These days you can buy almost anything off Amazon. Unfortunately, CBD oil is not on that list.
Amazon prohibits the sale of all CBD products. The only exception to this is Amazon’s UK site, where a pilot program allows some companies to sell CBD oil and other products containing CBD.
Still, some people get duped into buying hemp seed oil products on Amazon, thinking that they contain CBD. Here’s everything you need to know about buying CBD on Amazon.
CBD oil and other products containing CBD cannot be sold on Amazon’s main (American) website. But you can buy some CBD products on Amazon’s UK website.
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Amazon doesn’t allow the sale of CBD
According to the seller information page for drugs, Amazon doesn’t allow the sale of products containing cannabidiol (CBD). Although Amazon doesn’t clearly explain why CBD is banned, it likely has to do with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The page notes that “Drug products must be approved by the FDA for over-the-counter (OTC) sale.” At this time, CBD is not approved for OTC sale and the FDA has stated that “it is illegal to market CBD by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement.” The FDA has only approved one CBD-containing prescription drug called Epidiolex for the treatment of rare types of seizures.
Amazon also says that the sale of some topical CBD products may be allowed on Amazon Fresh and Amazon Whole Foods Market, two of its grocery stores. But these topicals are restricted to certain geographical locations, and we couldn’t find any products when we searched for them online.
Buying CBD oil on Amazon UK
Although you can’t buy CBD oil on Amazon US and most other dedicated country websites, it is allowed on Amazon UK. Amazon announced a special pilot program for its British website in February 2021:
The listing and sale of ingestible hemp products, including lozenges, e-liquids, sprays and oils that contain CBD or other cannabinoids are prohibited on Amazon.co.uk, except for sellers participating in a limited, invite-only pilot. This pilot only applies to products listed on Amazon.co.uk and is not available on other Amazon websites. The pilot is not accepting additional sellers currently.Listing Guidelines for Cannabidiol (CBD) and Hemp Products
This means you can buy CBD oil, gummies, capsules, and topical products on Amazon UK. Most of these products are offered by British CBD companies, although some American CBD brands are also available. The best CBD products on Amazon UK include names like CBDfx, Vitality CBD, Blessed CBD, and Grass & Co.
Don’t get duped buying hemp oil on Amazon
CBD products are illegal on Amazon, so why does searching for CBD still bring up hundreds of oil, gummy, capsule, and other products?
If you look at any of these listings, none of them actually mention CBD. Instead, they’re made with hemp seed oil, which is not the same thing as CBD oil.
Hemp oil is pressed from hemp seeds. Meanwhile, CBD oil is usually extracted from hemp flowers, which are covered by trichomes, tiny spheres rich in CBD and other cannabinoids (1).
Hemp seeds don’t naturally contain CBD or any other cannabinoids (although they may have trace amounts from coming in contact with the flowers and leaves) (2). So don’t be duped into buying hemp oil products on Amazon.
Many of these products use misleading tactics to make you think they contain CBD, such as listing “hemp extract” on the label, terms like “high potency,” and showing amounts in milligrams.
Another red flag is when these products make claims about reducing pain, anxiety, or any other health benefit that sounds like it’s related to CBD.
Will Amazon allow the sale of CBD in the future?
If CBD products are ever approved as dietary supplements then yes, they might become available on Amazon. Technically speaking, CBD has been federally legal since the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized hemp and hemp-derived products.
But as we noted earlier, the FDA doesn’t consider CBD a dietary supplement. It’s concerned about the safety of CBD and has been researching its risks and side effects for several years. As a result, CBD is stuck in a weird regulatory gray area, even though you can buy it almost anywhere.
But many hemp industry members and politicians are growing frustrated with the FDA’s lack of CBD regulation. They’re working together on the 2023 Farm Bill (which has been pushed back to 2024) to remove restrictions on hemp and regulate CBD as a dietary supplement.
- Happyana, Nizar, et al. “Analysis of cannabinoids in laser-microdissected trichomes of medicinal Cannabis sativa using LCMS and cryogenic NMR.” Phytochemistry 87 (2013): 51-59.
- Farinon, Barbara, et al. “The seed of industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.): Nutritional quality and potential functionality for human health and nutrition.” Nutrients 12.7 (2020): 1935.
Gleb is a freelance writer from Vancouver, Canada specializing in CBD and cannabis. He’s read thousands of studies on CBD and other supplements, helping him translate complex science into plain language. Gleb has tried and reviewed dozens of CBD brands and products, written third-party testing reports, and knows the CBD industry inside and out. When not writing, he likes to kickbox, travel, and tell everyone how awesome intermittent fasting is.