CBD Scams Using “Shark Tank” Show’s Name to Sell Fake Products

It’s hard to imagine organized CBD scams. Usually, when we think of these operations, images of fake website links, Nigerian princes, or someone from “the IRS” and “Windows” come to mind. Although typical scams are very real (and annoying), CBD seems to have also taken a page from their book.

Of course, unscrupulous companies aren’t going to call you at all hours or try to hack your computer. But online, it’s not hard to pass something off as authentic. Surprisingly, there’s an old default that some vendors use to this day. 

Fake credibility is easy to accomplish, which is a skill some CBD companies like to pull off. The usual red flags are still worth mentioning, but there’s a new technique meant to take advantage of savvy shoppers.

The CBD Shark Tank Scam

Capitalizing on a popular show like “Shark Tank” is clever, given the show’s purpose.

For those who aren’t familiar, “Shark Tank” is a TV show airing on ABC. Aspiring business people pitch their products or services to a handful of millionaire investors referred to as “sharks.” 

The sharks consider each pitch and accept or reject it (sometimes with jaw-dropping brutality). One or more of the “sharks” can make offers, with a few rare instances of them bidding against each other for a share in the startup company. 

Getting a product or idea through that kind of gauntlet takes courage, dedication, and a solid business plan. Consequently, unsuspecting customers assume that if this popular show backs a brand, it must be legitimate. Right?

How the Scam Works

Currently, the Shark Tank CBD scam focuses on CBD gummies, likely due to their popularity and broad appeal. But this tactic can work with any CBD product. 

According to Kirkland Reporter, the scam has two stages. First, the “company” generates credibility using the “Shark Tank” show’s name. They may make claims like being the “only” CBD company to be featured on the program.

Next, the vendor claims its products are superior to any other premium brand and successfully charges well above even the most expensive legitimate CBD products. 

In some cases, the CBD website doesn’t honestly sell anything. Instead, it’s a front for phishing. Once you put in your name, address, and credit card information, the site records those keystrokes for scammers to collect. 

At that point, you could be in a world of trouble. The worst part is that this scam traps people who are doing their research on a company before buying. Any skeptic would feel at ease knowing the product their about to buy was allegedly on “Shark Tank.”

Have Any CBD Brands Been on “Shark Tank”?

No. As of the writing of this article, no CBD brand has even stepped in front of the infamous sharks. 

According to the Kirkland Reporter, “not a single CBD gummy business has been aired on the show. You are most likely being swindled if a CBD gummy company tells you they have been to the Shark Tank show.”

Risks of CBD Scams

Aside from the threat to your identity and finances, scam companies can also harm your health. For instance, these vendors have no reason to follow federal laws on THC limits, meaning you could easily consume well over 0.3% THC in each dose.

It’s equally possible that the product is hollow, with no CBD, THC, or anything else of value to your body. Traces of solvents and other contaminants could also be present. 

Remember that these operations are just looking to take your money. All they need to do is provide something that passes for CBD gummies or other cannabidiol products. 

Other Signs of a CBD Scam

 There are other ways you can spot a potential CBD scam. However, keep in mind that just because these red flags exist doesn’t mean deception. Some could be a result of carelessness or ignorance. 

But whether intentional or accidental, any of the following signs should make you second-guess purchasing from them. 

Unsupported Medical Claims

The Kirkland Reporter mentions the danger of inflated medical claims, something everyone should be aware of. It’s easy to sell a cure-all to a customer with no CBD experience.

Although CBD has success treating certain types of epilepsy, the FDA hasn’t approved it for anything else. This means it’s against the law to make any promises about treating or curing conditions. 

So if they make definitive statements about CBD’s medical properties, they’re ignoring regulations, deceiving their customers, and putting people’s health at risk. 

Poor Customer Reviews

Bad reviews happen. Even the best, most well-intentioned businesses can’t accommodate every request, leaving a handful of disgruntled customers. But a reputable CBD company should be able to overshadow the negative feedback with good or excellent reviews.

But if you see claims like ghosting after a purchase, missing packages, or non-existent customer service, don’t take the risk of being the next angry client. Be especially vigilant for contradictions. For instance, if the company makes promises that customers find untrue, that’s an immediate sign to shop somewhere else.

Lack of Real Third-Party Tests

Some legitimate CBD businesses don’t test their products, but CBD scams are guaranteed not to do so.

In some cases, vendors forge their third-party lab tests, where they control the testing process and, ultimately, what gets printed on the label. 

