Recently, an increasing number of advertisements have appeared online highlighting various CBD products, typically gummies, endorsing benefits such as pain relief, improved sleep, and lessened anxiety. Unfortunately, to the consumer and the legitimate companies, many of those heavily marketed “miracle cure” CBD products may be a part of a larger scam.
How do these scams work?
Many, reputable, companies will use subscription models as a way to save you money. It has shown to be a great service to offset the cost of your cannabinoid therapy. However, subscription traps do often take place by scammers; unwittingly locking you into costly, repeated payments. These offers often seem too good to be true, for example, receiving a free CBD product where all you have to pay for is shipping.
When (or if) these products arrive, there may be no CBD in them at all or they may have harmful other defects. Numerous times CBD products readily available on the market have been tested by multiple laboratories. In one study only 15% of the products tested were accurately labeled.
What are the health implications of buying an illegitimate product?
The hemp plant has numerous benefits, including to our environment. One of its specialities is the ability to absorb a vast range of compounds from the soil to include heavy metals, radioactive elements, pesticides, fungicides, and more. So, if hemp is coming from polluted land, it is likely that high concentrations of these compounds can show up in the final product that individuals are consuming. Contaminated products may cause pain, muscle weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, allergic and respiratory issues. Buying from illegitimate companies might not just rob you of your money but of your health. Therefore we cannot stress enough that the quality of your product absolutely matters.
How to spot the scams.
Often, widely elaborate scams aim to trick consumers with false testimonials and manipulated imagery. Recently, claims were attributed to a fraudulent company as a “miracle gummy”. Scammers even included false endorsements from Shark Tank celebrities in their ads, which is not the first time a CBD scam has used the TV show in their attempt to dupe consumers. It should be known that no CBD products have been aired in an episode of Shark Tank to date.
Clicking the scam ad will often lead to a sales page with more deceitful claims and countdown timers to create a false sense of urgency to purchase. An initial charge is requested and what may be more downplayed, or missing entirely, is language about this being a recurring monthly charge. After the first transaction, cancellation often becomes incredibly difficult as these “companies” do not respond to phone calls and emails or refuse refunds.
How do you know if your product is legitimate?
There are several CBD companies that offer safe, affordable, quality products. Because the FDA does not regulate CBD, checking if a company is legitimate falls heavily back on the consumer. You do not want your trust and confidence in CBD to be impacted by scammers, so here are some action steps you can take before you buy:
- Contact a Realm of Caring Care Specialist. Our team is here to help with free one-on-one support to ensure you find a safe and quality product to help you achieve your goals. We have our own rigorous vetting process, and the products that have passed you may find on our supported brands page. As an organization founded by mom’s who were looking for safe solutions for their children, we take product quality very seriously.
- Use our Quality of Product Matters Checklist to help you vet a company.
- Research the brand you are looking to shop from. The most reputable are often the ones who show results from third-party lab testing, are transparent about their sourcing and/or how they manufacture their products. If you have questions, they should have a support team you can contact for more information.
- Be skeptical of those products who claim to be a “miracle cure” or offer a free trial while requiring your credit card information.
What to do if you feel that you have been scammed.
If you feel that you are a victim of a subscription scam and the customer service team for the company is non-existent or not responding, you may want to contact your credit card provider or bank to inform them to stop charges. If you purchased a product that is causing an adverse reaction and, again, the company customer service is non-existent or not responding, you may want to contact Safety Call to report the event.
The Bottom Line? Get help in advance of product buying.
Realm of Caring takes part in research and education for safe and responsible use of CBD and cannabis products. We are here to help with quality product selection, administration guidance, and free one on one support. Understand what to look for and how much to take of any CBD product before you head to the store or order online. You can reach our care team by calling 719-347-5400, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or scheduling an appointment.