Tragically, some of the biggest headlines coming out of the world of CBD are regarding waves of illnesses stemming from fake CBD products.  The most recent reports, according to the Center for Disease Control, found the fake CBD products had no CBD but did test positive for synthetic cannabinoid: 4-cyano CUMYL-BUTINACA (4-CCB).  This compound became infamous as “Spice” or “K-2” many years ago, also for sickening the masses.  Fortunately, as a consumer, there are certain tricks to employ to better navigate the CBD landscape, thus significantly reducing the likelihood of accidentally ingesting fake CBD products. Here are a few tried-and-true methods:

Avoiding fake CBD: Check the supplier

Perhaps the easiest first step to avoiding fake CBD is to know and trust who is supplying the product.  Most  designate the origin of the hemp which will come from either America or Europe.  Check to see if they have a contact info.  Similarly, check online to see if they are active. Is there blog or social media content? Are there real humans running the ship?  With the most recent illnesses, the product was purchased at a local tobacco shop and the producers are virtually unknown.  Not necessarily surprising of a company that sells fake products.

real cbd
CBD distillate, like the type sold here, and its proud producer in their lab. Respectable CBD producers take utmost pride in their work.

Spotting fake CBD: Read the Ingredients

Most CBD products, nowadays, will include an ingredient list right on the package.  For many, in order to operate within certain states’ CBD guidelines, the ingredient lists are a required component for shelf stocking.  However, certain companies will go above and beyond.  Not only listing the ingredients but also explaining the proprietary components or providing test results.  These are the types of companies and brands that pride themselves on the technology and science behind their products.  The brand that got so many sick (shown below) lists no ingredients.  It just says “CBD Oil.”

fake cbd
“Yolo” CBD Oil contains 0% CBD but is laden with sickening synthetic cannabinoid 4-CCB. Actual product shown.

Accidentally ingested fake CBD?  Spot the symptoms.

If this post reaches you too late, spotting the symptoms of fake CBD ingestion can be all the difference.  Of those that fell ill in Utah, the symptoms were: “altered mental status, nausea or vomiting, and seizures or shaking.”  Utah Poison Control states that these symptoms “are not consistent with CBD oil.” CBD, in it’s pure botanical form, is considered to be “well tolerated with a good side effect profile” by the World Health Organization.  If someone is experiencing negative symptoms and believes they have ingested fake CBD they should call poison control immediately.

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