So what’s a sign that lab tests might be forged? Here are a few indicators:

  • No identifying information (names, lab, etc)
  • Redacted sections
  • Missing information (i.e. THC content)
  • Messy or inconsistent layout, like it was done in a photo editor
  • No details on which test was used
  • Missing dates

But a good forgery can look legitimate, so research is the most reliable way to cover yourself. Look up the lab name attached to the test results to determine its validity. If the name and services check out, then you’re in the clear. 

Poor Presentation

Scammers don’t care about the finer details, so it’s likely they’ll try to create a barebones functional website. They just need to get your information and make the sale (if they’re even selling anything at all).

If you land on a CBD company’s website and it looks like someone made with Geocities in 1998, then they either have the worst web design team, or they’re a scam.

Does Anyone on Shark Tank Endorse CBD?

Nobody has successfully pitched a CBD product on the show. But Kevin Harrington, one of the shows former “sharks,” has openly given support for one CBD brand. 

How to Protect Yourself from a CBD Scam

Fortunately, it’s easy to protect yourself from a CBD scam. The key is to fact-check. If a vendor says they were featured in a major media outlet, try to find the content, or ask them for a link. 

And again, there’s always plenty of information (or dirt) online for virtually any business imaginable. For instance, Tessera Naturals has a presence on independent sites like Leafly and has a history of glowing reviews

The opposite might be true for the “premium CBD” vendor you’re eyeing. 

Key Takeaways

  • Some CBD gummy scams claim to have been featured on “Shark Tank” 
  • CBD has never been pitched on “Shark Tank”
  • Watch out for CBD businesses that make medical claims, feature bad customer feedback, provide no (or questionable) test results, or simply look shady
  • Some CBD scams don’t sell anything, but use their online forms to take personal information
  • Identity theft is a serious concern with CBD scams

With Cannabis Legalization Spreading, What Does This Mean for CBD Supplements?

The 2018 Farm Bill was a groundbreaking moment for hemp CBD supplement industry. Federal legalization of industrial hemp took it out of the crossfire between law enforcement and hemp’s more sinister THC-laden counterpart. 

But now with states like Montana and New York moving on with full cannabis legalization, how does that impact hemp CBD? Will it be available in dispensaries or still remain largely unregulated as a health supplement?

Most importantly, which product is the best choice for your needs? Let’s take a look.

Two hands reaching for hemp plant. Differences between hemp oil vs CBD oil. What is the difference between marijuana and hemp? difference between thc and cbd. Does CBD make you high? what is broad spectrum cbd?

Hemp vs. Marijuana

Before we dive in, it’s important to distinguish the difference between industrial hemp and marijuana. And the difference is….that there is none. 

Contrary to many advertisements, government propaganda, and (consequently) popular belief, “hemp” and “marijuana” aren’t scientific terms. Instead, the former is used in the U.S. to describe a cannabis sativa L. plant with 0.3% THC or less, while the latter refers to anything above that arbitrary THC limit. 

In other words, despite sounding like simple plants, “hemp” and “marijuana” are just THC benchmarks to tell police if they can arrest you. 

But while cannabidol is the same compound regardles of where it comes from, its source plant can impact a CBD product’s legal status. However, as states legalize recreational cannabis, this difference may affect who can sell CBD. 

New York vs. Montana

New York and Montana are both full-speed ahead for recreational cannabis legalization. But one expemplifies what to do, while the other teaches us the opposite.

The good news is that, methods aside, both states offer something valuable to hard-working and diligent CBD supplement vendors.

New York

First, let’s give New York state a round of applause. In one fell swoop, they solved virtually every problem facing CBD supplement vendors (and consumers). 

But rather than merge hemp CBD with “marijuana”-derived products, New York created a separate regulatory framework, including licensing applications and consumer standards.

Most notably, the New York Department of Health says: 

…the Department of Health (DOH) is launching a new Cannabinoid Hemp Program to regulate the processing, manufacturing and sale of cannabinoid hemp products…the Program implements basic consumer protections to ensure cannabinoid hemp products are properly manufactured, laboratory tested and accurately labeled.

The Program requires anyone who is processing, manufacturing or selling cannabinoid hemp to first obtain a license from DOH. 

If you want to know the full  details (and don’t mind a bit of legalese), you can read more about it here.  

You might be thinking that this information is more relevant to vendors than anyone else. But it’s just as important to you – if not more. For many companies, the transition simply means some extra (but still annoying) paperwork. 

But if you’ve been unknowingly buying sub-par, untested CBD, the new rules are a stern warning to these vendors, saying “step up your game, or you’re out of the league.”

More importantly, having set rules in place makes it much easier to seek damages or force product recalls. If you lose your job because your “broad-spectrum” oil made you test positive for THC, the shady people who sell it won’t be able to hide behind a legal gray area. 

