Don’t Buy CBD On Amazon: Why CBD On Amazon Is A Bad Deal

For many of us, Amazon.com is a part of our everyday lives. And while it’s an undeniably convenient website for buying everything from books to toilet paper, we do have to warn you: never buy CBD oil on Amazon.

Amazon is a massive marketplace selling just about everything. You can even buy prefabricated tiny homes on the site. But there’s also a lot of unscrupulous vendors that have moved into the marketplace, taking advantage of Amazon’s lax oversight. Stories of counterfeit products sold on Amazon abound. When it comes to CBD oil, the popular supplement made from hemp, it’s almost all fake, a fraud, or of dubious quality.

Before we go any further, you should know this: Amazon bans the sale of CBD on their site. That’s right, it’s against the rules of Amazon.com to sell CBD. That means that everyone selling CBD there is either breaking the rules or selling fake or falsely labelled CBD products. That should be enough to make you steer clear!

Instead of buying CBD on Amazon, you should order from any reputable online CBD vendor, such as one of our Top CBD Brands. You can even find quality CBD products in a growing number of natural foods grocery stores and brick and mortar CBD stores that are popping up around the U.S. 

Buying CBD on Amazon is a bad idea, in part because Amazon formally bans CBD sales. Photo: The exterior of an Amazon fulfillment center.
Buying CBD on Amazon is a bad idea, in part because Amazon formally bans CBD sales.

Read on if you’d like to learn more about Amazon’s policies, and why they mean you shouldn’t buy CBD on Amazon. We’ll also dismantle a few of the outlandish claims that CBD sellers on Amazon are making about their products.

What do Amazon policies say about selling CBD oil?

Amazon’s policies are extremely clear: You can’t sell CBD products on Amazon.

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and hemp-derived products in the U.S. And the Drug Enforcement Administration recently acknowledged this change, too. Even after these changes to U.S. law, Amazon’s policies on CBD remain unchanged.

When we reached out to Amazon’s public relations team, a member quickly and emphatically replied to us.

“Per our selling policies, CBD is prohibited on our site,” they wrote in an email.

And heres a screenshot of their policies:

A screenshot of Amazon policies on CBD, showing they clearly ban CBD in all forms.
Amazon vendor policies clearly ban CBD sales.

These policies are not unusual in the tech industry. For example, Facebook and other social media sites still prohibit most hemp-related advertising. That’s also true of Google Adwords and other common ad networks.

Despite these policies, there are hundreds of suspicious products labelled as CBD on Amazon’s marketplace. We’ll get into some of those products below, but the bottom line is that anyone selling products supposedly containing CBD oil on Amazon is breaking Amazon’s rules. That should be a red flag for any consumer, and enough to convince you that buying CBD on Amazon is a bad idea. 

What’s in the fake CBD oil on Amazon?

It’s likely that most of the sellers of CBD oil or hemp extract on Amazon are actually selling hemp seed oil, made from pressing hemp seeds.

The reason is that hemp seeds do not contain CBD or THC, two naturally occurring cannabinoids people often ingest for their beneficial effects. THC is the active ingredient in psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”) that makes people “feel high.” These compounds are found in the flowers and leaves, not the seeds or stalks of the plant.

Hemp seeds and hemp seed oil offer many nutritional benefits, but they don't contain CBD oil. Photo: Hemp seeds and hemp seed oil arranged on a table.
Hemp seeds and hemp seed oil offer many nutritional benefits, but they don’t contain CBD oil.

Amazon allows vendors to sell products made from these other parts of the hemp plant. Hemp seeds and hemp seed oil are great nutritional supplements, full of Omega-3s and essential nutrients. Many people feel healthier after eating them, similar to the effects people feel when they add flax seeds or flax oil to their diets. Amazon can be a convenient place to buy hemp hearts (hulled hemp seeds) or other hemp-based foods.

But hemp seeds don’t contain CBD. And you can buy hemp seed snacks or hemp seed oil at much lower prices than these fake CBD products.

Fake CBD vendors on Amazon make wild, impossible claims about their products

To make matters worse, vendors on Amazon routinely sell so-called CBD in simply impossible potencies. It’s normal for these shady vendors to claim they’ve packed 10,000, 25,000 or even 50,000 milligrams into a one or two ounce bottle of CBD. Then they sell these fake products for rock bottom prices, undercutting quality CBD vendors. Consumers take a gamble on a bargain rather than questioning if these products are too good to be true.

They are too good to be true. We recently reviewed high potency CBD products from reputable vendors. Real CBD products contain at most about 2000mg per ounce. To be frank, the Amazon CBD vendors are obviously lying.

Screenshot showing various fake CBD products sold on Amazon in impossibly strong potency such as 25,000mg of CBD in a one ounce bottle.
Fake CBD products sold on Amazon come in impossibly strong potency, such as 25,000mg of CBD in a one ounce bottle, while being sold at suspiciously low prices.

There’s also no way to verify the quality, purity, and potency of these “CBD” products. When Ministry of Hemp reviews CBD products, we only recommend brands that are transparent about the source of their hemp, and how it’s grown. We also require that them to offer third-party lab tests to back up their claims. While some of the fake products claim to be lab tested, there’s no way for customers to see those tests.

Final thoughts: Is Amazon profiting off lies?

It’s not reasonable to expect Amazon to check the quality of every product offered on their site, since there are millions of products in their catalog. Even so, it’s unfortunate that Amazon allows these misrepresented products to proliferate on their site.

While we disagree with the stigma against hemp products like CBD, private companies like Amazon have a right to set whatever policies they want. At the same time, they’re undeniably profiting from the sale of these fake or questionable products. This means shady vendors get paid, Amazon takes their cut, and consumers get substandard products that probably won’t help very much. In the long run, this adds to the perception that CBD is snake oil, despite the many documented benefits.

Photo: Image shows a rendering of an infinite number of tablet computers displaying the Amazon logo.
Despite Amazon’s ban on CBD, hundreds of fake and low quality products remain in their online marketplace.

As we discussed on a recent episode of the Ministry of Hemp Podcast, it’s important to note that Amazon’s CBD ban predates the recent laws legalizing hemp. Their policies haven’t changed since the Farm Bill passed. Amazon probably won’t update their policy until the Food & Drug Administration issues clear guidelines about the sales of CBD or hemp extract supplements in the U.S.

Regardless of whether Amazon allows for legitimate CBD sales in the future, we still think you’re better off going directly to one of the CBD brands we recommend, or an online CBD marketplace or physical CBD store that meets our exacting standards.

Kit O'Connell

Kit O'Connell is the Editor in Chief of Ministry of Hemp. His writing has also appeared at The Establishment, Firedoglake, YES! Magazine, the Texas Observer and Truthout.

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