A Guide to Avoiding Ineffective CBD Products

Written by

Ali Mans Cornwell

Alisdair is an experienced researcher who has been writing extensively about hemp and cannabis since 2018. His work has been published on many cannabis publications such as Dr. Ganja, DailyCBD,...

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Let’s face it, CBD products are everywhere. You have CBD oils, CBD capsules, CBD vapes, CBD dabs, and damn-near everything else in between. With this mass influx of CBD products, it’s only natural for brands to capitalize on the hype and innovate new product ideas. Unfortunately, some of these innovative CBD product ideas are totally ineffective, and often obvious cash grabs. 

So, which types of CBD products are the least effective? How do you find the most effective CBD products?


  • There’s a huge influx of CBD products on the market. Some great, some really ineffective. This is a huge concern in the CBD industry.
  • We recommend avoiding Amazon CBD products altogether — the site doesn’t allow CBD, which has created a black market filled with questionable products.
  • Make sure your product carries at least 15mg of CBD — anything less and it’s probably not that effective.
  • CBD water and CBD candles are not proven to have any benefits, therapeutic or otherwise.
  • Cannabis detox kits are also pretty useless — nothing can detox THC out of your body. 
  • If you want to purchase safe, honest, and effective CBD products, follow our guide below.

The most ineffective CBD products on the market 

1. Any “CBD” product you find on Amazon or eBay

Amazon and eBay might be two of the best places to go for decent products and cheap bargains, but they’re dreadful for CBD products.

CBD products sold on Amazon
These are some of the products sold on Amazon. They are marketed as “hemp oil” and do not contain cannabidiol “CBD oil”.

On both websites, third-party sellers are strictly forbidden from listing any products advertised as CBD oil, full-spectrum CBD, or any other name relating to CBD. This has resulted in an inadvertent open black market filled with dishonest sellers circumventing the rules with bogus but convincing products. 

The issue with this black market is you simply don’t know what you’re purchasing. It’s like a lottery. You could get lucky, hit the jackpot, and buy something that resembles a CBD oil. You might also get hemp oil with more THC or hazardous chemicals than you bargained for. You just don’t know.

To make matters worse, third-party test results are rarely (if ever) listed, meaning there’s no way of telling what’s actually in the product to begin with. 

Your best bet is to stay away from Amazon or eBay CBD products altogether. 

2. Any product carrying under 15 mg of CBD 

In order for you to get the most out of CBD, terpenes, and all other hemp compounds, research suggests 15 mg of CBD hemp extract per day is the minimum limit. Anything below this and you’re most likely not going to get the full CBD hemp experience. 

Sadly, some CBD brands out there didn’t quite catch the memo on this and still continue to produce products with very little CBD in them. If you come across a CBD product with less than 15 mg of CBD, it isn’t really worth the money you spend on it. 

3. CBD water 

CBD water is often marketed as a decent way of delivering CBD into your body while keeping you healthy and hydrated. Sounds like a perfect combo, right? Well, yes, at least on paper.

CBD water bottle with only 5mg CBD
CBD water usually carries very little CBD to have any positive effects on your body.

In reality, CBD water is quite possibly the least effective product on the market. Why? Because each bottle typically contains between 2-10 mg of CBD, which is way under the recommended 15 mg threshold for any CBD product to be effective. 

The problem with low CBD content is twofold. In order to get a decent dose of CBD you need to drink at least 2-3 bottles, but when the average price per bottle is around $3-$5, it becomes very expensive in the short and long-term.

Even after drinking 2-3 bottles, CBD water’s effectiveness remains questionable. 

Nano-emulsion is often used to break CBD down into smaller particles and marketed as superior in terms of absorption in your body, thus increasing bioavailability. 

While this is true, the extent to which absorption and bioavailability increases isn’t fully known. More research is required before CBD water marketers continue making unsubstantiated claims. 

4. CBD candles

Yes. You heard that right. CBD candles are a thing and people are lapping them up like they’re the last CBD product on earth. Why are they so popular? Well, they target the aromatherapy crowd, which has an estimated market size of $1.6 billion. 

CBD candle for unwinding

So, how effective are CBD candles? Well, in terms of delivering CBD into your body through your nostrils, they’re essentially useless. The quantity of CBD released in the air is negligible at best and non-existent at worst. You’re not going to enjoy any physical or therapeutic benefits here. 

What about the terpenes and essential oils for aromatic benefits? The science is limited or inconclusive. CBD marketers instead rely heavily on anecdotal stories and flimsy studies to entice consumers to part with their hard-earned cash. Aromatherapy is not proven to soothe anxiety, depression, sleep problems, or libido issues, so make of that what you will. 

