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Why you can now buy CBD oil on Amazon

With big-name retailers like Boots, John Lewis and even Harrods now stocking CBD oil products to satisfy the growing public demand, you’d think that looking for CBD oil on Amazon, the world’s biggest online retailer, would come back with page after page of every type of CBD product you can imagine.

Well, it is, and it isn’t. Previously, if you searched for CBD oil on Amazon, the results would show thousands of products labelled as ‘Hemp Extract’ or ‘Hemp Oil Extract’. It was vague and very confusing, but deliberately so.

Why? For the same reason you’re not likely to see any ads promoting CBD oil on the likes of Facebook or Instagram – because Amazon doesn’t allow the sale of ingestible CBD oil on its platform.  

This is down to CBD’s relationship with marijuana and where it becomes problematic, at least if you want to buy from a site such as Amazon because Hemp and Marijuana are both derived from the Cannabis plant. Hemp comes from the Cannabis Sativa strain and Marijuana, from either the Cannabis Sativa or Cannabis Indica strains. 

Hemp is cannabis that’s CBD rich and for it to be legal it must contain less than 0.2% THC in the UK (0.3% in the US). THC is the compound that makes you high and as THC heavy marijuana is still banned under Federal Law in the US (each state has different rules and regulations) this is where the problems set in.

You may wonder what this information has got to do with Amazon but if you consider their business model, you’ll understand why.

Unlike a retailer that only stocks products once they’ve satisfied themselves that everything is above board, anyone can open an account on Amazon and start selling their wares. The nature and size of Amazon’s business make it impossible for them to check each and every product that’s put up for sale.

So if someone decided to list a product as Hemp-derived CBD but it was later found to include THC over the legal limits, as an American company, Amazon could find itself in hot water with the authorities. If we were them, we wouldn’t risk that kind of trouble either.

A UK pilot programme – by invite only

However, things have changed. When we originally wrote this article back in 2019, every product on Amazon was labelled as ‘Hemp’ in some shape or form as we described above. Now Amazon has been testing the waters with its first-ever pilot – and it’s happening here in the UK.

Before we get too carried away, it’s important to note that the site still prohibits the “listing and sale of ingestible hemp products including lozenges, e-liquids, sprays and oils that contain CBD and other cannabinoids, except for sellers participating in a limited, invite-only pilot”.

That means that the likes of you and me can now visit Amazon and buy the clearly labelled CBD products from the brands taking part in the pilot.

The chosen few lucky enough to have received a ‘money can’t buy’ invite are now all listed and selling their products – and that’s the only way anyone can currently get ingestible CBD onto Amazon.

However, if the pilot is deemed a success, it could open the doors for other brands to feature on the site which in itself will be a major breakthrough for the CBD industry.

fourfive CBD oil
fourfive CBD is one of the chosen few invited to sell on Amazon

So why the UK? One reason could be Brexit which some may argue has given us greater freedom to chart our own path. Others may point to the Food Standard’s Agency (FSA) and tighter regulation of the UK market which now requires all companies to apply for authorisation of products containing CBD extracts and isolates to be categorised as a Novel Food.

In fact, Pureis, which has the honour of being the first CBD company in the world to have gained validation of their products from both the European Food Safety Authority and the UK’s Food Standards Agency, is one of the brands you can now buy on Amazon.

At the time of writing, the full list of brands listed were:

More clarity for shoppers

If we’d been asked about buying CBD products on Amazon before, we would have said definitely not – the risk of buying a dodgy product was too great.

However, with the launch of the pilot programme, at least there is clarity around which products are actually CBD infused and which ones just contain Hemp. That’s not to say there is anything wrong with Hemp as its health benefits are well documented.

Shopping on Amazon
Now it’s easy to add CBD oil to your Amazon shopping basket

Amazon also has strict guidelines in place to ensure that any hemp products on sale do not contain CBD, THC or any other cannabinoids but with 131 pages of Hemp Oil products alone, it must be difficult to police them all.

As for the CBD brands now selling their products on the site, Amazon wouldn’t have invited them to take part in the pilot had they not been vetted beforehand. We don’t know much about the CBD lubricant brands featured on the site but we do know the CBD oil brands and they’re not only reputable but we’d be comfortable buying them.

If you’re new to CBD we would still recommend you do your research before buying so you know the best product for your needs. But this is definitely a step in the right direction and unless something drastic happens we can see a time when Amazon expands the current CBD offering, which means more brands on the site, and more choice for shoppers.

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