Guide to Buying CBD on Amazon
Over the past few years, you may have seen the acronym ‘CBD’ online and all over the high street. Its popularity has surged so much recently that Radio 4 has hailed it as “the next big thing”. With products ranging from CBD Oils, to Skincare, to the more niche CBD candles- it’s clear that CBD is a trend that the largest retailers just can’t ignore. Despite this, for years market leader Amazon did not allow CBD sales on its site.
Thankfully, now in 2021 consumers in the UK are able to purchase products directly from the internet’s top retailer. In this article, we will explore the tumultuous history of Amazon’s relationship with CBD, and which products are now available.
History of CBD on Amazon
For many people, Amazon is now part of daily life. Whilst you can now buy your books and laundry detergent from the same site, for many years Amazon had prohibited the sale of CBD products on its platform. This is as they ship to over 100 countries worldwide, each with their own set of Cannabis laws.
In some countries such as Singapore, CBD is still entirely illegal.
Furthermore, countries that have legalised CBD each have differing regulations, such as the maximum percentage of THC that is allowed. This means that the logistics behind listing CBD on Amazon are incredibly complicated. Certain products that are legal in many countries may be banned in others, or need to be adapted.
This is complicated even more by the tricky legal landscape in its home country. Each US state has its own laws regarding CBD, despite the 2018 Farm Bill which legalized hemp. The Farm Bill provided a guideline which legalised CBD with under 0.3% of THC. However, this did not standardize state CBD regulations. For example, in Indiana CBD products must have QR-codes which link to ingredients.
Ultimately, these rules result in the large risk that Amazon may potentially break the law.
With so much red tape between countries and even states, up until now the risk has outweighed the reward. However, in late 2020 Amazon decided to trial CBD listings within one country- the UK. This followed updates in UK legislation, classifying CBD as a food supplement which lawmakers are looking to keep well-regulated.
The FSA has set a deadline for the industry to submit a “Novel Foods” application by March 2021. This provides an extra layer of regulation which may have attracted Amazon. Amazon’s UK pilot has proven to be triumphant, leading to many more brands now being listed by the retail giant.
The issue for consumers is that many fraudulent listings for “Hemp Oil” still remain on the site, amongst reputable brands.
What is Hemp Oil?
Hemp Seed Oil is a substance that is created through the cold-pressing of hemp seeds, which is often not distilled or purified. With a nutty flavour and light to dark green colour, it is classified as a form of vegetable oil. Often used in cooking, it is suitable for dressings due to its strong flavour and low smoke point. Large bottles of hemp oil can be bought at supermarkets and health food stores, which is why those selling hemp oil in small tinctures are dishonest.
Hemp Seed Oil and cannabidiol (CBD) are not the same thing. Hemp seeds actually contain little to no CBD.
On the other hand, CBD is extracted from the leaves, flowers and stalk of the cannabis plant- which contain cannabinoids.
The market for hemp oil is sadly very unreliable and unregulated, often used as an alternative to marketing products as CBD. This is as there are many costly and intensive steps to go through when setting up a reliable supply chain. There are also restrictions on advertising CBD on sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Google.
Why you need to be careful buying CBD on Amazon
Amazon has very clearly stated in its policies that “Listings for products containing cannabidiol (CBD) are prohibited”. This excludes their most recent UK trial. Nonetheless, for years listings for “Hemp Oil” have come up in search results when consumers have searched for CBD.
These have been marketed in attempts to trick consumers into thinking they are selling CBD Oil, commonly through illegal claims of ‘milligrams’ and medical benefits. However, Hemp Oil does not contain CBD. This means that sellers are either marketing fraudulent products, or were selling CBD illegally.
No reputable company would attempt to sell their CBD products this way, especially as the ban meant that Amazon did not have thorough checks in place. Many of the Hemp oils listed will not have third-party lab reports, which can have some dangerous implications. Reports don’t only prove levels of CBD, but also the presence of unpleasant chemicals, toxins and microbes. In their investigation, The Washington Post found that one CBD product being sold on Amazon even contained THC – the psychoactive chemical in Cannabis that gets you “high”.
It is also illegal to sell CBD using medical claims, meaning that these listings break multiple laws. Many of the “Hemp Oils” listed are marketed using claims for anxiety reduction, sleep improvement and pain management. There is no scientific evidence that Hemp Oil causes any of these benefits.
To avoid wasting your money and time, you should not purchase any product listed as “Hemp Oil” if you are searching for CBD. Due to Amazon’s stringent algorithm, unapproved listings using the word “CBD” will be removed, so those listed as “CBD” are likely to be approved by Amazon. Visit our blog for more tips on how to spot a CBD scam.
What CBD can you get on Amazon?
There are now a handful of reputable brands that are being sold in the UK on Amazon. However, Dragonfly CBD stands out from the crowd with its entirely seed-to-shelf production. Its seeds are planted in organically certified soil, and all lab reports are made available online for trust and transparency. Dragonfly’s range includes many strengths and flavours of CBD, as well as high-quality and high-strength CBD Skincare. You can now buy Dragonfly CBD’s Skincare on Amazon, and Dragonfly’s CBD Oil will shortly also become available.
Dragonfly CBD’s Hydrating Face Cream is enriched with Cocoa Butter and Avocado Oil to protect your skin from the effects of everyday harm. Infused with either 300mg or 500mg of organically grown CBD, and perfect for daily use.
Dragonfly CBD’s Hydrating Body Moisturiser is expertly formulated with Jojoba and Coconut Oil to soften and smooth your skin. Packed with 300, 500 or 1000mg of hand-crafted CBD, the strongest CBD body moisturizer available on Amazon.