5. Cannabis detox kits

Weed detox kits aren’t strictly CBD products but they are pretty ineffective, especially if you’re looking for something to “rid” or “cleanse” THC out of your system. 

You see, cannabis detox kits are marketed as a quick-fix product to help you pass a drug test. 

The problem with this is THC and its variants are not easily eliminated from your body. Why? Because THC stores itself quite securely in your fatty tissue and hair follicles, and no herbs, spices, drinks, foods, or special solutions can get rid of it. Even a strict diet, lots of water, and regular water exercise won’t help here. 

If you need to rid your body of THC before a drug test, the only methods are time, patience, and cannabis abstinence. 

How you can find effective CBD products that actually work

Finding safe, high-quality, and effective CBD products might seem impossible from the outside looking in, but it really isn’t if you know what to look for. 

As we’ve already established, there are ineffective CBD products out there. Fortunately, they’re in the minority and not representative of all CBD products available to you. 

Here’s how you discover the best CBD products to suit your requirements. 

1. Only buy CBD products from credible brands (not Amazon!)

Legitimate, credible, and transparent CBD brands produce the best CBD products. Period. You won’t find them listed on Amazon, eBay, or some strange back-alley type website. 

So, how do you know if a brand is 100% legit? You don’t. Not completely. Some ineffective CBD brands are great at hiding their fundamental flaws. But you can identify excellent brands by looking for the following signs:

  • A legitimate website with the brand’s hemp source, extraction method, certifications, lab reports, and detailed product info clearly listed
  • Customer reviews and testimonials, ideally from customers on Reddit and other third-party websites. The r/CBD subreddit is one of the best resources for you. There are many impartial reviews on hundreds of CBD brands and products.
  • No health or medical claims. If you see outlandish “our products can cure anxiety, depression, and pain” claims, run away. These claims are illegal and not tolerated by the federal government.
  • Avoid multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes, which are often seen as pyramid schemes. Social media “ambassadors” sell shady and ineffective products to their followers for them to sell to others. Avoid. 

2. A Certificate of Analysis (COA) is your best friend

When searching for a new CBD product, it’s essential you find Certificates of Analysis (COAs), either on the brand’s website or via a QR code commonly located on the packaging. 

COAs are documents issued by accredited, third-party laboratories specializing in cannabis testing and analysis. They give you honest insight into the CBD products you purchase by showing you the exact quantity of CBD, THC, all other cannabinoids, and terpenes in the extract, as well as the presence of any harmful contaminants such as heavy metals, mycotoxins, and residual solvents. 

3. Know the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil 

Knowing the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil is the difference between no CBD and a lot of CBD. Hemp oil is made from the seeds of hemp plants. These seeds carry very little CBD and won’t provide you with any therapeutic benefits. CBD oil, on the other hand, is made from the leaves and flower (buds) of hemp plants, both of which contain a large quantity of CBD, cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. 

Related: What to Look for When Buying CBD Oil?

When purchasing CBD oil, make sure it actually says “CBD oil” or “hemp-derived CBD oil” on the packaging. You should also look out the quantity of CBD in your product and the extract used e.g. broad-spectrum or full-spectrum. This indicates your chosen product is a CBD oil filled with all that hemp has to offer!

4. Try CBD hemp flower for the full experience 

Don’t hedge your bets on CBD candles or CBD clothing to get the full CBD experience. CBD hemp flower is far superior. When you smoke or dab CBD flower, you inhale all the hemp goodness. Better still, you also get an instant hit of CBD and all the other amazing compounds found in the flower. 

Don’t like the thought of smoking a CBD product? Why not try CBD vape products instead? Instead of inhaling smoke, you inhale an odorless vapor. Failing that, you can always go one step up and dab CBD concentrates, which are often viewed as the most potent CBD products on the market. Some even carry upwards of 99% CBD. 

Closing thoughts: You deserve the very best CBD products. Don’t settle for less.

Settling for poor, ineffective, and unsafe CBD products is a disservice to yourself. You’re never going to truly appreciate the power of CBD and all the other plant compounds that come with it. Instead, you’ll feel underwhelmed and uncertain as to why you bought them in the first place. 

We genuinely recommend staying away from the type of CBD products we listed above — or, at least, have very low expectations as to how effective they really are. 

So, remember, Amazon products typically don’t contain any CBD, buy products with at least 15 mg of CBD, CBD candles aren’t necessarily the aromatic juggernauts you think they are, and cannabis detox kits are practically useless.