If you’ve ever done a search on Amazon for CBD, you may only have found products labeled as “hemp,” “hemp oil,” or “hemp extract” instead of CBD. That’s because Amazon does not allow the sale of CBD on its site. However, you’re not completely out of luck if you want to source CBD products from Amazon instead of a third-party retailer. Here’s the lowdown on shopping for CBD on Amazon.
What is Amazon’s Policy on CBD?
Amazon has a policy prohibiting CBD products from being sold on its website. According to Amazon Seller Central, “Drug listings must not be for controlled substances or products containing controlled substances.” Further down in the regulation, Amazon lists a prohibition against products containing cannabidiol (CBD), including full spectrum hemp oil, rich hemp oil, and products that have been identified as containing CBD by LegitScript.
However, a loophole exists because Amazon allows for the sale of hemp products, such hemp seed oil, hemp soap, and even hemp extract. So, what’s the difference between hemp extract and CBD?
What Is Hemp Extract?
It can be easy to confuse the different terms such as “CBD oil”, “CBD hemp oil”, “hemp oil”, “hemp extract,” and “hemp seed oil.” Do they all mean the same thing? Unfortunately, they don’t. CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp plants. The Farm Act of 2018 made it legal to sell CBD extract across all 50 states provided it is extracted from hemp plants that contain less than 0.3 percent THC. CBD made from cannabis plants can be sold at medical or recreational dispensaries in states that have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use, but these products typically contain higher levels of THC and are illegal to sell in regular stores or online. In other words, the average CBD sold on the shelves at all online and in-store retailers is extracted from hemp plants, not cannabis plants.
While CBD extracted from hemp plants is typically sold under the label of “CBD,” it’s against Amazon’s policy to sell anything containing this verbiage. That’s why companies began to use the terms “hemp extract” or “hemp oil extract.” It’s actually CBD under the name of “hemp.”
On the other hand, “hemp seed oil” is different. While CBD is extracted from the flowers and leaves of the plant using various extractions techniques, hemp seed oil is made by pressing the seeds of hemp plants. While hemp seeds are nutritious, they contain basically no CBD or other cannabinoids. When searching for CBD on Amazon, it’s important to look for “hemp extract,” not “hemp seed oil.” The term “hemp oil” can be used to describe both hemp extract and hemp seed oil, so it’s important to investigate these products more closely.
How to Ensure You’re Buying CBD Products on Amazon
Unfortunately, because the sale of CBD isn’t regulated by the FDA or other regulatory authority, companies have quite a bit of leeway in how they label their products. Almost anyone can claim any oil is CBD or hemp extract. Here’s how to ensure you’re actually purchasing a quality product that contains CBD:
- Look for hemp extract. Remember that when buying CBD oil on Amazon, you won’t find products being labelled as CBD. Instead, they will be sold under the label “hemp extract.” Make sure hemp extract is a key ingredient on the back of the label. The higher the milligram content of “hemp extract,” the higher the amount of CBD. Most legit CBD oils on Amazon will list the milligram content of hemp extract in the “Supplement Facts” section on the bottle. If it doesn’t, move on to another product. Not only can you not be sure the supplement contains any CBD, but you won’t even be able to determine the dosage if you don’t know the milligrams of CBD per dose.
- Consider the size of the bottle. Any easy way to tell the difference between a bottle of CBD oil and a bottle of food grade hemp seed oil is actually the size of the bottle. CBD or hemp oil oils typically come in one- or two-ounce dropper bottles. Hemp seed oil is often sold in much larger bottles of four ounces or more.
- Contact the seller. If you’re unsure whether or not the product you’re considering is really CBD, contact the seller and ask. Getting in touch with the seller and asking questions can really help you determine what you’re buying.
- Ask for third-party testing. Due to unethical business practices, sometimes to only way to ensure that you’re getting quality CBD oil is to check out reports from a third-party laboratory test. Third party testing can pinpoint the amount of CBD the extract contains per dose, the purity of the product, and the presence of any contaminants, such as bacteria, heavy metals, or pesticides. Companies that take pride in their products have no problems getting their products tested because it’s beneficial to both themselves and the customer.
The truth is, you can buy CBD on Amazon, but there’s a catch. If you use these best practices guidelines, you can ensure you’re purchasing quality CBD products on Amazon. However, it’s always a good idea to purchase legal, licensed CBD consumables. Because labels on products sold on Amazon can be ambiguous to try to skirt the rules, buying from a reputable licensed vendor outside of Amazon is advisable so you can have confidence in the quality of your CBD products.