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The CBD market has officially exploded — which means there are plenty of copycats trying to capitalize on major brands’ success. Unfortunately, cheap CBD or fake CBD has very few benefits and could even be harmful. Rather than throwing your money down the drain, learn how to spot genuine premium CBD brands and avoid being fooled.

Step 1. Check the Ingredients List

Opportunistic marketers have slapped the CBD label on products that contain little to no CBD. Perhaps they’ve added CBD to the product’s name, or they use dubious language promising the benefits of cannabidiol without actually saying the product contains it. Read the label to determine if there is actually CBD in the product, and if so, what type it is. If you see “99% pure CBD,” that’s CBD isolate. Note that other additives are often a sign that the product is not genuine.

Other products may indicate they contain “broad-spectrum CBD” or “full-spectrum CBD.” These forms of CBD are frequently found in oils and gummies. Always check that the product contains less than 0.3 percent THC.

Finally, check to see where the CBD came from. The best source is industrial hemp grown organically in the United States. “Hemp seed oil” is not CBD oil and does not provide health benefits. When buying CBD oil, the only other ingredient listed should be a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or grapeseed oil, if anything.

Step 2. Request Lab Reports

Any legitimate product manufacturer will have third-party lab reports proving the authenticity of premium CBD. This is called the Certificate of Analysis. It is mandatory for CBD products to be tested, so if a company cannot produce this report, steer clear. You could be purchasing a product that contains zero CBD, or worse, some knock-off substance that causes unpleasant side effects. Also, be sure to check that the lab report is no more than 6 months old and matches the batch you’re purchasing, and compare the listed concentrations of CBD and THC to ensure they match the COA results.

Step 3. Look at the Price

As the saying goes, you get what you pay for, and that’s definitely true for CBD. Cheap CBD products are just that: cheap, and usually fake. Sustainably, properly sourced cannabidiol is expensive. There’s just no way around it unless you cut corners and thereby taint the CBD. Any legitimate CBD product is going to be more than a few bucks — and it’s worth it, because you’re gaining the full benefits of cannabidiol sourced from industrial hemp, rather than a diluted version available for cheap. Ultimately, you’ll get more bang for your buck if you invest in legitimate CBD products.

Step 4. Assess the Seller’s Reputation

Well-reputed CBD brands are fairly easy to identify. There are thousands of consumer reviews online for any given brand, and you can also assess the store in which the product is sold. Look for social proof that the seller offers legitimate products and browse sites with a well-established presence, such as Be wary of ultra-low prices, as mentioned above.

Step 5. Ask Your Personal Network

You likely know a few CBD users, so feel free to ask them which products they recommend. Many of them have been burned by fake products and can advise you which brands to avoid. Your doctor may have recommendations as well. If your personal network doesn’t yield results, there are plenty of online communities devoted to CBD.

Wrapping Up

Choosing high-quality, legitimate CBD is crucial to obtaining the full set of benefits from cannabidiol — and sparing your wallet. Fake products are unfortunately quite common, but with a little detective work, you can easily identify the best CBD brands and choose products that meet your needs.




CBD Health and Wellness

Health Line

Consumer Reports

National Pain Report

Chicago Tribune


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