How to Identify Fake CBD

How to Identify Fake CBD

Product scams are extremely prevalent across the globe. And with the ability to find and purchase nearly any product from the comfort of your own home, it can become easy to accidentally fall prey to a company with predatory marketing tactics. 

Unfortunately, CBD is one of those products that tends to be marketed in an exaggerated way, sometimes making it out to be a “miracle cure” that can fix any ailment you have. A lot of the time, the product being marketed is not even real CBD.

But lucky for you, we know how to identify fake CBD and are going to share our top tips and things to know so that you can spot these fake products too.

Be Wary of Definitive Claims or Odd Word Choice

A good rule of thumb to remember when looking for a CBD product to purchase is that if something seems too good to be true, it most likely is. 

Some companies will market their product to be a cure for a specific symptom or condition simply because they know some consumers need it and therefore will believe it. On the same note, many companies make outlandish claims about their CBD that are not backed by any scientific data or medical examination. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the agency responsible for policing this issue. Whenever a company is reported for making claims such as “boosts your immune system,” for example, they will receive a warning letter from the FDA that allows them a specific amount of time to correct the issue and respond to the agency with a written plan on correcting it.

Along with outlandish claims, keep an eye out for any odd word choices that only vaguely describe a product. If the company appears to be “beating around the bush” in regard to their product and its uses, then avoid buying from them. 

Authentic CBD products will typically advertise their contents rather than their “special effects.” However, it is also important to understand the difference between what ingredients are in actual CBD products and which are not. Keep reading below to learn more.

Avoid Hemp Seed Oil

CBD is sometimes referred to as full spectrum hemp extract. However, do not ever confuse this with hemp seed oil because the two of them are drastically different. Predatory companies will use this phrase, along with hemp oil and hemp extract, because they are aware that not many people know the difference between them and CBD oil.

Hemp seeds do not possess any phytocannabinoids, meaning that it is also absent from any trace of CBD. If you purchase a hemp seed oil product because you believe it will work like CBD does, then you will be very disappointed.

Products that contain hemp seed oil are typically very cheap, and this can also be a good way to recognize this scam. If someone is practically trying to hand out CBD for free or at a very small cost then it is most likely a fake product.

Full Spectrum Oil With Zero THC

Full spectrum CBD oil gets its name because it is an extract that possesses all of the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in a cannabis plant, including THC. Therefore, if a product is being marketed as “full spectrum CBD,” but is also claiming that the product is THC free, then you know for a fact that it is not real.

This could also be a sign that the company has added CBD isolate to the mixture in order to counteract the THC. If this is the case, then it simply can not be classified as full spectrum. And although many honest companies actually sell CBD isolate, none of them will ever advertise it as full spectrum.

Although CBD and THC are different compounds with drastically different effects on the mind and body, it is impossible to find one without the other because they are the two main compounds found in cannabis. 

THC is known as psychoactive, meaning it will alter your state of mind and give you a feeling that users refer to as a high. CBD, on the other hand, is nonpyschoactive and will not result in this same feeling.

In fact, the two compounds combined will actually create counteracting effects, meaning that they will block each other out for the most part. However, the trace amounts of THC that are found in CBD products will not deter the benefits that you can receive as the THC content level is required to be 0.3% or lower.

Clear Full Spectrum Oil

Because full spectrum CBD oil still contains all of the naturally occurring cannabinoids, it can be understood that it goes through the least amount of processing when compared to the other CBD oils, broad spectrum and isolate. As a result, full spectrum oil typically comes out with a dark green or brownish look to it.

So if you ever see a full spectrum CBD oil being advertised that is crystal clear, do not buy it because it is a scam. These types of oil should be retaining the majority of the natural plant materials, giving it a darker hue and making it virtually impossible to be clear. 

Check the Math

If the amount of hemp extract that the product claims to have seems abnormally high to you, then it probably is. For example, some companies sell “CBD oil” that possess 140,000mg of hemp oil in a 30ml bottle. 

If you do the math, given that there is 1,000mg in a ml, a 30ml product could only hold up to 30,000mg of hemp extract. 

So make sure you read carefully when checking the ingredients on these products to make sure that the math adds up. Companies that use this strategy also tend to leave out commas, sometimes using “140000mg” instead of “140,000mg.” We are not entirely sure why they use this marketing strategy, but at the very least it helps make it easier for you to identify fake CBD products.


The FDA is expected to give their final ruling on the rules and regulations for CBD sometime this year. Once those are in place and CBD can be marketed as a dietary supplement, then being able to identify fake CBD products will become even easier.

Until then, be sure to keep everything we mentioned in the back of your head while shopping for CBD products and never be afraid to do some extra research on a company or brand. When it comes to spending your hard-earned money on products that you anticipate will bring you relief, it is better to be safe than sorry.

If you do happen to come across or fall prey to a company selling CBD products with definitive claims, you are encouraged to notify the FDA and explain your situation to them.


  1. Is CBD Legal?

    Yes, CBD products that contain less than 0.3% THC have been legalized through the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. However, it remains illegal at a federal level to add CBD to food and beverages.CBD vendors are also not allowed to make any definitive claims in their marketing campaigns and must follow stringent testing guidelines in order to sell their products.

  2. How Do You Identify Fake CBD Products?

    There are many ways to identify fake CBD products. Important things to watch out for are:- Hemp seed oil products- Clear full-spectrum CBD oil- Full-spectrum oil that claims to be free of any THC- Definitive claims- Lack of third-party testing

  3. Is Hemp Seed Oil the Same As CBD Oil?

    No, hemp seed oil and CBD oil are not the same. In fact, the two are very different. Hemp seed oil does not contain any phytocannabinoids, meaning that it will not possess any CBD or the benefits that come with it. Actual CBD oil is extracted from the hemp plant itself and will contain several other cannabinoids.

  4. What Happens if I Use a Fake CBD Product?

    If you happen to fall prey to one of these scams and end up using fake CBD, try not to panic. The majority of the time, the ingredients found in these fake products will have little to no effect on you at all, meaning you basically purchased and consumed a placebo. However, this does not necessarily always apply to every product. Make sure you read the ingredients carefully and do your research before.

  5. What Should I Do If I Spot a CBD Scam?

    If you come across a company making definitive claims about their products that guarantee results or make an outlandish medical claim, you are encouraged to contact a representative with the FDA.

Scroll to Top