How To Spot Fake CBD Oil


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Summary: As cannabidiol becomes more popular, the danger of fake CBD products rises as well. Learn how to identify fake hemp products, and trust Secret Nature for genuine CBD and bonafide cannabis industry intel. Cannabidiol products of all types are becoming increasingly popular around the world, and CBD tinctures, al Fake CBD is a real problem in America today. To be a smart CBD consumer, follow these simple steps to find out if your CBD oil is real or fake.

How to spot fake CBD oil

Summary: As cannabidiol becomes more popular, the danger of fake CBD products rises as well. Learn how to identify fake hemp products, and trust Secret Nature for genuine CBD and bonafide cannabis industry intel.

Cannabidiol products of all types are becoming increasingly popular around the world, and CBD tinctures, also known as CBD oils, remain one of the most popular product categories. Despite the wealth of options, however, finding quality hemp products is surprisingly tricky.

In some cases, CBD products you find online might be downright fake. True, these products are found more often on the black market, but even if your web-bought CBD isn’t fake, it might contain heavy metals, xenoestrogens, or dangerous additives that defeat the purpose of promoting your health.

As in any industry, CBD manufacturers are beholden to public opinion. If consumers suddenly decided not to accept dangerous hemp products, the industry would shape up overnight. Now’s the time to make your voice known, and there’s no better way than voting with your dollar.

Support hemp companies that are doing the right thing, but understand that identifying bad actors can be harder than it seems. In this guide, you’ll learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff and find quality hemp oil that will help your health dreams take flight.

Why is counterfeit CBD dangerous?

What you don’t know can hurt you. We’ve all learned the hard way that even the food we eat might not be safe, and the organic movement has arrived at the cannabidiol market. Consumers around the world demand safe, pure, and sustainable CBD oil, and Secret Nature CBD nectar is 100% natural and organic.

Get to know some of the dangerous substances that might be lurking in sub-par CBD oil:


The world continues to look on in horror as people get seriously hurt by vaping-related activities. What most of the sensationalized headlines don’t tell you, however, is that these cases almost inevitably stem from unnecessary additives in cannabis vape juice.

CBD oil is fine to vape on its own in its winterized, distilled, or isolate forms. The moment you mix this oil with other ingredients, however, you open yourself up to lipid pneumonia and the other conditions currently plaguing wayward vapers.

Even our Organic Hemp Flower Nectar isn’t viable for vaping since it contains hemp seed oil, black seed oil, and a variety of other ingredients believed to be beneficial when ingested orally. If you try to vape these oils and plant extracts, however, you could harm your lungs. For vaping Secret Nature goodness, we recommend our CBD vape juice line.

Vitamin E acetate in CBD vape juice is only one additive you need to worry about. Plenty of companies add questionable ingredients like propylene glycol (PG), sweeteners, artificial ingredients, and artificial colorings to orally-ingested products, which could put you at risk. Even a cursory look through our (short!) tincture ingredients list, however, reveals that it’s the Secret Nature way to only use natural, beneficial ingredients in our products.

Heavy metals

While this fact isn’t widely known, hemp is one of the world’s most notorious bioaccumulators. To grow hemp safely, it’s necessary to operate in wholly closed conditions and use substrates that are free of any contaminants. All too often, however, CBD companies cut corners and use inferior hemp in their products, which could open you up to heavy metal exposure.

As hemp grows, it sucks nutrients up through its root system at an incredibly rapid pace. This fast metabolism allows Cannabis sativa to grow up big and strong, but it also means that this particular plant absorbs soil-borne toxins at a much quicker pace than other crops. By the time a cannabidiol-rich Cannabis sativa plant is fully-grown, there’s no telling how contaminated it might be if it was grown in soil with heavy metals.

It’s easy to avoid these contamination concerns by growing hemp in climate-controlled, indoor environments. You can even use different substrates to minimize the potential of heavy metal exposure, but remember that water purity becomes even more critical in hydroponic or aquaponic setups. Check out our lab reports to see proof that organic Secret Nature CBD oils are completely free from heavy metal contamination.

