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In 2019, the CBD industry soared. Brands and products popped up from one week to the next, all over the country, offering consumers a wide range of solutions, consumption methods, flavors and potency levels. But exponential growth invites low quality products, which means it’s important to know how to spot fake CBD.
How to Spot Fake CBD Oil
All CBD consumers should learn how to tell if CBD oil is real or not.
The CBD industry, though booming and exciting, is incredibly new, regulated in different ways depending on the state in which you live and, therefore, open to the problems of poor quality product control. In particular, you should be wary of cheap, synthetic CBD.
It’s true that all CBD brands should run third-party lab tests, to accurately check for cannabinoid content levels, synthetic components, contaminants like heavy metals and pesticides, and other plant compounds, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that all brands comply.
As such, if you need advice on how to know if CBD oil is real, the best thing you can do is ask to see the third-party lab results, also known as the Certificate of Analysis (COA), that match the product you’re interested in buying.
Any brand unwilling to share third-party lab results with you is a brand to avoid. Short and simple.
How to tell if CBD Oil is Bad?
When it comes to choosing between the brands that do share their COAs, between the brands that seem to have everything in order and as it should be, you still need to do your research.
In fact, the best way of finding out whether a CBD oil is poor or high quality is to do some digging around the product itself.
Find out where it was sourced, how it was extracted, how it was processed, how it was purified, and how the end product was finally manufactured and packaged for consumer enjoyment. Research into the brand, ask about synthetic cannabinoids and avoid brands that make CBD health claims.
Claims that CBD cures cancer, for example, should be ignored and are illegal for brands to make.
It’s also really important to pay attention to detail when reading the product label. All CBD products must have the levels of CBD displayed on their labels in mg (milligrams). The level in mg refers to the concentration of CBD contained in the product.
Learn more about understanding CBD potency here.
Any product that doesn’t list the CBD content in mg on its label is to be avoided and, even better, reported.
What color is CBD Oil supposed to be?
- Why is my CBD oil clear?
- Can CBD oil be clear in color?
- What color should quality CBD oil be anyway?
Let’s take a look at the visual checks you can make as a consumer.
All CBD extracts undergo a filtering process. It’s this process that determines the color of the oil and, in general, there are four CBD oil colors (and some shading therein) that you can expect to find: green, greenish brown, light gold, and almost transparent.
Raw CBD oil doesn’t go through any kind of processing or filtration, which is why the end product is a green, viscous oil.
Decarboxylated CBD is slightly heated after extraction, which turns it into a greenish-brown oil.
Filtered or distilled CBD oils are even further refined, resulting in a light gold liquid that boasts a higher concentration of CBD, but a lower concentration of terpenes and other cannabinoids.
And then there’s CBD isolate, which is the purest form of CBD possible. Isolates are highly refined and then mixed with a base oil, like coconut or MCT oil. CBD isolates are almost transparent, very light and fluid.
Fake CBD Oil Side Effects
Fake CBD oil, cheap CBD oil, synthetic CBD, or CBD oil that hasn’t been duly tested by a third-party lab, could generate some fairly nasty side effects. In particular, pesticides, molds, bacteria, aflatoxins, and heavy metals can make us violently sick.
Fake CBD oils can sometimes include high levels of THC that can cause hallucinations and anxiety attacks.
Alcohol-based solvent residue, such as ethanol residue, is unsuitable for human consumption, but can linger in poor quality CBD oils after the extraction process and end up in the hands of the consumer if not sufficiently reviewed and regulated.
Does CBD Oil Expire?
Before bringing this blog to a close, it’s a good idea to run over how to know when CBD oil has expired. Yes. CBD, like any other perishable product, does expire, but when it expires depends on the type of CBD oil.
CBD isolates, for example, are highly filtered and then added to the base oil. They’re similar in many respects to any kind of household oil you may happen to have on your kitchen shelf.
Like olive oil, or coconut oil, or sunflower oil, you can expect your CBD isolate to last for one to two years without any problems.
But if you have a full-spectrum CBD oil, a whole plant oil, or a raw CBD oil, then your product is less refined and made up of more plant materials and organic compounds.
It’s best to make sure you use these oils within a period of six months, once opened.
And remember to follow the instructions on the product label, ask to see the COA, and if neither are made available to you without any problems, don’t buy the product.