Amazon prohibits CBD sales on its site, but some sellers ignore the rule. To test the e-commerce giant’s ability to police its marketplace, The Washington Post bought 13 products to see if they included CBD. Eleven did. Anyone looking into a new product these days always does one thing — check Amazon. Why’s that? Well, you can probably get whatever you want cheaper, they might offer free shipping and you can check out what people are saying in the reviews. However, it’s not so easy to accomplish all these feats when you are looking to Looking for CBD oil online? Before buying CBD on Amazon, find out whether they sell authentic CBD or if you should buy CBD somewhere else instead.
Amazon prohibits CBD sales, but it’s still easy to buy on the site
To test the e-commerce giant’s ability to police its marketplace, The Washington Post bought 13 products to see if they included CBD. Eleven did.
To test Amazon’s ability to police its marketplace, The Washington Post bought 13 products to see if they included CBD. Eleven did. (Video: The Washington Post)
SEATTLE — Cannabidiol is one of the hottest supplements on the market today. The chemical, derived from the Cannabis sativa plant and better known as CBD, is now found in chocolates, gummy candies, sodas and more.
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One place it shouldn’t be found: Amazon. The e-commerce giant’s policy expressly bars the sale of CBD in any product: “Listings for products containing cannabidiol (CBD) are prohibited.”
But a Washington Post investigation found that it’s possible, even easy, to buy the forbidden compound on the online retail site. Eleven of 13 items The Post purchased last month from Amazon contained CBD, according to an analysis that The Post paid Evio Labs, which specializes in analyzing products for the cannabis industry, to conduct. One product even had a small amount of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive chemical in cannabis plants that gets people high.
One of the products The Post purchased and tested came from Boulder, Colo.-based Weller, which sells a variety of CBD products on Amazon. The company designed new packaging for goods on Amazon different from what it uses on its own website. Its Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites on Amazon omits any mention of its most important ingredient.
“It’s the same product,” said Weller co-founder John Simmons. His company is simply trying to navigate a business with inconsistent rules as the CBD market moves into the mainstream, Simmons said.
None of the listings contained CBD in their descriptions. But consumers could find them by knowing which products contain CBD already — by checking reviews, social media or other websites that did their own testing.
The Post’s investigation illustrates the challenges Amazon faces in policing its platform, which has transformed into an enormous flea market supplied by millions of sellers listing hundreds of millions of items.
To keep CBD products off its site, Amazon says it deploys advanced algorithms designed to sniff out descriptions that could hint at the banned ingredient. (Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.) Amazon removed some, but not all, of the product listings after being asked about them by The Post. The company said it was investigating with each of the sellers.
“Bad actors who attempt to undermine our store do not reflect the flourishing community of honest entrepreneurs that make up the vast majority of our seller community,” Amazon spokesman Patrick Graham said. “We move swiftly to hold bad actors accountable by removing selling privileges, withholding funds, and pursuing civil and criminal penalties.”
Amazon declined to say why it forbids the sale of CBD, other than to say it can decide what to sell like any retailer. CBD is still controversial and its legal situation is murky, with some federal agencies, states and localities prohibiting its sales.
CBD is usually derived from hemp, a crop that was legalized in a 2018 farm bill. But it remains illegal to put the compound in food, and the Food and Drug Administration has warned CBD makers several times, including last month, over violating the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Muddying the waters further, three states — South Dakota, Idaho and Mississippi — make no distinction in their laws between marijuana and hemp plants, meaning CBD is considered a controlled substance in those states. CBD, though, does not contain the chemical in marijuana that makes people high.
While CBD makers often claim the chemical can help with anxiety, improve sleep and reduce pain, the only legally edible version of CBD is a drug, Epidiolex, prescribed to treat seizure disorders. But because CBD is so widely available and seemingly on a path toward legalization in edible form, prosecutors rarely take action against companies that make supplements or individuals who use them.
Makers of those items who spoke with The Post offered a wide range of explanations for the presence of their CBD-containing products on the site, from mistakenly shipping the wrong item to ignorance regarding the rule. Two of the companies said that other merchants were selling products without their permission, and they worried that reviews for poor service could damage their brands if the e-commerce giant eventually does allow CBD product sales.
“We’re trying to control a problem [of unauthorized sales] that’s really, really hard to control,” said Sequoia Price-Lazarus, chief executive and founder of Seattle-based Lazarus Naturals.
