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Ever searched for CBD oil on Amazon? Yah, us too.
There are hundreds of products that pop up…but they’re generally labeled as “hemp oil extract” or “hemp oil” instead of “CBD oil.”
So what gives? Do these products really contain CBD? Do they actually offer the pain and anxiety relief people are seeking? Can you really buy CBD oil on Amazon?
Yes, you can. But there’s a bit of catch. We’re here to clear up any confusion so if you decide to buy CBD oil on Amazon that you’re getting the real deal.
There’s A LOT of money to be made in the CBD industry right now. Because CBD isn’t regulated, anyone can pour oil in a bottle, slap a label on it, and claim it’s CBD. There are more than a few sneaky salesmen passing off snake oil or sub-par products for what many consumers think is good CBD oil.
So if you do decide to buy CBD oil on Amazon, be sure to keep the following in mind when you do.
When you do a search on Amazon for CBD oil, you’ll find products labeled as “hemp extract”, “hemp oil”, or “hemp oil extract” but never CBD. This is because it’s against Amazon’s policy to sell CBD, which is something we’ll get into in a bit.
In order to bypass this rule, sellers don’t exactly disclose that there is actually CBD in their products.
Instead, CBD content is labeled as “hemp extract”…and is something that some of the biggest names in CBD have been doing for years to stay under the radar of strict government control.
“Hemp extract” isn’t some arbitrary term that came out of nowhere. Companies who use this term are often advised to do so by their legal teams. CBD oil is indeed made from a hemp extract so the term is not false.
While the purpose of this article is not to provide legal advice, if you are a hemp or CBD entrepreneur (which we know many of you are or want to be!) you likely already know the term “hemp extract”. If you don’t, do your research and talk to a lawyer about the proper labeling for your products.
To the unsuspecting consumer, it can be easy to confuse “CBD oil”, “CBD hemp oil”, “hemp oil”, and “hemp extract.” To add to the confusion sometimes you will even see “hemp seed oil”. But don’t worry. We are going to clear all that up.
CBD’s extracted from hemp, right? So. shouldn’t any kind of hemp oil contain CBD? Nope, not all. Here’s why.
CBD (cannabidiol) is the most abundant non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis plants and is most abundant in the flowers and leaves, although much lower amounts can also be found in the stems of the plant.
Using various state-of-the-art extraction techniques, CBD is extracted from all these parts of the plant and is what’s responsible for the countless wellness benefits the cannabinoid contains.
While CBD is typically sold under the guise of just that, “CBD oil”, remember that it’s against Amazon’s policy for companies to sell CBD. Thus the origins of “hemp extract” or “hemp oil extract.”
This is CBD under the name of something else. An alias, if you will.
Hemp seed oil (AKA hemp oil), on the other hand, is produced from pressing the seeds of hemp plants. And while hemp seeds are super nutritious and an awesome food and supplement, they contain insignificant amounts of CBD and other cannabinoids (basically none).
CBD companies don’t make their CBD products and oils from pressing hemp seeds. They’re using the entire plant, and especially the flowers. Remember, the highest concentration of CBD is found in the flowers of hemp plants.
Hemp seed oil is good for you, but it doesn’t contain the widely-supported benefits of CBD because it isn’t the same thing! To keep things simple, just think of hemp seed oil as a food product and CBD hemp oil and hemp extract as a supplement.
Can hemp seed oil also be taken as a supplement just like CBD? Sure, we’ve seen concentrated amounts of hemp seed oil in capsules meant to be taken like one would take an encapsulated fish oil. There’s some especially exciting potential for hemp seed oil to be able to help people with skin problems like eczema.
But for the most part, the majority of hemp seed oil is consumed as a food or ingredient in recipes.
Here’s the deal. Yes, you can legitimately buy CBD oil on Amazon. But there’s a few things you need to know. First of all, Amazon has a policy on CBD products.
According to the Amazon website:
Drug listings must not be for controlled substances or products containing controlled substances, such as:
Products containing cannabidiol (CBD), a Schedule I Controlled Substance, including but not limited to:
Rich Hemp Oil containing cannabidiol (CBD)
Products that have been identified as containing CBD by LegitScript
You can check out Amazon’s policy on CBD and other “drugs and drug paraphernalia” by clicking here. One of the ways sellers get around this is by labeling CBD oil as “hemp extract.”
The loophole exists in the fact that Amazon allows for the sale of hemp products like hemp seed oil, hemp soap, and hemp clothing — so why not “hemp extract” as well? It’s almost the same thing as hemp seed oil but of course with one important difference — it contains CBD!
Still there’s no guarantee and any products sold as “CBD oil” on Amazon could be anything but, and this is where you need to be careful.
Sure, the product you purchased might say it contains 2500 mg of “hemp oil”, but (as you now know), there’s a BIG difference between hemp seed oil and hemp extract (which is really CBD).
