How to Avoid Being Scammed by Fake CBD?

How to Avoid Being Scammed by Fake CBD?

If you live in an area where you have several dispensaries that have a vast collection of CBD products, you are some of the lucky few who are able to shop for their CBD locally. You can generally trust that the products they get are legitimate. For others, however, they may need to shop online in order to get their CBD.

Most vendors are reliable and there is typically nothing to worry about when you are shopping for CBD from reputable sites. However, if you are unsure where these sites are or who you intend on buying from, you may very well end up being scammed. Sometimes you end up purchasing a product that is advertised as CBD but is something else entirely.

Situations like these are unfortunate but they do happen. You must be properly informed about some of the scams and misinformation that often leads to these incidents. For those who are just learning about CBD and are starting to look around for a product of there own, here are some scams to look out for while you are browsing online.

Avoid Being Scammed of CBD

The biggest problem with being scammed is that you don’t typically know that it's happening until everything is said and done. You’ve bought your product and it is doubtful that you will be able to return it. This can be rather frustrating for both those who are new to the CBD industry as well as those who have used CBD in the past.

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One of the most infamous places people get fake CBD is ebay and Amazon. Since the policies on these marketplaces do not allow CBD, sellers change the name to Hemp Seed Oil, which lets them get away with selling fake CBD. Regardless of where you are in your CBD journey, here are some valuable tips that will help you to avoid being scammed.

CBD From Hemp and Hemp Seed Oil Are Not the Same

When you look online for CBD oil, especially on websites where third-party sales are allowed, you may find several offerings that resemble CBD oil but will instead focus on the keywords “hemp oil” or “hemp seed oil”. They do this while boasting the same benefits that you would expect to see from CBD oil. This type of language is purposefully used to confuse new users as they may not be able to tell the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil. Some people may see the same benefits or similar language then decide to purchase the hemp oil anyways.

It’s important to know that CBD oil and hemp oil are not the same things, even if they do come from the same plant. CBD oil is an oil extracted from the hemp plant that is purposely filtered to include more of the cannabinoid cannabidiol in order for the user to reap the supposed benefits of the substance. Hemp or hemp seed oil is a product produced by draining the seeds of the hemp plant. This creates an oil that contains all of the active ingredients in the hemp plant.

While this means that CBD is present, it is present in such low quantities that it couldn’t possibly provide the same benefits that a CBD oil would. Read this carefully and keep this in mind when you are searching for CBD online.

Misleading Product Information

As we stated above, some vendors may carefully select a few choice words or statements in order to trick the buyer into purchasing their product that is most certainly not CBD oil. Here is how they accomplish and how you can avoid becoming a victim of this choice of terminology (or lack thereof).

Hemp Extract Seed Oil Amazon Misleading Product Information

Vague Information

Some vendors are outspoken about their product and will rely on over informing the consumer in order to trick them into purchasing it. Then, there are vendors who will be rather vague when they are explaining what it is in their product and what it accomplishes. They will try to use as little information as possible while focusing on CBD-related language and other terminology so that they can convince the reader that it is a real product.

If the product you are looking at is not forthcoming with information and provides so little that you cannot draw a definitive conclusion as to what the product is, it is best to steer clear of it entirely.

Milligram of CBD

Hemp oil and hemp seed oil both contain CBD. After all, it is a part of the hemp plant and it is what is extracted in order to make CBD oil. However, unlike CBD oil, hemp oil contains so little of the cannabinoid that it would produce very few effects for users. Vendors may make the milligrams of CBD look bigger than they actually are by making users instead focus on the milliliters or provide a ratio that exists in the solution. Make sure to check the milligrams of CBD (if available) before you purchase a product.

Bottle Size

Bottle size can be another tricky topic. Most websites that allow third-party vendors or more disreputable websites often have pictures that look impressive but are not representative of the product itself. This can mean that your bottle of “Cannabidiol” is rather small but is photographed a certain way in order to make it look like a larger product. If you are able to, see if you can find the bottle size to make sure that you are not getting scammed if you decide that you would like to move forward with your purchase.

Check Reviews of the Product and Company

There aren't always ways to learn more about the product or the company behind the product on a certain website. (If you run into this, having no information out there is a big red flag that indicates you should not purchase their product!) Others are a little more open about the product that they are selling or maybe the company themselves who are pushing the product on another platform.

Whenever you see a product you are unsure of, it is important to conduct further research about the product itself and the company that manufactures it. Check the reviews of this product and of the company to get a better idea of who they are and what type of experience they provide. Take reviews with a grain of salt but pay attention to the information that tells you more about how the product functions. In addition, it can be good to visit the company’s website as well. If the information is rather vague or almost non-existent, this is typically an indication that they are not a trustworthy business and are instead trying to scam individuals.

CBD COA certificate of analysis report

Check COA Reports

COA reports, more commonly known as Certificate of Analysis reports, are lab analyses of the product that is being sold. These documents contain an analysis of all of the chemicals that are contained within the product and will let you know how much of what substance can be found within your “CBD” solution. It is mainly for the main cannabinoids.

Not every product will have this. If they do, make sure to double-check the COA to ensure that there is indeed the level of CBD that should be expected to be present in the product. Make sure that you check for other contaminants or substances while you are at it as well. 

It is important to check for the THC amount too. If you get drug tested for work, this can be good to look at. The higher this number, the higher the chance you will fail the drug test.

Avoid Any Promises, Cures, or Too Good to Be True Statements

There are a wide variety of supposed benefits that come with using CBD but most vendors will be careful to make sure that readers know that these benefits are not conclusive. There is still more research that needs to be conducted. 

Vendors that do not care and are simply trying to sell a product that is most likely not CBD oil will attempt to make promises, state some larger than life cures, or make some statements that are too good to be true in order to convince the reader that it is the real deal. If anything sounds fishy or sounds too grand to actually occur as a result of using the product, you are probably dealing with a scammer.

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How is the Cannabis Sourced and the Oil Extracted?

You can easily tell if an oil is CBD, hemp, or something else entirely if they reveal some of the processes that went into the making of the product. For example, let’s say that the product talks about “cold pressing” in the product description. Cold pressing is a type of extraction method that is used to get the oil out of hemp seeds. It strictly applies to this type of product as CBD oil is extracted by soaking hemp in grain alcohol. This example is one of the ways you will be able to differentiate fake oils from real CBD oils.

In addition, there are certain sourcing locations for the hemp plant that are most commonly used for the production of CBD oil such as Colorado or Denmark. If your hemp is not grown in a popular location, it could be a fake or subpar product.

Avoid Synthetic Marijuana

Most products, although scams, are not always safe to take. This applies to products stemming from synthetic marijuana. Fake marijuana can be extremely dangerous and you should never take this substance or any product derived from this substance. Doing so can result in severe mental or physical damage.

Don't Fall for the Buy CBD Oil Samples

You should never have to pay for samples, even if it is shipping. Some vendors will attempt to sell you samples as a way to receive money and scam the consumer. If a product asks you to buy CBD oil samples before you try, move on to another vendor that is more dependable.


The online world is rife with fake CBD product vendors and it can be easy to fall prey to these types of scams. If you are worried about coming across one or have been burnt in the past and are looking to avoid these scams, use the comprehensive guide above as a way to double-check products the next time that you go shopping for CBD products.