Other environmental toxins

The world has become a different place post-industrialization. New toxins flood our air and water supplies, and distressing industrial substances like xenoestrogens continue to exert unknown effects on human endocrinology and genetics. All the old players, such as RoundUp, are also still in use despite serious toxicity concerns, which makes it hard to tell if your hemp products are safe.

It’s no guarantee, but CBD companies that follow organic, sustainable manufacturing processes are far more likely to prevent environmental contaminants from entering their products. In general, the organic agriculture movement is all about divesting from toxic cultivation processes and embracing equity and sustainability. CBD companies, like Secret Nature, that place a large emphasis on organic cultivation and ingredients are less likely to harbor hidden toxins in their products.

How to identify fake CBD brands

What does it take to catch a CBD oil fake red-handed? In the end, you’ll need to use your instinct and discretion to find the brand that fits your style. People who have been in the industry for a while, however, are all aware of a few tell-tale signs that a cannabidiol company is up to no good:

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Quality of writing

If a CBD company’s website copy reads like it was outsourced from China or Bangladesh, you might be barking up the wrong tree. We all make mistakes from time to time, but repeated spelling errors, odd turns of phrase, or even intimidating or threatening language can all be signs that you’re dealing with opportunist con men instead of genuine healers.

Customer reviews

How many reviews, on average, does each product on the company’s site have? Most Secret Nature products have over ten verified customer reviews, and many of our products have far more than that.

Customer reviews give you information on products, but they also tell you something much more important. A reasonable number of verified, genuine product reviews indicate that a CBD company is doing the right things and reaching a wide audience.


Fake CBD companies charge more because. why not? If you’re already selling a fake product, why not hike the price as high as consumers are willing to pay while you’re at it? If a CBD product you’re looking at seems overpriced, it probably is.

Put it up against comparable products on the market, and see if it holds out. If there’s a genuine reason that your cannabidiol product is expensive, it should have something that other products don’t. The most expensive CBD tinctures, in fact, should be the absolute best, but that’s not always the case. Trust your judgment!

Ease of checkout

Tired of slogging through five separate checkout screens to purchase your CBD products? A clunky, outdated checkout page can be a sign that a CBD company doesn’t have its act together.

Maybe you’d be surprised to learn how many consumers give up on online transactions only due to complicated checkout pages, or maybe you’re already one of these disenchanted CBD customers. Not to worry: Completing your order at is quick, intuitive, and frustration-free. Plus, we ship to all 50 states!

Counterfeit CBD oil FAQ

Let’s wrap up a few loose ends before we conclude:

1 Can you buy real CBD oil on Amazon?

No, Amazon’s policy still prevents the sale of CBD. Therefore, any “CBD” products you see on Amazon are actually hemp seed oil, an inert substance extracted from Cannabis sativa seeds with little to no CBD. Don’t fall for it! Buy genuine, organic CBD from trustworthy retailers instead.

2 What do third-party CBD tests test for?

Independent, third-party testing is crucial for establishing the safety, potency, and purity of CBD oil. CBD is tested for pesticides, industrial chemicals, metals, and various other substances.

3 Can counterfeit CBD oil contain marijuana?

In some cases, yes. You’re especially at risk of accidentally using THC if you buy “CBD vape cartridges” on the black market. Getting high, however, is only one of the things you need to worry about when you buy CBD that isn’t tested or genuine. Remember that fake CBD vape carts also often contain dangerous additives and toxins.

100% natural, 100% genuine CBD with Secret Nature

The CBD industry is going through a lot of changes that will only accelerate throughout 2020. In general, bad actors are being put down, and good companies are being rewarded by the new shape of the CBD market. It still pays to be very careful, however, as you choose the CBD products you want to put into your body.

With so many different toxins and harmful substances that can accidentally wander their way into CBD products, the need for organic, lab-tested manufacturers becomes clear. Many companies only test for potency, but checking for industrial metals and other contaminants is just as important.

