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Major Scams in the CBD Industry and How to Avoid Them

CBD customers are getting scammed by their favourite CBD companies, but it has nothing to do with medical claims. Although the FDA and other regulatory bodies are yet to make a stand on the possible therapeutic roles of the hemp plant, over 27,000 scientific articles have identified a good use case for the potential therapeutic roles of the hemp plant and its compounds. 

Information from these research studies has led to a general increase in hemp legalisation and adoption, with CBD being legalised in the UK in 2018. However, as the industry continues to grow, it faces an influx of companies that are out to deceive the average customer. 

How is this even possible? In this article, we address some common scams in the CBD industry and how you can avoid them. Please note that information in this article is from research studies and interviews and should be strictly used for educational purposes only.

Is CBD a Scam?

CBD has been shown to be a safe alternative to pharmaceuticals in many scientific studies. In fact, a report from the World Health Organization found that, in humans, “CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potentials” and that, to date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD. 

That said, there are some illegitimate companies who have used the increased interest in CBD to scam customers.  

Common Scams in the CBD Industry 

Here’s a look at some of the most common CBD scams, and how you can avoid them when making a purchase.

1. Misleading Product Labelling

Product mislabelling is a major challenge in the CBD industry. A 2017 study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania showed that almost 70% of CBD products bought from online US stores were mislabelled. The researchers looked at 84 CBD products from 31 companies, and concluded oils, tinctures, and vape products. 

In the UK, lab tests for the CMC report analysed high-street offerings and found that more than half of the most popular CBD oils sold do not contain the level of CBD promised on the label. 

Additional research conducted by the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2021 shows that labelling CBD strains as sativa or indica does not indicate their accurate chemical composition. They noticed an inconsistency in the chemical composition of CBD plants generally labelled as indica or sativa, which may result in failing a drug test

Most CBD companies choose to market the product label rather than the product’s certificate of analysis. An authentic CBD product should come with a verifiable certificate of analysis that will give users clear information on what they are purchasing. 

2. Contaminated or Inferior Quality Products

Product recalls due to pesticide or pathogen contamination are common in the CBD industry. Contaminated CBD products may arise from low-quality hemp, dangerous solvents for extraction, and synthetic products in place of naturally occurring products. This can expose users to harmful toxins, carcinogens and infection from pathogens. 

 Although recalls are a bid to safeguard the user’s health, it often leads to capital loss for the company and CBD user as, in most cases, users may not get a complete refund on recalled products.

A good CBD product should come from quality hemp grown with a traceable history from seed to shelf. 

3. Fake Customer Reviews and Testimonials 

Believe everything you read online at your peril. Not all customer reviews are from real customers – some are from paid actors who were employed to convince you to waste your hard-earned money on subpar products. 

Manipulated customer reviews and testimonials can be misleading and may not accurately represent customers’ actual experiences, which can create a false sense of product effectiveness and customer satisfaction.. It is advisable to seek reviews from independent sources or trusted review platforms to better understand a product’s quality and efficacy. 

4. Unverified or Inaccurate Third-Party Lab Testing

A certificate of analysis (COA) serves as a customer’s gateway to understanding the nature and safety level of CBD products. Some CBD companies falsify their results to gain cheap points from intending users.

In some cases, the lab results may be inaccurate or unverifiable. In others, companies may forge lab results to mislead customers about product quality, potency, or purity. Consumers should settle for only products with verifiable, third-party lab testing reports to ensure transparency and product quality. 

5. Lack of Transparency in the Manufacturing Process

Dishonest CBD companies may not provide adequate information about their manufacturing processes, including the source of their hemp, extraction methods used, or the presence of contaminants. This lack of transparency raises concerns about product quality and safety. Consumers should look for companies that provide detailed information about their sourcing and manufacturing practices to ensure they purchase safe and reliable products.

6. Free Trial Scams

Some CBD companies may offer free trials of their products but fail to adequately disclose the terms and conditions. Consumers may unknowingly sign up for recurring subscription plans, resulting in unexpected charges on their credit cards. It is important to carefully review the terms and conditions and understand the cancellation process before agreeing to any free trial offers.

7. Pyramid or Multi Level Marketing Schemes 

CBD companies may operate as a pyramid or multi level marketing scheme, encouraging customers to become distributors and recruit others to join. These schemes often prioritise recruitment over selling legitimate products, making it difficult for participants to earn profits. Consumers should be cautious of companies that heavily emphasise recruitment and promise high earnings with little effort.


Your choice of CBD company ultimately determines if you will fall into the hand of scammers. At Purity Hemp, all of our products are traceable from seed to shelf, and approved by third-party lab reports. From the organic hemp we grow on our farms in nutrient-rich soil and clean water sources, to our sustainable and quality-assured farming processes, we’re committed to supplying a premium range of broad-spectrum CBD products to our customers. 

Have questions about CBD or our products? Don’t hesitate to get in contact with our team.  

About The Author

Daniel Gana is an avid cannabis scientist, researcher, and content creator. His knowledge field includes psychedelics, cannabis science, cannabis tech, and cannabis cultivation. He applies his knowledge of the cannabis plant to assist cannabis companies with SEO copywriting, educational content, articles, compliant product descriptions and emails.

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