Montana

Now let’s cover our other example. It’s a lesson on what happens when legislators throw common sense out the window. Consequently, rather than New York’s clear framework, Montana essentially cut the CBD industry off at the knees.

We briefly tweeted about ths recently, but it’s a strict warning that lawmakers need to proceed with caution.  

Typically, people go over new, groundbreaking legislation with a fine-toothed comb (or at least we hope so). But even the best scrutiny may not catch small mistakes. But anyone familiar with the “butterfly effect” knows a small misstep could have massive consequences. Unfortunately, Montana’s legal slip-up is a perfect example, especially if you work in the hemp-derived CBD supplement industry. 

So what was Montana’s most embarrassing goof-up? It’s the “hemp vs. marijuana question” we covered. Again, “hemp” and “marijuana” are chemovars of the same plant, called cannabis sativa L. Yet according to the mistake in their new law, hemp farmers will no longer be able to provide dispensaries with CBD.

That’s rough for them. But how does it affect you? Recreational and medical extract manufactuers usually focus on THC products, relying on their counterparts to provide hemp-derived CBD. 

But thanks to poor planning, hemp manufacturers are cut out of the loop for the time being, which means licensed producers have to pick up the CBD demand, or you’ll end up buying cheap gas station products.

All of this happened because Montana couldn’t understand a simple fact about botany. 

Dispensary Extracts or Supplements. Which One is Best?

A regulated industry can provide quality CBD from hemp or “marijuana,” but it seems states like New York and Montana prefer (or should prefer) leaving CBD production to licensed hemp manufacturers.

But what if you live outside those areas? One strong example is, of course, Colorado. CBD oil is legal there, but thanks to recreational legalization, cannabidiol products can come from hemp or “marijuana.” 

So why not just buy from a dispensary? Because despite CBD being the same compound, extracting it from legal marijuana can come with consequences – specifically concerning THC.

The convenient thing about industrial hemp CBD is that the host plant only has 0.3% THC by dry weight. Marijuana plants – by law – contain over 0.3% THC. But the reality is even CBD-rich strains can’t cut THC down to such low levels.  

Legalization protects you against consequences (at the state level) for possessing CBD products with over 0.3% THC. 

However, if you need CBD with no THC, your best source is a hemp-derived broad-spectrum supplement. 

Do We Have to Legalize Marijuana to Keep CBD Safe?

No, lawmakers who are averse to legalization don’t have to pursue that. They can simply follow New York’s example and place the same regulations, standards, and consumer protections that you see anywhere else – from cannabis to canned food. 

At Tessera Naturals, we’d welcome that kind of regulation. We spent a lot of time building trust with reputable third-party lab tests and superior nano-CBD. If jumping through a few legal hoops will solidify that image, then we’re all for it.

Key Takeaways

  • “Marijuana” and “hemp” both refer to the cannabis sativa L. plant species
  • Montana lawmakers failed to understand this distinction
  • New York developed an excellent regulatory framework 
  • Regulation means protection for businesses and consumers
  • Hemp-derived CBD is the best choice for zero-THC products

Does CBD Make You Feel Sick? Why this Happens and How to Solve it

We all know at least one person with an “iron stomach.” No matter what they eat, their bodies carry on like they just had a salad. Or perhaps they’re able to drink everyone else under the table. 

Of course, these aren’t healthy habits – but they illustrate an important point. Body and brain chemistries vary. Consequently, so do people’s reactions to certain foods, medicines, or drugs. 

For a recent example, think about the COVID-19 vaccines currently in circulation. Some people experienced mild to severe side effects, while others had the jab and went on with their days. 

In short, our unique reactions to foods, medicine, supplements, and drugs showcase the unpredictability of human biology. 

Medication

Although many people try to supplement or substitute their medication with CBD, doing so without the guidance of a doctor is a huge “no-no.” 

With CBD, one universal concern is prescription medication. Researchers didn’t always know that CBD and medicine can interact if they metabolize using the same enzyme family. 

For a while, people believed CBD alone could cause liver damage. However, a 2021 report from Validcare revealed this isn’t true – at least not to the extent critics thought. 

Of the 839 participants, only three individuals showed increased liver enzyme function. All three were on prescription medications.

However, the experts later realized that about 70% of the participants were using prescriptions, yet all but three were impacted.

These findings mean that CBD and several medicines can interact, but this doesn’t apply to every drug metabolized in the liver. According to the U.S. National Library of Medince, only those using the P450 family of liver enzymes will clash with any ingested CBD. 

We now have an extensive list of medications CBD users should be aware of, but it’s likely there are others we don’t know about. 

