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Anytime the word ‘counterfeiting’ is mentioned, most often than not, we conjure up images of either currency notes, high-end luxury fashion products, or vintage goods. Irrespective of the products, the goal is the same. Using identical packaging and symbols to sell off fake products masked as original and mint money, sometimes even at the cost of peoples’ lives. 

What most people might fail to realize is the fact that the reach of counterfeiting is far, wide, and ever-increasing. Although Cannabidiol forgery is relatively a new phenomenon, this industry has been witnessing frequent fraudulent actions with both vaping products as well as plants. Interestingly, cannabidiol vaping products remain the most pervasive example of black-market cannabis today. Since cannabidiol is not bound by government regulations, the companies that manufacture such products have the liberty to do whatever they want with these products. While many manufacturers are creating the best possible hemp-derived CBD oils, gummies, vapes, and other products, counterfeiters are leaving no stones unturned to make the most of this freedom and cutting corners for doing business.  

How Widespread are CBD Products?

Counterfeited CBD is a growing concern for the manufacturers, and statistics prove this. Analytical testing laboratory, SC laboratories undertook a study in July 2020 in conjunction with the United Cannabis Business Association (UCBA), and they produced some staggering results. 17 samples purchased from unlicensed CBD shops or retailers in and around Los Angeles were tested, and the results were: 

– Over 70 per cent of the samples failed either because they had excessive contamination or because they did not qualify as hemp. 

– It was seen that 42 per cent of the samples failed the safety testing when compared with approximately 1.5 per cent of samples that fail for contaminants on the regulated market. 

– To everyone’s surprise, the level of contamination in the product was several hundred times more than allowable limits in some cases. 

– Although labelled as hemp, 53 per cent of tested samples identified as hemp-based did not qualify, by definition, as hemp. (According to the 2018 Farm bill, hemp is classified as cannabis that contains no more than 0.3 per cent total THC.) Most of the products tested by the lab contained levels of THC that could have serious psychoactive effects on users. 

The Dangers of Fake Cannabidiol

CBD has the power to improve life – A healing cannabinoid compound in the cannabis plant has the power to prevent epileptic children from having seizures. CBDs have many advantages, so much so that it wouldn’t be wrong to say that it is the ‘holy grail’ everyone seems to recommend these days for any ailment; from arthritis to insomnia. However, the trade of fake cannabidiol on the other hand is instead jeopardizing lives. Fake cannabidiol is a growing concern across the globe, and given the purpose it is used for, counterfeiting of the product can have serious implications. Between December 2017 and January 2018, fake CBD poisoned at least 52 people in the US stae of Utah. According to the Centre for Disease Control in the country, synthetic products that were being marketed as cannabidiol sickened the 52 individuals, which had 32 of them being admitted in emergency rooms. Most of these patients were oblivious to the fake CBD and believed that they were consuming legally derived products. According to a WebMD resource on K2, “between 2011 and 2017, U.S. poison control centers received as many as 31,000 calls related to synthetic cannabinoid effects.”

Some of the common side effects associated with synthetic CBD include: 

– Anxiety and Agitation 

– Hallucinations 

– Psychosis 

– Racing heart 

– High blood pressure 

– Paranoia  

– Breathlessness 

– Seizures  

– Chest pain 

– Nausea and vomiting among others

Fake CBD can be much more dangerous than we can fathom, reason why one needs to be extra cautious when making a purchase.

How to Ensure that Your CBD Product is Genuine 

Buying genuine CBD products might sound like a nightmare but it is not as complicated as it looks. All one needs to do is apply their logic and reason to a good understand of the item they are purchasing. Here is a quick reckoner to ease your CBD purchase pain: 

– Check Reports from Laboratories 

– Read the Labels of the Product well 

– Do research on the company’s reputation 

– Be cautious of warning signs  

– Read customer reviews on the product 

– Avoid scam companies 

What CBD Brands can do to Protect their Products 

Brand protection is a very important aspect of the production process that most brands conveniently ignore. While brand protection is important for every brand to avoid different forms of brand abuse, it becomes indispensable for manufacturers that deal in edible or any kind of consumable product. There are some protection solutions that are being used by manufacturers like scratch-off codes, holograms, QR Codes etc. However, these type of brand protection solutions can be easily faked or tampered with. CBD brands need solutions that are robust and effective to the core.

The Cypheme Solution 

The cypheme solution is a revolution – our noise print labels give unique identifications to each product they are affixed on, and thus making them uncopiable. Powered by Artificial Intelligence, our labels are infused with special chemicals, which is one of the core features that make them impossible to be duplicated or imitated successfully.

How it works is that the purchaser takes a picture of our label on the CBD product with their smartphone, and they get an authentication result in less than 5 seconds. Besides identifying fake or genuine products, our solution is also able to geolocate points of use and consequently the locations of people trying to make duplicates of Cypheme-protected brands.

In an industry like that of CBDs where the lives of consumers are at stake, and where there is high competition, no compromise should be made on the quality of the brand protection solution used to secure the products, and Cypheme offers you nothing but the best.

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