If you grow your hemp the right way and process it safely, however, dangerous contaminants will never find their way into cannabidiol products in the first place. Hemp isn’t naturally a risky plant, but you need to treat it with great care to avoid contamination.

We go the extra mile at Secret Nature to provide CBD products that are sustainable, 100% organic, and completely ahead of their time. Instead of settling for the industry average, we decided to boost our quality past the conceivable limits. Sink into some organic Secret Nature Hemp Flower Nectar, and enjoy!

Disclaimer: Products offered at are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or medical condition.

Fake CBD? How to Spot a Fraud

Fake CBD oil is a real problem in America today. Due to a lack of regulations from the Food and Drug Administration, it seems like there are two fake CBD products made by con artists for every genuine CBD company doing things the right way. Even though CBD is legal, 1 an unregulated market is making life difficult for CBD consumers looking for the highest quality products .

Why? Because scam retailers take advantage of a lack of consumer knowledge and the regulatory grey area caused by the FDA to peddle snake oil products to unsuspecting customers. These products could potentially be harmful and cause unwanted effects, so it’s important to know what you are getting when it comes to CBD. This is your guide to help you know how to spot fake CBD oil .

Fake CBD in the News

Leaders in the CBD industry have been warning of fake CBD for years. In 2017, more than 50 people in Utah went to the hospital for consuming fake CBD made from synthetic cannabinoids. 2 It happened again in North Carolina in 2018.

In 2020, some CBD companies are advertising that their CBD oil can prevent or cure the COVID-19 coronavirus. Do not believe these dangerous claims. If you see a CBD brand advertising itself as a COVID-19 defense or anti-viral agent, report them to the FDA.

Counterfeit CBD Oil

Fake CBD oil made from synthetic cannabinoids can be poisonous, and fraudulent medical claims that CBD oil can cure COVID-19 are just as dangerous. But even more frightening, counterfeiters are ripping off the packaging of a legitimate CBD product in order to fool unsuspecting consumers into buying fake CBD oil.

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Cornbread Hemp knows this problem first-hand. An international crime ring targeted Cornbread Hemp for counterfeiting in 2019. We discovered it in August, when an eagle-eyed Englishman contacted us via email. He purchased a package of capsules bearing the Cornbread Hemp logo at a health food store in the UK. But it was fake; Cornbread Hemp doesn’t ship products to the UK.

When unscrupulous CBD manufacturers sell counterfeit CBD, it’s even worse offense than if they were selling fake CBD. A counterfeit job preys on the trust that a real CBD oil brand creates with its customers. The counterfeiter betrays that trust with fake CBD oil, possibly containing the sort of synthetic cannabinoids that send people the hospital.

What are CBD companies doing to protect their customers from counterfeit CBD? Well, according to our research, not enough.

Fake CBD Oil Warning Signs

Fake CBD can be dangerous and has the potential to cause negative effects. We have compiled this list of warning signs to help consumers spot fake CBD. This will help consumers understand the tricks that some companies play in their labeling and marketing tactics. If you spot any of these issues, beware of that product.

High Dosage Numbers

CBD dosage can be tricky. If a CBD label says the product contains “3,000 mg” or even 12,000 mg or 30,000 mg — absolutely outrageous amounts compared to reputable CBD brands that rarely exceed 2,000 mg per one-ounce bottle. Most honest CBD companies offer products that are 300 to 1,500 mg per bottle.

So, you need to look very carefully at the listing. That mg level might be the dosage of hemp seed oil, not CBD content.

Hemp Seed Oil

There’s nothing wrong with hemp seed oil. It’s not poisonous like synthetic cannabinoids can be. But some companies misrepresent hemp seed oil as CBD in a classic switcheroo. Hemp seed oil products have the medicinal value of olive oil.

Hemp seed oil is good for you, but not medicinal. It is simply the oil of pressed hemp seeds. By contrast, CBD comes only from the seedless female flower of the hemp plant, or the “bud.” 3 Hemp seeds, and therefore hemp seed oil, do not contain CBD. So they won’t be of any assistance in helping you achieve higher levels of wellness.

