a phone opening up the amazon retailer's app to purchase CBD products online

Don't Buy CBD From Amazon- Here's Why

The tech giant Amazon seems to have a finger in just about everything, but should you buy your CBD there?

As more and more brick and mortar shops permanently shutter due to complications with the pandemic, online shopping has only grown in popularity. The Amazon marketplace, in particular, has seen record-breaking profits since Covid-19 has forced so many Americans to stay inside their homes. Many people are using the online retailer to meet almost all of their basic needs. 

Part of what makes Amazon’s model so successful is the variety of products it offers. Need specialty dog food, hand sanitizer, and a new board game? Amazon lets you order all these at the same time from the same place. But what about CBD? Can you get the curative cannabinoid from Amazon? The answer is more complicated than you think. 

Does Amazon Sell CBD? 

So the first question to answer here is, does Amazon even sell CBD to begin with? 

Amazon has a set of rules that vendors who use the platform are required to abide by called their seller’s guide. In the Drugs and Paraphernalia section of this seller’s guide, Amazon makes explicit their policy regarding the sale of CBD by saying,

Listings for products containing cannabidiol (CBD) are prohibited, including but not limited to:

  • Full spectrum hemp oil
  • Rich hemp oil
  • Products that have been identified as containing CBD by LegitScript

However, a quick search for CBD oil in the Amazon search bar turns up hundreds of results. So what is true? Are there or are there not CBD products on Amazon?

The Truth About CBD On Amazon

Despite Amazon’s clear-cut rules prohibiting the sale of CBD, there are tons of products that seem to contain CBD on the website. There are a few reasons for this. 

For one, it’s not uncommon for unscrupulous manufacturers to try and pass hemp seed oil off as genuine CBD oil. Hemp seed oil has tons of healthy fats and amino acids that make it a great dietary supplement, but it doesn’t contain any CBD. This is why it’s essential to make sure when purchasing anything labeled hemp oil that it actually contains CBD. 

Since hemp seed oil doesn’t contain any of the banned cannabinoid, it’s technically not breaking any of Amazon’s rules—even if it is intentionally marketed to mislead consumers into thinking it does contain CBD. 

Another reason you may see CBD on Amazon is that some sellers simply flout the rules. Certain CBD businesses will completely rebrand a product taking away any mention of CBD or cannabidiol from the name and description in order to avoid Amazon’s algorithm. Recently the Washington Post tested 13 products they purchased from the online retail giant to see if they contained CBD or not. Of the 13, 11 tested positive for cannabidiol. 

Should You Buy CBD From Amazon? 

So should you buy your CBD from Amazon? The answer: no. With all the obfuscation of ingredients that has to take place in order for a seller even to get CBD on the Amazon marketplace, it’s incredibly likely that you’ll end up with a product that hasn’t been accurately labeled. This can make dosing more complicated, and you're liable to wind up wasting your money on something that doesn’t contain any CBD at all.

Whenever possible, you should try and buy your CBD straight from the manufacturer and avoid third-party sellers in general. Purchasing directly from the seller’s official website also offers consumers the opportunity to better research the brand and determine if it’s reputable.

The first thing you should look for on one of these sites is a certificate of analysis (COA). This document will not only show which products have been lab-tested, but what they were tested for and by whom. It’s essential that these tests are conducted by accredited third-party labs, and not by the sellers themselves since the obvious conflict of interest could corrupt results. 

It’s not enough to simply test for potency, either. Look for products with comprehensive testing that includes pesticides, mycotoxins, microbials, heavy metals, and other potentially dangerous foreign materials.

Now you know what to look for and where you can feel confident hitting the buy button when online shopping for CBD!