More than 500 million products are available on Amazon at any given time, according to estimates by e-commerce research firm Marketplace Pulse. That’s because Amazon isn’t just a retailer, it’s a marketplace that has invited more than 2.5 million sellers to hawk those wares, by Marketplace Pulse’s measure. Creating a digital storefront on Amazon requires little more than a driver’s license and a bank statement.
By making it so easy to set up shop, Amazon has amassed so much selection that sellers often compete against one another, driving prices down across the site and helping lure shoppers.
But Amazon has sacrificed policing its site to amass that selection, according to former executives. CBD sellers aren’t the only beneficiaries of the hands-off approach. Amazon has become a haven for counterfeiters, where merchants hawk knockoffs of everything from luxury handbags to diapers. And it has faced criticism for selling products without any warnings despite federal agencies deeming those goods to be unsafe.
Lawmakers are paying attention, chastising Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and other tech giants for their seeming inability to control the huge platforms they’ve created. And Amazon is also facing regulatory scrutiny for its power in e-commerce and the sway it holds over the third-party merchants in its marketplace.
While Amazon didn’t disclose how many listings for CBD products it has found and removed, the company said its systems blocked more than 3 billion suspected bad listings last year alone.
The murkiness of federal CBD law, and the patchwork of state rules, make selling products with the compound perilous, said Jonathan Miller, general counsel for the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, an industry group. Law enforcement could target sellers to make a point.
“That’s a very real concern,” said Miller, who also served as Kentucky’s treasurer. “It’s a danger.”
Some financial institutions are also wary of processing transactions for controlled substances, for fear of running afoul of banking rules, he added. Risk-averse banks “don’t want to touch this,” Miller said.
A recent search for “CBD oil” on Amazon turned up more than 6,000 results, many of which were described as “hemp oil.” While it’s unclear how many of those actually contain CBD, reading through reviews and scanning the Web for articles and tweets points to those that appear to contain the chemical. One reviewer called Weller’s Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites the “best CBD food product I’ve found.”
Finding CBD supplements on Amazon isn’t difficult. The question-and-answer sections on the product listings offer clues. For Good Day Chocolate’s Sleep Hemp Supplement, for example, a question whether the product included CBD elicited a reply that product packing said it did. On Twitter, H3 Infusion boasted that its hemp extract is “our first 2% water soluble CBD” and included a link to its Amazon product page. And the photo of the label for Koi Naturals Spearmint Oil had “CBD” in it.
Good Day Chocolate acknowledged selling products on Amazon, but declined further comment. H3 couldn’t be reached for comment. And Koi Naturals didn’t respond to a request for comment.
One way supplement sellers evade Amazon’s detection is by never mentioning CBD in their listings. Often product pages use code words, such as “full-spectrum hemp extract,” to give buyers an indication that their items include CBD, said Elaine Kwon, founder of e-commerce management and software firm Kwontified and a former Amazon manager.
“It’s done with a wink-and-a-nod,” said Kwon, whose clients include CBD sellers who don’t sell on Amazon yet because they don’t want to run afoul of the company’s rules.
Kwon believes Amazon executives are aware of CBD sales on the site but turn a blind eye, taking “half measures” to combat the issue. “They do know it’s happening,” Kwon said. “It’s a good revenue driver. They are making a lot of money off it.”
Amazon disputes the claim.
“Amazon does not knowingly permit the sale of products it prohibits,” Graham said. “The lack of credibility of this … statement suggests this individual has no knowledge of how Amazon’s systems work.”
The Post spent $566 buying nine tinctures and four edibles from Amazon that had a high probability of containing the chemical because of mentions of CBD in the products on social media, in reviews and elsewhere. Eight of the products were shipped directly from Amazon’s warehouses, rather than from sellers’ own facilities. The Wellers bites even carried the “Amazon’s Choice” badge, a label the company uses to recommend products. Amazon’s Graham said the company considers a variety of factors, including popularity, product availability and customer reviews, to award the designation.
Evio, the testing company, found that one of the tinctures, a mint-chocolate-flavored oil from Longmont, Colo.-based Restorative Botanicals had 12.5 milligrams per milliliter of CBD. But it also included 0.3 milligrams per milliliter of THC, a substance that Amazon also prohibits from its site.
Restorative is following federal guidelines, which don’t require manufacturers to mention CBD on its labeling, said President Bernard Perry. Instead, his company’s products describe themselves as “full-spectrum hemp-oil” supplements. Perry declined to comment on whether Restorative followed Amazon’s rules with regard to CBD sales.
“We stay in compliance as much as we can,” Perry said.