Cornbread Hemp makes a point to use only hemp flowers in their extract. This is because the leaves and stems do not have much CBD content and makes the end product taste grassy and bitter. The most potent CBD oils will be made from full spectrum hemp flower extract, not from the seeds or from leaves and stems.

Fake Full Spectrum

Another thing to watch for is CBD brands that advertise themselves as “full spectrum” and “THC free” at the same time. This is simply contradictory. The accurate definition of “full spectrum” is CBD that contains a full spectrum of cannabinoids, including THC. 4 Therefore, it’s impossible for CBD to be “full spectrum” and “THC free.”

Another variation of this is “broad spectrum,” which means hemp extract distilled until the THC is undetectable, 5 which means above 80% purity. At Cornbread Hemp, we think “broad spectrum” is less effective than “full spectrum.” 6 But at least a brand that describes its hemp oil as “broad spectrum” is being honest, unlike a brand that calls itself “full spectrum” and “THC free.”

Clear Bottles vs Amber

Any CBD company that puts its CBD oil in a clear bottle should not be trusted. CBD is light sensitive and can break down when exposed to ultraviolet light. 7 Any educated CBD manufacturer knows that CBD oil must be packaged in dark amber bottles to prevent UV deterioration and maintain potency.

Therefore, any brand that puts their cannabis products in a clear bottle is more concerned with surface details like package design than the effectiveness of their CBD products. Avoid clear CBD oils or CBD products bottled in clear glass, it is indicative of a low quality product.

Extravagant Medical Claims

There are very strict federal laws in place to prevent supplements from making false medical claims on their packaging or in their marketing. Don’t trust any CBD brand that claims it can cure or treat anything specific. Any brand willing to make those sorts of outlandish claims on their CBD products does not deserve your trust.

Fake CBD on Amazon

Another easy short-hand tip to remember is this: don’t buy CBD on Amazon. Amazon is filled with scam retailers selling fake CBD. Here’s why:

Amazon does not allow anything labeled “CBD” on its marketplace. But, Amazon does allow hemp products. 8 To take advantage of the Amazon ban on CBD, untrustworthy companies create fake hemp extract products that play within these Amazon rules.

Inflated dosage numbers, hemp seed oil, fake full spectrum, and clear bottles are all fake CBD tactics that can be found on products for sale on Amazon. When looking for trustworthy CBD products, it’s best to avoid Amazon altogether.

Another dangerous form of fake CBD is cannabis extract with higher levels of THC than allowed by law. If you aren’t researching your CBD product, you may end up with more THC than you were wanting to take.

How to Tell Good CBD from Fake CBD

Now that you have increased your CBD consumer knowledge, you can identify fake CBD oil. So here is the next steps to identifying quality, trustworthy CBD oil companies. If a CBD brand is worthy of your business, it will conduct itself in the following ways:

American Sourced Hemp

As much as 70 percent of the CBD sold in America today comes from hemp cannabis plants grown in China. 9 This is a problem because hemp plants are amazing bio-accumulators, which means it soaks up the chemicals in the soil at a remarkable rate. 10

China does not have strong environmental policies or farm regulations that would prevent hemp contamination. Other CBD brands source their hemp from Europe. Europe is a better source for clean hemp plant material than China, but it does nothing to support American hemp farmers.

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Cornbread Hemp sources their hemp plant materials for extract from the heartland of the USA, the rolling hills of Kentucky. We support local businesses in our area, and we source our entire CBD line from organic Kentucky grown hemp for optimum safety and quality control.

Third-Party Lab Tests

All reputable CBD cannabidiol companies conduct rigorous third-party lab tests. Many CBD oil companies only test for CBD content and THC content to ensure compliance to federal limits and state laws. That simple test neglects your safety by not testing for potential contamination with third party verification.

No matter the reason someone is taking hemp derived CBD products, it’s critical that their product remain free of harmful substances.

A lab test report, or certificate of analysis (COA) for any CBD brand should show results for cannabinoids potency, as well as safety tests for pesticides, heavy metals, residual solvents, bacteria, mold, and fungus.

