How to tell if a cannabis label is real or fake?

If you are looking to purchase cannabis, knowing whether the label is real or fake can be quite important. Marijuana products are often distributed illegally and without regulatory oversight. 

Therefore, to protect your health and safety, it's essential to verify the authenticity of a cannabis label before consuming any product. There are several ways to tell if a cannabis label is real or fake, which we will discuss in detail below.

General Cannabis Labeling Requirements

Cannabis labels should follow these general requirements:

  • Include the name and contact information of the manufacturer or distributor
  • List any allergens that may be included in the cannabis product
  • Indicate whether there is a cannabis warning, such as "This product contains marijuana" (this would apply to products containing THC)
  • Display an accurate statement regarding the number of milligrams per package
  • Include a clear warning for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers that states, "this product may be harmful to your unborn baby or nursing child."

While California has no requirements to list other ingredients on marijuana products, it's always best practice to do so. Consumers have the right to know what they are consuming.

In addition to these requirements, cannabis labels should also include the following:

  • An expiration date for medical marijuana products or a "use by" date otherwise
  • Any known allergens that may be present in the product, such as peanuts, soybeans, and tree nuts
  • Where the product was grown/produced
  • The name of the strain
  • THC/CBD content, as well as their respective concentrations
  • A batch or lot number used to track it back to where it was grown/produced if necessary.

Common Differences Between Fake and Real Cannabis Labels

cannabis oil products with labels

If the label is fake, you may notice that it does not contain a cannabis symbol. Many countries require a unique stamp or emblem to be placed on marijuana products, and if this symbol isn't present, there’s a good chance the product is fake.

If you have ever purchased counterfeit currency, such as dollars bills from other countries, there is a good chance that the bills look and feel very different from real currency. 

The same thing can be said about cannabis labels. If you have ever held counterfeit cannabis products in your hand, then you may notice some differences between them and licensed brands.

Check out our compliant cannabis labels to stand out as a brand!

Lower Quality Materials

Fake cannabis packaging of counterfeit products will often be made of lower quality materials than the real version of the product. For example, phony cannabis labels are often made of paper, while genuine labels are likely to be more durable. 

Font and Spelling Errors

Another sign that a cannabis label may be fake is if it contains spelling errors. The font on counterfeit marijuana products does not always match the actual version of the product, so you should keep this in mind when examining packaging for authenticity purposes.

Also, read through other online reviews to find out what customers say about their experience with the brand. If there are numerous spelling errors throughout an online review, the product itself will likely contain similar mistakes.


As a general rule, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Cheap cannabis brands are often fake, and in some situations, you may find that the fake labels do not contain an expiration date or any other important information. These illegal cannabis products are often sold at unlicensed dispensaries, in a black market, and are extremely dangerous.

If you are looking for a cannabis product that is real and legitimate, be sure to purchase from a reputable dispensary or retail location. If the price of a particular marijuana product seems too good to be true, then it's likely not the real thing.

Missing Batch Codes or Cannabinoid Content

Cannabis labels should always include accurate labeling of THC/CBD concentrations and complete ingredient lists for consumers to reference. If the label isn't present or contains inaccurate information, then there's a good chance that you are looking at an artificially synthesized product instead of actual cannabis.

In some cases, cannabis packaging may contain a batch number, manufacturing date, product packaging date, or other unique identifiers. This code is used to track the product from harvest so that consumers can find information about its origin and quality. If this number isn't present on an authentic label, then it's likely fake.

Lack of Excise Stamps

Many countries require cannabis products to have excise stamps which are used for taxation purposes. If these aren't present on the label, then it's likely that you are looking at a counterfeit version of the product instead of natural marijuana.

Documented Cases of Knockoff Products

cannabis and vape pen

There have been numerous cases of knockoff products being distributed without regulation or taxation. In some cases, consumers have purchased cannabis that is not pure marijuana. Traces of dangerous additives such as Vitamin E and other contaminants pose hazardous health risks to those who consume these knockoff products. Fake vape pens are another knockoff product raising safety concerns in society today. It is important to note that anything sold outside of licensed dispensaries isn't tested for pesticides or other dangers, raising concerns about the health of those who consume these products.

How to avoid purchasing fake cannabis products altogether.

If you want to ensure that your experience with marijuana is positive and free from health risks, it's best to purchase your cannabis products through a reputable dispensary or cannabis grower/producer.

If you receive a package that looks a little "off,” don't hesitate to search the web for authentic images from the brand and compare them to your packaging.

Where To Buy The Best Cannabis Packaging Products

If you are looking for quality marijuana packaging materials, be sure to check out the products at, as they sell high-quality cannabis containers such as glass jars, child-proof bags, pop-top containers, and concentrate containers.

To learn more, call (800) 674-9488 or email