The last thing we want is for you to mistakenly buy one product when you were really going for another. In order to ensure you’re actually purchasing a product with CBD oil in it, keep the following things in mind:
Remember that when buying CBD oil on Amazon, it’s most commonly sold under its alias “hemp extract.” Make sure this is a key ingredient when looking at the label.
Be sure to check on the back of the label if “hemp extract” is actually an ingredient. It should be clearly displayed under Supplement Facts on the back. The higher milligram content of hemp extract in the product, means the higher the amount of CBD.
Most legit CBD oils on Amazon will have milligram content on the bottle. This is considered how many milligrams of CBD is in the product, which can help you determine your perfect dosage size.
If the serving size under “Supplement Facts” on the label doesn’t have mgs per serving, move on to another product. How are you going to determine the dosage if you don’t know the mgs of CBD per dose?
If the product you are looking at on Amazon says hemp oil, and there’s no mention of “mgs” or milligrams on the bottle, it’s very unlikely that the product contains any CBD. This is a bottle of food grade hemp seed oil. Healthy and delicious — but not CBD.
Not sure if the product you’re considering is really CBD? Don’t be shy to directly contact the seller and ask. Have their products been 3rd party tested? Do they really contain actual CBD? What about THC?
Send the seller a message, and they’ll likely get back to you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Getting in touch with the seller and grabbing a lab report is going to be the best way to ensure that the product you are getting is exactly the one you’re after.
Full spectrum CBD is a CBD oil or product that’s not made with only pure CBD. It contains all the other naturally occurring plant compounds found alongside CBD in hemp.
People seek out full spectrum CBD oil to get the benefits of not just the CBD, but the other compounds as well. This is called the entourage effect and it’s well known in the cannabis and CBD communities.
Sellers of CBD certainly may be selling full spectrum CBD. You may need to inquire directly with them to ask about this or to see it on the lab report. One clue for a full spectrum CBD product is if terpenes are listed on the bottle or you see the words “whole plant extract”.
What’s the biggest visual difference between a bottle of CBD oil and a bottle of food grade hemp seed oil?
The bottle itself!
CBD oils tend to come in concentrated small amounts like 1 to 2 oz in a dropper bottle with a pipette at the top for dosing.
Hemp seed oil on the other hand is most often in a bigger bottle of 4 oz or more. It will resemble the same size as a olive oil or avocado oil bottle.
Don’t hesitate to reach out the seller and ask all the questions you need. Feel free to ask them if it’s CBD oil or hemp seed oil that you are buying.
Remember, it’s Amazon. It’s supposed to be easy so don’t overcomplicate things!
If the seller ignores your questions, just move on to another seller who deserves your business more.
Yes, it is! Let’s clarify how that works.
CBD oil is made by suspending a predetermined amount of CBD in a base liquid for ease of oral administration.
The most common base liquid, or sometimes called “carrier oils” (get it? it carries the oil to you) are coconut oil, MCT oil, and last but not least: hemp seed oil or as it’s often called just hemp oil.
Remember as we said above that a dead give away that the product you are looking at is CBD oil and not hemp seed oil, no matter what the label says, is the size and look of the bottle.
If the bottle looks like a small tincture sized bottle of other CBD oils or liquid herbal supplements you’ve seen on the market, that’s probably what it is.
On the other hand, if the bottle looks bigger and taller, and there’s more volume of liquid in it (usually 8 oz or more), that’s hemp seed oil for eating and has no CBD in it.
CBD oils on Amazon simply look as you would expect a supplement to look: you know, small bottle, pipette at the top for drawing up the concentrated liquid, and “Supplement Facts” (not Nutrition Facts) listed on that back of the bottle.
Small tincture bottle with pipettes at the top for concentrated oral delivery
“Hemp extract” written on the label
Milligrams per dose clearly written on the label
The sense you should get from a CBD product on Amazon is that it’s a product intended to be a supplement, not a food or recipe ingredient (although people put CBD oil in just about any food or drink!)
Reach out to the seller directly to ask all of your questions and make sure to request 3rd party lab reports for you to examine to see what’s really in the products they’re selling
Sure you can! But it’s important to keep everything we mentioned in mind.
Don’t be duped by the countless companies trying to pass off a poor quality product to you as CBD.
Read your labels. Make sure the product you’re looking at contains “hemp extract” and read reviews from other buyers.
Are you better off buying CBD in a specialty store or directly from a manufacturer online? Yes, probably. Not only are you going to not be fooled into buying a product that doesn’t contain CBD, but you’re going to get better service. You’ll also be in no violation of Amazon’s rules.
But not everyone has access to specialty stores. And not every CBD company will ship to states without medical cannabis laws. Plus, buying things on Amazon is just so easy and convenient.
To answer the question “can you really buy CBD oil on Amazon?” once and for all: Yes, you can. It’s just not going to be labeled as CBD and you’ve got to look out for imposters.
While it’s unclear what the future holds for CBD oil (and cannabis products in general) on Amazon, what is clear is that the ecommerce giant will stand by federal law for the time being.
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