Make sure your CBD brand conducts third-party testing of their hemp derived products. These lab test results should be easy to find on any CBD company’s website. They should also have an article walking you through how to read a CBD certificate of analysis.

Cornbread Hemp always tests every product with Kaycha Labs to ensure quality, legality, and safety. But is third-party lab testing good enough to stop fake CBD oils ? Not any more.

QR Codes Are a Must

The next step is the QR code. A QR code is the new UPC-type square code that your smartphone can read. With an iPhone, you don’t even need a special app. Just point your camera at the QR code, and it will automatically load a webpage linked to that code.

In the case of CBD oil companies, this allows consumers to check lab reports of of CBD products, simply by scanning the QR code with their smartphone. QR codes are easy to produce. CBD oil companies that don’t offer QR codes might be trying to hide something. Some CBD companies only test for THC potency to assure compliance to federal law. They don’t test for heavy metals, solvents, pesticides or other contaminants.

Even if you’re not in the habit of reading a QR code with your smart phone’s camera, QR codes should give you peace of mind. CBD oil or CBD isolate with a QR code is more trustworthy than ones without .

Anti-counterfeiting Holograms

At Cornbread Hemp, we take safety and security one step further. It’s not enough to provide lab reports and QR codes. To protect our customers against counterfeiters, we use authenticity tags from CannVerify.

CannVerify offers a multi-step process to ensure a product is not counterfeit. Holograms look great, but they themselves can also be counterfeited. That’s why CannVerify developed this system.

That may sound complicated, but it’s a small price to pay to keep our consumers safe from counterfeiters trying to sell fake CBD products under our good name.

USDA Certified Organic

The unfortunate truth is that despite the fact that there are many genuine CBD brands out there trying to do the right thing, there’s many more fake CBD brands just trying to rip people off with low quality or altogether fake products.

The only sure-fire way to know for sure that your CBD product is free of contamination is by looking for the USDA certified organic seal. The USDA organic seal guarantees that every product bearing it is free of any contamination that could cause problems. 11

How to Spot Genuine CBD

Keep in mind that when it comes to shopping for CBD oils, you may want to avoid convenience stores and smoke shops. Health food stores or natural supplement retailers are more versed when it comes to vetting products for customer safety, and are usually able to spot fake CBD and keep it off their shelves. You identify fake CBD products yourself by avoiding products that:

  • claim inflated dosage numbers
  • are made with hemp seed oil instead of CBD hemp extract
  • falsely claim themselves to be “full spectrum” and “THC free” at the same time
  • make any medical claims
  • come in a clear bottle
  • are sold on Amazon or in disreputable retailers

To make sure you get genuine full spectrum hemp extract CBD products look for a CBD product with :

  • third-party lab tests and QR codes to access them
  • anti-counterfeiting holograms for authenticity
  • uses an organic carrier oil like MCT coconut oil (MCT coconut oil increases CBD bioavailability)
  • USDA certified organic seal for guaranteed safety

Which brands meet all this criteria for the best quality CBD? Only one: Cornbread Hemp. You now know how to spot fake CBD products . And more importantly, you know how to spot genuine CBD, and get the most from your supplement regimen.

About the Author

Jim Higdon, Co-founder

a native of Lebanon, Kentucky. He holds degrees from Centre College, Brown University, and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Jim published Cornbread Mafia in 2012, full author bio here.

What should I look for in a genuine CBD product?

Among other things, look for a CBD product with: third-party lab tests and QR codes to access them; anti-counterfeiting holograms for authenticity; USDA certified organic seal for guaranteed safety.

Does hempseed oil contain CBD?

Hemp seed oil is good for you, but not medicinal. It is simply the oil of pressed hemp seeds. Hemp seeds, and therefore hemp seed oil, do not contain CBD.

Is there such a thing as full spectrum, THC free CBD?

No, CBD cannot be “full spectrum” and “THC free” at the same time. This is simply contradictory. The accurate definition of “full spectrum” is CBD that contains a full spectrum of cannabinoids, including THC.

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