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How to Spot Fake CBD Oil Products

CBD products have become highly sought after due to the growing amount of evidence surrounding their therapeutic benefits. It’s true that CBD may help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. However, not all the CBD products sold on the market are real products.

This guide aims to familiarize CBD patients with the methods for spotting fake CBD products.

Why are There So Many Fake CBD Products?

The CBD product market has been flooded with numerous fake or counterfeit products that are touted as real CBD. This is partly due to the growing interest in CBD as an alternative to traditional medication. 

Millions of people across the country suffer from health conditions that make their day-to-day lives more difficult. Given this fact, it’s not surprising that many are looking into CBD products, which may offer a solution where pharmacy medications have failed.

Unfortunately, many manufacturers are attempting to cash in on this desperation by producing fake and counterfeit CBD products that do not contain CBD or contain lower concentrations of CBD than advertised.

The Dangers of Fake CBD Oil

Purchasing fake CBD oil deprives patients of the compound they need to treat their ailments. However, some counterfeit products may also contain dangerous additives that attempt to replicate the effects that CBD provides. 

Synthetic CBD

Some manufacturers produce and sell synthetic CBD as real CBD. This is partly due to the limited supply of hemp available for CBD production. 

Synthetic CBD can be any number of lab-manufactured “cannabinoids” and are known to cause serious side effects such as abdominal pain, dizziness, paranoia, and vomiting. The American Hemp Industries Association has asked the FDA to disallow/prohibit the manufacture and marketing of synthetic cannabinoids for human or animal consumption; however, these products are still widely available in many places.


Fake CBD products or counterfeit products often contain additives to make up for their lack of CBD. One common additive in fake CBD vape cartridges is Vitamin E acetate. This is a thinning agent that is used to dilute or thicken the contents of the cartridge and enhance their usage.

Vitamin E acetate is generally safe to apply to your skin topically or ingest. This makes it a popular additive in certain cosmetic products and nutritional supplements. However, inhaling it via a vaporizer can be harmful to your lungs.

At least 26 people were hospitalized due to vaping counterfeit CBD products last year. This example demonstrates how dangerous it is to use fake or counterfeit CBD vape cartridges.

Heavy Metals

Heavy metals are not additives in counterfeit or fake CBD products. However, they may be absorbed by hemp plants when they are taking in nutrients during their growth. CBD manufacturers usually flush these out of the plants before producing CBD oil; however, producers of counterfeit products may not bother with this step.

Heavy metals such as cadmium, lead mercury, and arsenic are incredibly toxic and can damage your body if consumed via counterfeit CBD products. Heavy metal poisoning may produce symptoms such as abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and chills. Mercury can cause permanent brain damage if consumed in large enough quantities.

How to Spot Fake or Counterfeit CBD Products?

With the wide variety of CBD products available today, it can be difficult to distinguish between real products and fake ones. If you’re seeking true CBD hemp oil for your ailments, look for these signs.

Avoid new sellers

A large proportion of fake or counterfeit CBD products are sold by new sellers that are not well-known in the CBD community. You should hold off on purchasing any CBD product from a new store until you have read enough customer reviews that verify that their products are genuine.

Many customers take the quality of CBD products very seriously, so they are likely to warn others when they have had a poor experience with a new seller.

Check the label

When looking for a CBD product in-store you should inspect the label carefully. If the product in question is CBD oil, the label should clearly state “CBD oil” or “CBD tincture”. It should also state whether the product is full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate.

Lastly, the label should also specify the concentration of CBD in the product. This concentration is usually given in milligrams, such at “1500 mg CBD”.

However, it should be noted that counterfeit CBD sellers may also specify all this information on their products. In this situation you may need to look for other clues that indicate the product is counterfeit. Any typos on the label or improper wording may indicate that the product isn’t genuine. 


Authentic CBD products are expensive to produce. This high cost of production is reflected in the retail price of the product. Most CBD oils cost a minimum of $70 per bottle (assuming a concentration of 1500 mg CBD or higher).


So if you spot bottles of CBD oil being sold for a very low price, say below $20, there’s a good chance that they are fake. Any CBD massage oil for sale under $30 should be viewed with suspicion until you can verify that it is authentic.

Where Can I Purchase Genuine CBD Products?

The aforementioned tips may help you identify fake or counterfeit CBD products on the market. However, some manufacturers have become very good at disguising their product as the real thing. 

If you are interested in acquiring genuine hemp-derived CBD products, you should purchase them from a retail CBD store such as Nothing But Hemp.

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