We're consistently surprised by how many fake, poor quality and deceptive CBD companies we find and we do our very best to call out any jokers as we see them. The crimes range from minor misinformation to outright false claims or lies. It really gets our goat and we can see why so many people do not trust CBD as a product.
Most concerning of all, is that legislators seem to know just as much about Cannabis products as consumers which means they can be easily swayed by huge corporations who are serving their own interests. It makes the world of CBD infinitely more difficult to navigate.
The Novel Food process which all CBD companies are being forced to comply with is in full swing now, but all applications are still 'pending' and in the meantime, you need to make sure you can spot a real CBD oil. Here are some tips:
1. Is the Price Too Good To Be True?
The number 1 indicator as to whether a CBD oil is fake is the price; while there is always a race to the bottom, there is a big difference between having a competitive price and underselling. We have seen some ridiculous prices like a 1000mg oil from 'thecbdshop.co.uk' for £14.99 (its a con because it only contains 210mgs of CBD in it) and worse. Trust us when we say: if it looks too good to be true, then it is.
Even if the company claims 'we are making CBD affordable to shake up the market' should be taken with a pinch of salt. If the CBD oil is real, it can be fairly expensive to produce- plus when you add the cost of testing the batch, the equipment costs etc... then the retailer must make some kind of profit to survive. So, when most companies are selling a 1000mg oil between £45-£55 and you find one for £25, don't even bother risking it. It may be affordable but it is very unlikely to do the job.
Our advice- find a reputable middle of the road company and ask them for a discount code.
2. Fake Full Spectrum Oils
The biggest issue we see in the CBD industry is the identification of a 'Full Spectrum' CBD oil. Often, a broad spectrum is misidentified as full spectrum by companies as the full spectrum is a prefered product; with a quick look at the cannabinoid report, you can see that the claim is false. Companies such as Provacan, Blessed CBD and a whole load of others have mislabeled their oils as full spectrum when they are not.
Secondly, a full spectrum oil is never clear. If you find yourself looking at a clear CBD oil then chances are it is not full-spectrum. To achieve a full spectrum product it must undergo the least amount of processing so that all of the naturally occurring cannabinoids & phytochemicals are retained. When the oil is clear only the essential cannabinoids (and sometimes terpenes) are retained making the product clear and tasteless. A true full spectrum should be dark, thick and opaque at least.
Lastly, if an oil claims to be full spectrum and is over 10% strength then you're
3. Are the Featured Mentions Real?
It is common for any company to add where they have been featured online: it builds trust and helps the consumer understand that this must be a real company. It can be a con though: In two ways.;
The feature could be paid for - companies such as Blessed CBD & Provacan clearly spend a lot of money to be featured in news articles, publications, online adverts the more. It doesn't count if you have paid to be featured in the Sun newspapers 'best CBD oil' post when it has been paid for. We're not saying to avoid these types of companies but it is worth noting that they maybe aren't quite as good as suggested.
Secondly, another common tactic is to list some HUGE publications under the title of: 'CBD Oil Has Been Mentioned' rather than 'We have been mentioned'. This is just a con - CBD oil may have been featured in these publications but the company itself certainly has not. It is therefore only an endorsement of the fact that they are trying too hard to get you to buy their products. If a company is willing to deploy a tactic like that, then their ethics are off and you are more likely to be buying rubbish. If you're in doubt just send an email to the company and if they can provide evidence of their feature in a publication.
These days, the only way to know how good a company actually is is by checking out the reviews on 3rd party platforms like Trustpilot or Reddit. When we do our own reviews these are the two places we check. Trustpilot is a semi-regulated platform which actively vets fake or suspicious reviews so it is much more genuine than Facebook, Google reviews, or website reviews (which can be purchased online or faked).
Secondly, if you're not too familiar with Reddit, it is a semi-anonymous social media platform where people talk about just about anything. When looking for honest reviews just google '[x] review Reddit' and you'll find threads of people openly discussing whatever topic you're searching. The reviews on Reddit are almost always genuine and you'll get people talking honestly about their experiences. Reddit is self-regulating so if anybody notices an obvious promotion/fake review the post will be downvoted and hidden from view.
5. Lab Reports
One of the biggest cons in the CBD industry is lab-report. Most of the publications that are giving you advice about how to spot a fake CBD oil tell you to request a lab report but it is important to understand a few things.
1: Date of Test: Many companies test one batch and use that report for all other batches. Always ask for an up to date report for the batch that you are purchasing, and if the company give you a report that is more than a 9-12 months old then they may be sending you a report for an old batch. It is really easy to test one batch, then sell simply hemp oil or a batch that is not up to standard. Companies such as Celtic Wind & Holland & Barrett's Jacob Hooy oil have been independently tested and the results have shown different results to the reports offered to customers.
2: Cannabinoids: As mentioned above, you can identify a fake Full Spectrum CBD oil by looking at the lab reports. Check the lab reports to ensure that there is a little bit of THC - we'd say that 0.05% THC is the minimum you should expect. Any less than this is a broad spectrum. No THC, not full spectrum.
We hope this helps answer the question of how to spot a fake CBD oil and aids your CBD adventures.
In March, the Novel Food applications had to be in for all of the manufacturers in the UK. The process is particularly expensive, and medical studies/ medical approval needs to be met so this will hopefully ensure that only the good manufactures will survive. In saying that, money talks so we just hope that the government doesn't make a mess of the process.