Recent cases in the United States involving synthetic CBD have shined a light on the dangers of fake CBD products. While many may think of synthetic CBD as just an alternative to naturally-derived CBD, these cases show that the consequences of synthetic CBD are more severe than initially believed. That is why it is crucial that CBD users understand the difference between hemp-derived CBD and synthetic CBD, and why synthetic CBD is harmful, before making a purchase.

“Synthetic” simply describes a compound that is created using man-made force, and that compound may or may not be found in nature. But chemically speaking, synthetic copies of natural compounds are structurally the same. For example, natural vitamin C and synthetic Vitamin C are going to smell the same and do the same things in your body because the chemical structure is the same. However, to quote Scientific American, “This is true for most cases, yet sometimes there are additional and unintended products. For example, naturally derived Vitamin E is called d-?-tocopherol and synthetic Vitamin E is called dl-?-tocopherol. The difference between the two is that the ‘dl’ refers to a mixture of both d- and l-?-tocopherol. There is no evidence that the ‘l’ version is harmful to the human body at all, but it is about 1.4 times less effective than naturally derived Vitamin E.

When looking at synthetic CBD, versus natural CBD, a study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacy clearly shows that synthetic CBD has a bell-shaped response when it comes to the therapeutic applications researchers looked at. What this means, is that smaller servings of synthetic CBD were effective, but at higher amounts, efficacy actually diminished. This makes synthetic CBD slightly subpar for therapeutic purposes.

Now, opposed to synthetic CBD, natural hemp-derived CBD poses no serious health risks. Natural CBD produces no harmful side effects and is completely non-addictive. In addition, hemp-derived CBD is a safer product in that it contains no unnatural substances or added chemicals.

So why do some companies use synthetic CBD vs natural hemp-derived CBD? Well, since manufacturing high-quality CBD is an expensive process, many brands will use synthetic CBD and other unnatural ingredients to help cut costs, and keep their prices low. That is why when it comes to CBD, a good rule of thumb is to avoid extremely cheap products sold as CBD because in most cases you probably aren’t getting real CBD. How can you determine if a brand uses natural or synthetic CBD? We suggest that you follow these three simple steps to find out if a company offers natural or synthetic CBD:


It might take a little time, but a comprehensive study of the CBD company you wish to purchase from can mean the difference between improving your health or ending up in a hospital. Leading brands in the CBD community will offer information about their extraction and manufacturing processes on their website. Another helpful tool into researching a company, is looking at their social media pages and Google reviews. If a company has valid social media platforms, that are updated on a regular basis, and Google reviews from actual Customers, this is a plus. This helps to show that the company is operating an actual business, with actual happy customers that can testify to the benefits of their products. 

Lab Results:

The top CBD companies that invest in having their products tested by third-party laboratories, are companies you can trust. Since lab testing is not a cheap expense, companies that invest the money in providing these results, are majority of the time going to be a legit company, not afraid to prove what is in their products. Independent quality control tests ensure each CBD formula meets the highest industry standards and regulations. Lab tests should be made readily available to the public, and if they are not, they should be easily available when requested.

Get in Touch:

If you have any questions about a company’s methods and practices, find their contact information, and reach out. Transparent CBD brands should have a knowledgeable customer support team ready to help users with any questions, comments, or concerns.

Some things to consider when looking into synthetic CBD:

  • Natural CBD products have greater efficacy and greater potential considering that the increasing effect occurs with increasing serving size, contrary to synthetic CBD.

  • With synthetic CBD, the serving size must be just right to experience any effect at all.

  • Synthetic CBD is often less expensive than Natural CBD, but you run the risk of negative side effects.

  • Synthetic CBD is made in labs, not grown naturally without pesticides.

  • Synthetic CBD might also be called “single-molecule Cannabidiol.”

  • Synthetic CBD and whole plant CBD have the same uses, but synthetics are harder to work with in terms of getting the desired effect.

Our team here at Natural Stress Solutions believes strongly in what we do. We take extreme care with each and every one of our customers, and believe in only offering the highest quality products at affordable prices. We guarantee that all of our products are made from Pure CBD Isolate or Full Spectrum CBD cultivated from Hemp cultivated in Kentucky and Colorado. As always, we are here to help answer any questions you may have, to help you feel comfortable and confident when purchasing our products.

To read our previous blog: The Revival of Hemp click here.