And just as some products hide their CBD from Amazon, other items suggest they include the compound but actually don’t have any of the chemical in them. One of the two products The Post tested that didn’t include CBD was a tincture from Tranquilo Essentials, a company whose Twitter handle was @AmazonBestCBD. The company shut down the account after The Post asked about it.
A person responding to an email to the company’s website said that the answer was that the product’s name contains “hemp oil.” The person didn’t respond to subsequent questions.
Sentia Wellness, a Portland, Ore., maker of CBD products, doesn’t sell directly on Amazon to abide by the e-commerce company’s rules, said President Angelo Lombardi. But The Post purchased its Select Oil, which had 29.9 milligrams per milliliter of CBD in it, which was sold by a third-party merchant — a violation of Sentia’s rule that distributors aren’t allowed to sell to authorized retailers.
But Amazon’s inability to control CBD sales is so vexing that Sentia might eventually choose to break the rules, too. Amazon’s lax oversight is providing Sentia’s rivals an opportunity that it’s missing out on because it has chosen to follow Amazon’s rules, Lombardi said.
“The statement is they don’t sell CBD. The reality is that they sell CBD,” Lombardi said. “We’re missing a chance to get our brand out there.”
Why Can’t You Buy CBD Oil on Amazon?
Anyone looking into a new product these days always does one thing — check Amazon. Why’s that? Well, you can probably get whatever you want cheaper, they might offer free shipping and you can check out what people are saying in the reviews.
However, it’s not so easy to accomplish all these feats when you are looking to buy CBD products. While Amazon boasts an impressive inventory of 562,382,292 items, you will not find CBD oil among the list … at first. Let’s talk about why you can’t buy CBD oil on Amazon and what to watch out for if you try.
Why Doesn’t Amazon Sell CBD Oil?
When you’re a company selling $177 billion of stuff each year and shipping these items to all corners of the world, you can bet your sweet bottom that you are being watched. That is why you can’t buy CBD oil on Amazon . The company has a lot to lose if potentially illegal substances are being shipped under its watch.
Amazon has a strict policy on what can be sold through its online retail platform. Unfortunately, this information is not privy to the general public. To see the exact list of what’s allowed to be sold on Amazon, you must have an approved Seller’s Account.
Since the average Jane or Joe doesn’t sell items through Amazon, they have a standard Buyer’s Account. Those looking to buy CBD products on Amazon may unknowingly be buying products devoid of cannabinoids.
Under Amazon’s list of items not allowed on Amazon, the company describes, “Products offered for sale on Amazon must comply with all laws and regulations.” They further explain, “Supplements must not contain controlled substances.”
Amazon goes into expanded detail, outlining what they mean by controlled substances: “Controlled substances are drugs that are illegal, such as cocaine or heroin. Products used with controlled substances may be considered drug paraphernalia…Drug listings must not be for controlled substances or products containing controlled substances, such as products containing cannabidiol (CBD), a Schedule I Controlled Substance.”
Can CBD Oil Get You High?
If we could say it a million times in a row without having you close the page, we would. No. CBD oil will not get you high.
The reason Amazon is so strict on CBD oil is that the product is derived from the cannabis plant. This is the genus of the federally illegal schedule 1 controlled substance known as marijuana. However, it’s also the same genus of its non-psychoactive sibling, hemp.
Marijuana is the version that has spearheaded the prohibition of the cannabis plant all the way back with the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Much in thanks to its most abundant cannabinoid, THC, consuming marijuana can give you a euphoric high. This definitive characteristic is what led to the government creating decades worth of stigma around the cannabis plant.
Meanwhile, hemp suffered the consequences. Hemp is a different variety of the cannabis plant. This version doesn’t get you high because it only has trace amounts of the cannabinoid THC. However, hemp does contain cannabinoids that may promote overall wellness, such as CBD.
If CBD Oil Doesn’t Get You High, Why Won’t Amazon Sell it?
For a product to legally be considered hemp oil, there must be less than 0.3% THC in the CBD products. That’s probably not enough to get you high, and some companies remove even those trace amounts of CBD from their oil.
With that being said, the Food and Drug Administration has only approved one CBD product for mass production. Therefore, the rest of the CBD products on the market aren’t well regulated.
With almost 600,000 products being sold under the Amazon umbrella, the Seattle-based company can’t run the risk of breaking federal laws. After all, it quotes the Food and Drug Administration in its Seller’s Market Regulations. In order to save itself from breaking any federal (or global) laws, Amazon has added cannabis-derived products to its list of banned items.
