fake CBD products on the market as well.
Thanks to recent legislation, CBD is no longer outlawed by the federal government, so many companies are offering it as a healthy supplement. While research supports the health benefits of CBD, it’s hard to say how much is in a specific product or how potent it is.
Unfortunately, fake CBD is a rampant problem because the FDA does not regulate the substance. So, some products may claim to have CBD but not contain any at all. Or, it may have dangerous and unhealthy substitute fillers instead.
Because of the danger of fake CBD, this article will look into what it is, why it’s harmful, and how you can protect yourself.
CBD and a Lack of Oversight
Although the federal government has legalized CBD and hemp, the FDA is not in charge of verifying any product claims. So, without oversight, testing, or standards in place, any company could add CBD to the label without the burden of verification. This lack of guidelines or enforcement is partly why it seems like CBD is coming into the market so quickly.
But, what does that mean for you as a consumer? Here are some of the dangers of fake CBD:
- Continued Chronic Health Issues – Research shows that CBD can have many positive impacts on your overall health. CBD works for muscle pain, inflammation, insomnia, acne, seizures, and more. While this one ingredient doesn’t provide a quick fix for anything, it does help mitigate or relieve various symptoms. So, if you’re taking fake CBD, you won’t experience any beneficial results.
- Waste of Money – Because CBD is so healthy, manufacturers can charge more for products containing it. However, if there is no CBD in the item, you’re paying extra for some letters on the label, nothing more.
- Potential Poisoning – The CDC identified 52 cases of poisoning in 2017 in Utah related to fake CBD products. While these incidents are rare, they can sometimes happen. In these cases, the culprit was a synthetic cannabinoid, 4-cyano CUMYL-BUTINACA (4-CCB). Because synthetic cannabinoids are also not regulated, they’re less safe than the real deal.
As a consumer, you must be careful about everything you put into your body. But, how prevalent is fake CBD? Is it really worth doing your own research? According to a sample study conducted in 2020, the short answer is yes.
SC Laboratories tested 17 samples of CBD products and found that 70 percent of them did not meet the standards for hemp-derived CBD. So, more than two-thirds of products from unlicensed stores are either contaminated or contain unnecessary fillers. In some cases, the contamination levels were hundreds of times higher than the allowable amount.
How to Spot Fake CBD
With knockoff CBD products flooding the market, consumers must be more diligent. Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can use to tell the difference between authentic and fake CBD:
- Bottle Type – Real CBD comes in brown bottles so that sunlight doesn’t affect the mixture. Obviously, if you’re buying CBD edibles or lotions, this tactic doesn’t apply.
- Price Tag – As a rule, cheap CBD products either contain trace amounts of the stuff or none at all. CBD is a premium ingredient, so expect to pay premium prices. That said, high-quality CBD isn’t prohibitively expensive, either.
- Bold, Unfounded Claims – If a product says it can cure anything, it’s fake. CBD interacts with everyone’s body differently, so it’s impossible to say what it will do for you. Products with these claims are already disreputable and probably don’t have any CBD.
- No Certification – True CBD products will have some type of certification proving the type of CBD and the concentration level. If a company doesn’t provide this documentation, it could be hiding something.
The Bottom Line
CBD products can offer various health benefits, but until the government regulates them, there will always be many knockoffs. Being aware of the problem and knowing how to spot fake CBD is the best defense against any undesirable results or side effects.