CBD Scams and How to Spot Them

CBD Scams and How to Spot Them

Scams are everywhere today, and the CBD industry is full of them! Unfortunately, as with new sectors, scammers are prevalent because consumers do not know what to look for. The industry is unregulated, allowing some companies to jump in and make a quick buck, not caring if their products are fake! CBD Wild Leaf was created to provide quality CBD products with the proof to back it up! What is on our labels is what is contained in our products, and we provide the Certificate of Analysis (COA) tested by a third-party lab to back it up! We also only use US-grown cannabis (Colorado).

There are five top scams in the industry. This blog will address the five and show you how to spot them. The five cons are:

  • The “Free Trial”
  • Fake Brands or “Copycat”
  • Companies Making Unrealistic Claims (the FDA has closed a few)
  • Multilevel Marketing Companies
  • CBD Shark Tank Scam

Let us review each scam, including how to spot it.


The Free Trial

Get free CBD! All you must do is pay for shipping! The free trial is generally a scam. The fact is real CBD is expensive. Because CBD is costly, a free product sounds excellent, especially if you are new. There is a big difference between a “free sample” and paid CBD products from reputable brands such as CBD Wild Leaf.

So, how does the scam work? First, you sign up and enter all your information. The CBD product price is $0, and you pay a small shipping fee. So far, so good, but did you read the small print? The small print includes a section where you agree to pay a fee per month; generally, at a high cost, and canceling is exceedingly tricky. They make it difficult to cancel, including not responding to your request if you can find contact information on the site. Plus, you will be receiving low-quality stuff, most likely made in Asia with contaminants or made from hemp seed oil, which does not contain CBD! If you have fallen for this scam, the best thing to do is “lock” and cancel your card.


Fake Brands (Copycat)

Copycat scams are one of the most brazen CBD scams.

A copycat scam will take the name of a CBD company. The copycat scam is to confuse consumers into buying products from their websites instead. The products are very low-quality.

Now let us look at how this scam works! The name must be similar or resemble a brand with a URL like the host brand. Let us look at an example. CBD Wild Leaf is a trusted brand with the copycat Wild Leaf CBD. Our URLs are similar cbdwildleaf.com and wildleafcbd.com. Easy to confuse, right? The scamming company operates in two different ways. Both provide you with landing pages that look legitimate. So, you order products through the checkout process. The two differ in the way they operate. With one, you will not receive products, and the other is that you will receive inferior products.

An excellent example of this is the Wild Leaf example from above. CBD Wild Leaf is a reputable company with COA's and ingredient lists. We embed these two in the QR codes. On the other hand, Wild Leaf CBD oil products are formulated from hemp seed oil which does not contain CBD. They do not provide COA's or an ingredient list. It is not easy to spot these copycat scammers! You should not purchase CBD products without the COA"s and ingredients list.

Unrealistic Claims Scam

Individual CBD companies run scams by selling products online utilizing disreputable or false claims for unrealistic health benefits, strength, or quality. Let us delve into each. 

Unrealistic health benefits are a big one! This marketing type uses impractical health claims to promote their products, touting they can cure all and any disease. The FDA is taking a good look at these companies and has shut down many of them, but unfortunately, they pop up again. It is illegal to make these claims in the US and most countries.  All claims that sound too good to be true probably are.

The second strength of CBD is also enormous. A study by the FDA (FDA Testing of CBD Products by Nathan Below), who randomly tested 38 companies, found that only 10% matched or exceeded the amount of CBD on the label. That is a whopping 90% under the label amount with almost 24% having zero; that is zero CBD! Companies like CBD Wild Leaf use third-party testing to confirm the amount of CBD on the label for each batch. It adds to the cost of the products, but we want consumers to trust our products.

Quality claims can be challenging to spot because many use terms that are not regulated, such as 100% natural, 100% absorption rate, made from 100% organic hemp (need a certificate to prove), or purest. 

To sum it up, the problem is that the CBD industry is young without regulations. The FDA is struggling to keep up with all the issues in the industry. However, by the time the FDA or other regulators catches on, the company has already earned millions and cashed out.

Multilevel Marketing Schemes

Multilevel marketing (MLM) or network marketing is found in all industries and has been around for a long time. Most but not all of them are total scams, no matter what an MLM associate may try to tell you. They make money by acquiring new ambassadors forced to buy expensive stock for themselves and to take costly training programs. The products these companies are selling are not outstanding, and it can be challenging to get customers to buy the products a second time.

These companies are easy to spot and generally have inferior products and offer unrealistic health claims. What to do if you are caught up with this scam first, cancel all credit & debit cards the company has on file and never buy from the company again.

CBD Shark Tank Scam

Shark Tank is a famous television show where entrepreneurs pitch their companies to a group of celebrity investors to earn funding. CBD scams are now using Shark Tank to make their brand seem reputable. They will utilize "Shark Tank” with screenshots of various Shark Tank products edited out and replaced with CBD oils.

Bottom line investigate before purchasing and make sure the COA's and ingredients are available. Also, check out this article by Justin Cooke from the Daily CBD.  He even lists companies that are scams.


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