What About Hemp Oil on Amazon?
If you are chomping at the bit to get this type of oil on Amazon, there is a workaround. However, it’s a grab bag of quality because the company can’t divulge all of the necessary information in its listing.
If you were to type in the following phrases, you will get a list of products that actually might carry some cannabinoids in them.
These phrases are:
- Hemp Extract
- Hemp Oil
- Hemp Oil Extract
Under the guise of hemp, CBD oil can be bought on Amazon just beneath the radar. That’s because CBD oil is extracted from hemp. Companies that produce CBD products are selling them on Amazon under the hemp “oil” and “extract” moniker — technically, they are selling what they are promoting. The problem is that these may not be best CBD products out there.
Problems With Buying CBD Oil on Amazon
While buying hemp oil extract may seem like a brilliant workaround, it also opens the door for fraud. With no one regulating the product, how do you really know you are getting an item rich with cannabinoids? You are taking a gamble — and at the prices some of these oils are being listed at on Amazon, it’s a pricey gamble to take.
One thing to keep in mind when buying hemp extracts and hoping for the best on Amazon is that you don’t want to purchase “hemp seed oil.” Hemp seed oil contains a litany of healthy fatty acids, proteins and micronutrients. However, it doesn’t contain CBD.
Hemp oil, CBD oil, hemp extract, hemp oil extract — whatever on earth you call it — is extracted by using additional parts of the plant. When oil is extracted from the seed, there are no cannabinoids.
Curious About How to Purchase CBD if You Can’t Buy It on Amazon? Joy Organics!
When you are purchasing CBD products, go through a company that has its own store. Purchasing CBD oil through Amazon leaves too many questions unanswered and might cause you to waste your hard-earned money.
Your best option is to choose a reputable company like Joy Organics. We use only premium hemp to create high-potency CBD oil. Our phytocannabinoid-rich hemp oil is chock full of not only CBD but also other compounds that strengthen the overall potency and bioavailability.
To ensure you are ordering a product that is within the federal limits and won’t get you high, make sure it’s a broad spectrum hemp oil that’s 0.0% THC. At Joy Organics, we have third-party labs test each and every batch to guarantee 0.0% THC in our broad spectrum products.
You can trust Joy Organics!
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Hannah Smith is Joy Organics Director of Communications. She is driven by her passion for providing clear and accessible wellness and CBD education. In 2015, she received her BA in Media, Culture and the Arts from The King’s College in New York City and before Joy Organics, worked as writer and photographer in the Middle East and North Africa. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Vice, Vox, Denver Post, and the Coloradoan.
Best CBD Oil on Amazon: Why You Shouldn’t Buy Hemp Oil on Amazon?
If you’re looking for CBD online, then you’re probably wondering if you can find some on Amazon.
People are looking to buy cannabidiol (CBD) products on Amazon for many reasons.
It makes sense to check Amazon for CBD oil. The e-commerce giant offers a convenient way of shopping, has a vast selection of products, and delivers fast.
It’s unlikely that Amazon is selling CBD oil due to the long list of new regulations for selling CBD. However, some people have reported that CBD oil is being sold on Amazon. We’ll try to find out the truth about this claim.
Can You Buy CBD Oil On Amazon?
Short answer: technically, no.
CBD oils are everywhere. They’re on the news, on the internet, and now, they’re even in your local grocery store. With all these CBD products coming out of the woodwork, it’s difficult to know which one to choose.
If you’re searching for CBD oil products on Amazon, you may be disappointed with the selections available. You might end up buying something that claims to be CBD oil only to find out later that it’s not actually CBD oil at all!
One thing must be made abundantly clear: Currently, no legitimate CBD products are being sold on Amazon.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
Hemp-derived CBD oil is not classified as a controlled substance, which means it is legal in all states. You can bring CBD and travel within the country without any problems.
Such products contain less than 0.3% of THC, the psychoactive ingredient that makes marijuana users high.
You can buy CBD oil without a prescription. But state laws vary on the minimum age for buying CBD.
CBD can be used by anyone who needs it without having to worry about asking permission from the federal government. This means that if you’re traveling with CBD oil and you’re pulled over by law enforcement, they can’t arrest you for transporting it across state lines.
Since CBD oil is legal in the United States, you might be confused why the largest online store does not sell it.
Why Amazon Doesn’t Technically Sell CBD Oil
So why is Amazon not selling CBD oil?
