A few years back, the biggest online retailer in the world, Amazon, banned selling and buying CBD products on their website. The Washington Post conducted an investigation to verify how effective the ban was. They wanted to show how easy it was to buy CBD products and if there were any repercussions.
CBD is still not FDA-approved, and many sellers can’t guarantee how much THC their products have. Also, while CBD might be legal in some U.S. states, it’s still illegal in countless other countries across the globe.
Here’s what their investigation turned up, and what we believe is the future of CBD sales on Amazon.
The journalists at the Washington Post decided to order 13 products on Amazon, which they suspected to contain CBD. Once they received all of the packages, they sent them to an independent lab for testing.
Out of those 13 products, 11 had CBD, and one even had trace amounts of THC in it. But is buying these products legal, and how did they even manage to do it if Amazon doesn’t allow CBD sales?
Why Amazon Won’t Sell CBD
As the world’s biggest online marketplace, Amazon can’t sell or allow someone else to sell illegal products and controlled substances on their website. In fact, they have pretty strict policies when it comes to what’s allowed and what’s not. Unfortunately, to get access to that list of policies, we’d have to be a verified seller on Amazon.
Most often, when somebody mentions controlled substances, the first thing that comes to mind is psychoactive narcotics. But what does that have to do with CBD? After all, we know that it’s not psychoactive, and it’s legal in most U.S. states, right?
Since Amazon ships internationally, they can’t risk someone selling and sending CBD to a country where it’s still considered a Schedule 1 drug. So to avoid fines and legal problems, they’ve banned all CBD sales until the foreseeable future.
How to Buy CBD on Amazon
With Amazon’s policies in mind, the question now remains — how did the Washington Post journalists get their hands on CBD products, and can we do it too?
Well, by claiming their products are only hemp-based, CBD manufacturers and sellers have found a workaround. None of them will include “CBD” anywhere in their listing, so Amazon’s AI technology won’t flag it and take it down.
Also, many customers know exactly which products they want to buy and from which company. So they just log onto Amazon, search for what they need, and purchase with no repercussions.
What Amazon Has to Say About CBD Sales
Amazon doesn’t deny that it has a problem with CBD sales and says that it’s doing everything in its power to take the listings down.
However, the problem is that the company uses AI tools to keep track of that, and if need be, take the listings down. Unfortunately, the AI won’t flag “hemp,” “oil,” or “extract” as it doesn’t see anything wrong with them.
The other alternative would be for Amazon employees to check every single listing and contact each company personally. But with over 5.6 billion products and 2.5 million sellers in the marketplace, that’s an impossible feat.
The Downsides of Buying CBD on Amazon
Most people purchase their CBD products on Amazon because of how convenient and cheap it is. However, it’s usually a bad idea since no one, and we mean no one, regulates these listings.
Short of us buying the products and sending them to third-party labs ourselves, there’s no way to verify the quality of the CBD products on Amazon. Not only can the ingredients be subpar, but some oils might contain high levels of THC as well.
There’s also no way to prove if the CBD product contains any nutrients or vitamins or what its cannabinoid profile is.
Where to Shop for CBD
Fortunately, apart from Amazon, there are plenty of places where we recommend buying CBD products. For starters, dispensaries all across the U.S. carry a wide variety of CBD brands.
But if going to a brick-and-mortar store isn’t an option, there’s always shopping online. Most reputable CBD companies have websites and do domestic and international shipping. Also, their sites should contain third-party lab results, as well as product descriptions.
Even though shopping for CBD on Amazon is pretty easy, we would advise against it. Not only does it go against Amazon’s policies, but we can also never be sure of the product’s quality. Instead, it’s better to either go directly to the source and buy from a specific company’s website or visit a dispensary.