Cannabidiol (CBD) is derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. It can also be used as an oil in lotions, food, etc. However, selling CBD products on Amazon is firmly restricted: “Listings for products containing cannabidiol (CBD) are prohibited.”
Why Amazon Does Not Permit The Sale of CBD Products
Although true CBD products are not illegal, there is still a large risk in Amazon allowing their sale on the platform. Amazon policy expressly bars the sale of CBD in any product, stating “Listings for products containing cannabidiol (CBD) are prohibited.”
Since the approval of the first cannabidiol (CBD)-based drug by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), consumers have become increasingly interested in the benefits of hemp seed and CBD oils.
Research suggests that CBD-derived products are safe and have limited side effects. Researchers have studied the side effects of individual ingredients in CBD-derived products. However, information about the safety of different CBD oils is still lacking.
Experts advise people who want to use CBD-derived products to ensure that they can trust their source. Improper labeling and faulty manufacturing processes can expose people to contaminants or THC in CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD oil. Today, regulations on product labeling in the United States are unclear.
This is likely the reason Amazon does not permit the sale of CBD products on their platform. In order to ensure the authenticity and safety of products sold, Amazon would have to do a lot of investigative work and regulation, including ensuring that…
- the manufacturers did not use solvents during extraction
- the U.S. Department of Agriculture have certified it as organic
- the product underwent pesticide and herbicide testing
- the label clearly lists the potency
Difference Between CBD and Hemp Products
Hemp products are permitted for sale on Amazon, whereas CBD products are not. The products are different in terms of ingredients, development process, and effects. For example, hemp oil is not the same as cannabidiol (CBD) oil. The production of CBD oil uses the stalks, leaves, and flowers of the hemp plant, which contain a higher concentration of CBD. Hemp seed oil comes from the small seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. The seeds do not contain CBD, but they still have a rich profile of nutrients, fatty acids, and useful bioactive compounds that can also have health benefits. People will not get high when using hemp seed oil, as it contains no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and little to no CBD.
Other Amazon Prohibited Products
- Alcoholic beverages (including non-alcoholic beer)
- Vehicle tires
- Products with unauthorized marketing materials, such as pamphlets, price tags, or other non-Amazon stickers
- Loose packaged batteries
- Damaged or defective units
How Some CBD Products Slip Through on Amazon
If you’re searching for CBD oil products on Amazon, you could end up buying something that claims to be CBD oil only to find out later that it’s not actually CBD oil at all. Currently, no legitimate CBD products are being sold on Amazon’s platform with Amazon’s permission.
As explained above, Amazon policy expressly bars the sale of CBD in any product. However, a Washington Post investigation found that it’s possible, even easy, to buy the forbidden compound on the online retail site. The Post purchased 13 products that they suspected contained CBD, and 11 of 13 items came back after testing showing that they contained CBD. One product even had a small amount of THC, the psychoactive chemical in cannabis plants that gets people high.
Out of the 13 items the Post purchased for their investigation, none of the listings actually contained CBD in their descriptions. But the Post and many other consumers could find them by knowing which products contain CBD already — by checking reviews, social media, or other websites that did their own testing. Some sellers even changed their product packaging from their DTC sites to new packaging for Amazon to avoid being flagged as a CBD product.
Read the full article from the Post here.
The Post’s investigation demonstrates the challenges Amazon faces in policing its platform when it comes to prohibited items, which gives us further insight into why Amazon does not permit the sale of CBD on its platform.