After all, you can buy almost everything there. It shouldn’t be difficult to include CBD oil, right?
Amazon has been around for many years now. It has done business across the world and in every state in the US. The company takes all the necessary precautions under federal and state laws when deciding to add new products to its stock, for example, CBD oil.
Amazon is already earning billions of dollars right now, so they’re not going to risk what’s already working for them.
Amazon’s Strict Policy against CBD
The Amazon web page on restricted products explains, “Products offered for sale on Amazon must comply with all laws and regulations.”
The Drugs & drug paraphernalia subsection adds the following:
- “Controlled substances are drugs that are illegal, such as cocaine or heroin.”
- “Products used with controlled substances may be considered drug paraphernalia.”
- “Listings for products containing cannabidiol (CBD) are prohibited.”
Beware: If You See CBD Oil on Amazon, Here’s What You Need To Know
So if there’s a policy against selling CBD on Amazon, what are these products that are marketed as CBD oil on their website?
When you search for CBD oil on Amazon, you will see some results, but none of these items are actually CBD oils, per se. You will only come across products with these labels:
- hemp extract
- hemp oil
- hemp oil extract
But why would they confuse their potential consumers? That will only affect their sales, right?
Well, if they market them as “CBD” products, there will be no sales at all.
In order to comply with Amazon’s rules, sellers make sure not to say anything about CBD on their product listings, or they can lose their selling privileges.
Amazon Allows the Sale Of Hemp Oil, Not To Be Confused With Actual CBD Oil
Hemp oil is legally sold on Amazon, which is not the same thing as actual CBD oil. There are differences between hemp seeds oils and CBD oil but both come from the same plant, cannabis Sativa which is why they are often confused with one another.
As a result, sellers are able to get around Amazon’s restrictions by exploiting their customers’ unfamiliarity.
So when you type in “CBD” into the search bar, you probably won’t find the actual CBD product you’re looking for. The results will only be filled with hemp seed oils containing no cannabinoids that don’t provide any of the benefits of CBD.
Why You Should Not Buy CBD on Amazon
Regardless of what comes up in your search results, just remember that CBD isn’t legally available on Amazon.
Here’s why you shouldn’t buy those so-called CBD products on Amazon:
Amazon is Flooded With Fake CBD Oil Vendors
With CBD’s growing popularity, it seems like it’s also getting more and more difficult to find vendors who are actually selling real CBD oil.
Fake CBD sellers are taking advantage of the largely unregulated CBD market. So it’s not surprising that there are so many inauthentic products on Amazon.
These sellers would make outrageous claims about their products, like claiming that they can effectively cure many diseases. This not only hurts the image of the industry but also leads to increased regulation and hinders research efforts for legitimate treatments.
Amazon’s “CBD” Products Are Not Tested And Could Harm You
Since CBD oils on Amazon are unregulated, this means that the quality of the product is unknown to the purchaser. It can also be tainted with harmful substances.
Only buy CBD products from sellers who have a certificate of analysis (COA) like Gold Bee.
A COA is a third-party lab report that verifies that the CBD product you’re buying contains what you expect and nothing else. The lab analyzes the product for contaminants, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, and other substances.
Amazon’s “CBD” Products Are Not Labeled Accurately
It’s a sad reality that many of these products pretending to be CBD oils are not accurately labeled in terms of ingredients and/or dosage information.
This makes it extremely difficult for the consumer to choose what’s best for them, which is why it’s so important for Amazon to implement strict standards for their products.
Where to Buy CBD Oil Online Instead?
Instead of Amazon, where should I buy CBD online?
We all know that Amazon is a great website for buying things. People who want to conveniently purchase online often turn to Amazon. But what about CBD oil?
Thanks to the internet, buying almost any kind of stuff online has never been easier. In fact, you can find a wide range of CBD products on the web. It’s now a matter of finding a legitimate and safe CBD oil vendor.
Amazon is probably not the best place to get CBD oil if you want to experience its full benefits. There are other reputable vendors that offer CBD oil online.
If you’re not careful, you might end up buying from a scammer who tries to trick you into paying for ineffective stuff that can potentially harm you. If that happens, it’s going to be a total waste of money and time, while also putting your health on the line.
If you would like to buy authentic and high-quality CBD oil today, feel free to visit Gold Bee’s online shop. Our third-party tested CBD products are natural, potent, and reflect the complete cannabinoid profile of the original plant. They leverage the concept called the entourage effect — which enhances the health benefits of each ingredient in your CBD.