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    Being a THC-O Detective: How to Spot a Fake THC-O Product

    THC-O-acetate (THC-O) has truly changed the game of the hemp industry.  This cannabinoid is simultaneously federally legal, and also 3x more psychoactive than delta-9 THC, offering a powerful and euphoric high that’s accessible to most of us living in the United States.  As demand for THC-O grows, we’re seeing an influx of THC-O products on the market.  While this is objectively a good thing, since it gives us many options to choose from, it does come with one problem: fakes. 

    Yes, there are THC-O product fakes out there, and sadly, those who are less than knowledgeable may end up buying a product that’s either lacking in THC-O-acetate altogether, or simply made with harmful ingredients.

    Why Might it Be Possible to Run into Fake THC-O Products?

    As a consumer, it can be unsettling to know that fake THC-O products lurk on the market.  The reason why they exist in the first place is two-fold.  One is that the market is seeing unprecedented demand, especially for more powerful psychoactive cannabinoids like THC-O-acetate.  This gives companies a lot of opportunities to make a profit.  At the same time, the market remains largely unregulated since it’s so new, which means that there’s little oversight over how companies produce their THC-O.  This creates an environment in which brands can make a lot of money producing fakes, with little risk of penalty.

    The Types of Fakes You May Encounter

    There are a few different ways in which a THC-O product can be classified as a “fake”.  And, understanding the main types of fakes that are out there will ensure you know exactly what to look for as a consumer.

    • Counterfeit Products: A counterfeit product is a product that looks just like another brand’s product in terms of the label and packaging but is just a “copy” made by a shady manufacturer. What’s inside the product is going to differ from the real thing, and may not even contain any THC-O.
    • Products Lacking in THC-O: Yes, some products may not even contain any THC-O-acetate at all. Straight up hemp-free “THC-O” formulas do exist, but, are a bit rarer to come by.  Because federal law is strict about all product labeling, companies that claim a product has THC-O when it doesn’t face a lot of serious risks.
    • Products Made with Cheap or Harmful Ingredients: While these technically aren’t “fakes”, there are products that do contain THC-O-acetate, but the rest of the formula is incredibly cheap and low in quality. Worse, some companies may put ingredients that are known to cause harm in their THC-O formulas.

    How to Avoid Fakes When Shopping for THC-O Products

    It’s definitely discouraging to know that fake THC-O-acetate exists on the market, sometimes out in the open.  But when it comes to your consumer habits, the good news is that it’s easy to avoid fake THC-O products.  It’s a matter of having a checklist of things to look for whenever you’re about to make a purchase.

    #1: Read Up on the Brand

    Always look up the reputation of a brand before buying their THC-O products.  The best way to do this is to read through reviews, both on their website and elsewhere online, where people talk about different hemp companies.  Of course, if a brand is selling fakes, you’ll find this out pretty quickly by looking at reviews.  Another thing to look at is the reputation of the business that’s selling it, if you’re buying from an online distributor or a local store rather than directly from the company.  If they’re selling fake products, you’ll likely know by hearing other people’s experiences.

    #2: Find an Online Retailer

    At the end of the day, it’s always preferable to buy your THC-O products online rather than in person.  The online market is a lot more competitive, thanks to having higher visibility and more demanding customers.  What this means is that you’re less likely to encounter a fake online than in person.  Those local stores in your area see low demand, and this can give them less of an incentive to do their homework and make sure that they’re carrying the best THC-O products around.

    #3: Read the Label Carefully

    Always look at the label of a THC-O product thoroughly.  Look for grammar or spelling mistakes, which often show that the company is not very interested in maintaining high standards overall.  Also, be suspicious of information that’s left out, such as the milligram strength, the recommended serving size, the strain, etc.  A company that leaves out information commonly found on labels may be hiding something from you.

    #4: View Those Lab Reports  

    Always read the lab reports provided by a company, either through their website or a scannable QR code, which show that the product has been tested by a state-authorized third-party laboratory.  This testing process involves identifying the potency, purity, federal compliance and authenticity of a THC-O product.  If lab reports are not available, or if they look unprofessional or have information blacked out, those products should be avoided.  Additional information on how to read THC-O lab reports can be found here.

    #5: Look for a Brand’s Contact Information

    A brand that fails to provide contact information is a big red flag.  All companies should offer customer service.  Failing to do so often means that the brand knows they’re selling fakes, and don’t want to be held accountable.

    #6: Examine the Ingredients

    Always read through the ingredients of a THC-O product thoroughly.  A company that loads their products up with fillers that dilute the THC-O-acetate, or, use cheap ingredients known to cause some level of harm to the body, must be avoided.

    Spotting a Fake According to Product Type

    Sometimes, there are more clues of a fake based on the actual THC-O formula you’re buying.  Allow us to break down each main product types/delivery methods and what to look for.

    Product Type #1: Flower

    Hard to make fake flower buds, so the only real way that this can be faked is by trying to sell you marijuana instead of hemp, which’s a problem if you live in a state where marijuana remains illegal.  Here is where lab reports come in handy, because they’ll identify marijuana by its THC content, which will be far above the legally required 0.3%.

    Product Type #2: Vapes

    Look at the lab reports of a vaping product before buying.  The cannabinoid concentration level is a dead giveaway, since vapes are supposed to contain just pure cannabinoids and terpenes with no added ingredients.  If the vape is shown to be diluted, with a very low concentration of THC-O-acetate as a result, that’s a bad sign.  Also, if the strain information is missing from the label, stay away.

    Product Type #3: Edibles

    Edibles are where companies can get sneaky, either by adding tons of low-quality ingredients or putting THC-O so low on the ingredients list that there really is no way there’s enough of it to give you any real results.

    Product Type #4: Tinctures

    Just looking at the tincture should tell you a lot.  It’s supposed to have a consistency similar to olive oil, so if it’s syrupy or watery, who knows what’s inside.  Also, tinctures should either be clear or a slight golden-amber color.  Another thing is that if the company does not disclose the milligram strength, that’s a big red flag.

    Never End Up with a Fake THC-O Product

    Easily, the best way to know that you’re buying only legitimate, top-shelf THC-O products is to find an online brand that has a good reputation.  This way, no matter what you buy from them, you can count on it not only being authentic, but satisfying your THC-O-acetate needs in every sort of way.  While THC-O products fakes do exist, it doesn’t take much hard work to avoid them altogether.

    Gas carries a variety of authentically high-quality and third-party lab tested THC-O products that can meet your daily needs and goals for all the right reasons.