Fortunately, this only applies to oral CBD. Inhaled or topical varieties don’t rely on digestion to be effective. If CBD oil doesn’t work, consider other methods. 

Poor Quality CBD

Poor quality CBD used to the norm, rather than the exception. But thanks to pushback from the FDA and smarter shopping by consumers, the market is self-regulated and a lot safer. 

But sometimes, vendors cut corners. Dirty extraction methods and sloppy manufacturing can lead to residual contaminants such as  fungi, solvents, heavy metals, synthetic pesticides, microbes, or extra THC. 

It doesn’t take a doctor to know that those ingredients can make you sick. Consequently, you may think CBD is the issue, when in reality your body’s rejecting something else. 

A little due diligence is all you need to reduce your chances of a bad experience. Most CBD businesses post third-party lab tests in an easy-to-read format. If they don’t, then it’s likely they’re hiding something. 

Brand

Even a reputable CBD brand can still disagree with your body. Despite checking all the boxes with organic, CO2-extracted, lab-tested CBD, something about the formula might not work for you. 

Whether it’s the carrier oil, flavoring (if any), or other ingredients, the brand’s recipe might not be for you. Unfortunately, no amount of regulation can create a single formula for anything – let alone CBD extracts. 

So, if “Brand X” doesn’t work for you, try another one. Tessera Naturals, for instance, uses basic, natural ingredients and nanoemulsion to make its products safe, effective, and more bioavailable than standard CBD extract.  

Allergies

Quality CBD products contain no additional fillers or artificial flavors. The most basic formulas consist of CBD extract and a carrier oil. But despite the product’s simplicity, there’s still the risk of an allergic reaction. 

Specifically, the carrier oil can potentially trigger a severe reaction. Medium chain triglycerides (MCT) are typically derived from coconut oil. It’s possible to be allergic to the MCT itself, the coconut source, or both. The symptoms can range from rash to a life-threatening emergency.

Hempseed, grapeseed, and peanut oils are also just a few more carrier examples that can be dangerous to those with diagnosed or undiagnosed allergies. 

It’s also possible to be allergic to some of the terpenes in full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD oils. These compounds are found throughout the plant kingdom, which is why certain fruits or vegetables can cause allergies. 

On a brighter note, there’s some evidence suggesting CBD can help relieve symptoms associated with certain allergies. 2017 findings published in The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Thereapeutics indicate CBD’s reported anti-inflammatory effects may help with allergic reactions in the skin. 

Another piece of research from the European Journal of Pharmacology found a reduction in symptoms for mice with allergic asthma.

Regardless, it’s a bad idea to try CBD when you knowingly have allergies. Speak with a doctor to see if you need to use a different brand or formula. 

Overdose

The term “overdose” is something we use loosely with CBD. Despite popular belief, overdoses aren’t exclusively associated with illegal drugs, and don’t always involve painful and dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Overdosing is simply the act of consuming more than your body can handle or process. 

CBD Overdose Symptoms

The symptoms of CBD overdose are mild and usually go away quickly. If you suspect that you overshot your ideal dosage, keep an eye out for the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue

Another consequence of CBD overdose is – ironically – lack of potency. CBD is biphasic, meaning there’s a certain peak amount or “sweet spot.” Once you exceed that, CBD loses its therapeutic effects. 

That being said, it’s theoretically possible to have a toxic overdose of CBD. But just like with THC, it’s an impossibly high amount. According to 2011 findings, it would take a single 20,000 mg dose for CBD to be lethal – but not fatal. 

Preventing CBD Overdose

Prevention is always the best approach. Fortunately, it’s one of the easiest things to do with CBD. Just follow this simple rule: “start low and go slow.”

A lot of people immediately take the recommended dose, only to find it doesn’t work – or worse – makes them sick. 

Consume the lowest dose possible (2.5 to 5 mg) and gradually increase it until you notice results. This can take days or weeks, but you may find your required dose to be much lower that what’s recommended (again, it’s about individual biology).

What to Do if You Take Too Much CBD

If you take too much CBD, try not to worry. You won’t get high (unless the product is mislabeled) and the symptoms you experience are easy to manage.

Other than self-care, just wait until the symptoms stop. 

Key Takeaways

  • CBD can make people ill
  • Body chemistry, food tolerance, and many other factors determine how you handle CBD
  • In rare instances, prescription medications can interact with CBD
  • Ingredient allergies, product quality, and formula can also affect your reaction to CBD
  • Slowly and carefully introduce CBD into your diet to reduce the chance of side effects
  • Always consult a doctor before starting a CBD regimen