Amazon CBD 2020 Buyer's Guide: Top Tips, Best Practices and Risky Warning Alert

A simple 2020 Amazon CBD buyer's guide will help consumers safely understand how cannabidiol oil and hemp extract are treated on the world's biggest marketplace.

Buying CBD on Amazon in 2020: Guide for Hemp CBD Products

The new year is here, and it's time to craft a definitive guide to buying CBD on Amazon in 2020. This Amazon.com CBD buyer's guide will showcase the top purchasing tips for full spectrum vs broad spectrum, best research practices to understand cannabidiol vs hemp and issue a stark warning to alert all users of CBD products bought on the world's biggest online shopping portal on what to know to avoid scams in the new decade.

Despite the legal status of CBD (thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill), the ability to purchase high-quality, pure CBD oil-infused products has proven to be a difficult road. The market is largely unregulated still, making it difficult to find a reliable, reputable source. Realistically, while it has primarily been difficult to purchase CBD products on Amazon, it isn’t entirely impossible due to companies and brands bypassing the listing requirements. While we reviewed the best CBD oils, gummies and skincare in 2020; many consumers love to use Amazon.com marketplace as a viable platform to buy anything and everything – including CBD – despite it being banned on the biggest commerce store in the world.

This month, Amazon made the decision to no longer list CBD products on their website, even with only trace amounts of THC found inside. The terminology appears to be what has gotten many companies into trouble, but let’s break down exactly what’s going on first (and how the Washington Post found over 80% of the products they purchased on Amazon.com contained cannabidiol) and decipher the differences between hemp-derived cannabidiol versus non-CBD hemp oil.

Amazon’s Stance Against CBD Oil and Hemp Extract

Before diving into any differences between these products, knowing what Amazon’s actual stance is on CBD is paramount. Amazon is known for being a source to find just about anything, but there are very clear cut policies on drugs and drug paraphernalia. Obviously, the sale of drugs is expressly prohibited, as it is only any website that is not directly connected with prescription fulfillment. The paraphernalia needed for these drugs is also restricted, but there are some products that have seemingly gotten by unnoticed.

CBD technically falls under the classification of “drug,” which means it can’t be sold on Amazon. CBD is regulated somewhat by the government, and rules from Amazon Seller Central state that “products containing cannabidiol (CBD), a Schedule I Controlled Substance, including but not limited to: Rich Hemp Oil containing CBD, Full-spectrum hemp oil containing CBD, Products that have been identified as containing CBD by LegitScript” are presently unable to be sold on the website. This statement has been paraphrased by an article on the PureKana website.

Interestingly, despite this ban, any consumer can go on Amazon and search for CBD oil, finding over 8,000 results (as of December 22nd). Why is there a difference in what the policy states and what is actually listed online? Do the products contain CBD oil at all?

Some of the products found on the website actually come from hemp producers, which is part of the confusion.

What is the Difference Between Hemp Oil and CBD Oil?

They're a big difference between hemp seed oil and CBD oil. Cannabidiol, along with other cannabinoids, is created with the hemp plant’s leaves and flowers, which contain this extract. CBD is the most common cannabinoid marketed from the hemp plant today, and there is a multitude of extraction methods used.

However, the hemp seed oil is made from exactly what it says – hemp seed – and it offers no CBD at all to consumers. While hemp seed oil has no CBD included, it is safe to use in cooking with its many nutritional benefits, but consumers don’t want to purchase this type of product without the promise of CBD.

Hemp seed oil can be used as a supplement like CBD, much like the way that fish oil is marketed. There are even some companies that market hemp seed oil as a skincare treatment, helping to reduce eczema and other blemishes. Ultimately, the primary use of hemp seed oil is as food or as an ingredient in the food.

There are many sellers that have been marketing their products as CBD oil, even if it is nothing more than hemp seed oil. Any oil that contains authentic CBD is going to cost a lot more, and there are many dealers on Amazon that are offering products with hemp extract, not hemp seed oil, which often means that the product contains cannabinoids. Due to the way that these products are marketed, there is no way to tell how much CBD is actually included.

So what does this have to do with the products being listed? Simply put, the policies on the website don’t actually clarify the difference between hemp seed oil and CBD oil. While CBD oil is clearly banned, the hemp seed oil is not, and marketing a product as hemp seed oil creates an open opportunity for manufacturers.

Considerations for Purchasing CBD on Amazon

Even with the possibility of CBD in a formula, there are many reasons that purchasing CBD needs to be a careful process for Amazon shoppers. When it comes to choosing a product, the most important paperwork involved in the third-party lab report. Authentic companies will have a lab review of their products with full transparency to their consumers, though the unregulated part of the market doesn’t quite require that type of information to be available yet.

The results of these tests are usually published on the official website, showing how much CBD can be found inside these formulas. An authentic online seller on Amazon will offer information about where their hemp was grown, what their extraction method is, and more. Consumers should always do their due diligence regarding the products that they choose.

Check for Milligrams

According to CBD School, consumers can determine if there is CBD in a product by checking the supplement facts on the package. If the formula doesn’t include the dosage in milligrams. If it does, then the website indicates that the formula would contain CBD. However, if it does not, the consumer most likely is only purchasing hemp seed oil.

Contact the Seller

To be more direct, consumers can go straight to the source and ask the creators of the product if the formula includes CBD. Ask questions on third-party testing and what is included in the formula. Some of this information may even be available in the official website.

Look at the Bottle

A striking difference between a bottle of CBD oil and a bottle of food-grade hemp seed oil, as CBD School states, is the design. Most of the time, CBD oils come in smaller bottles with a one-ounce or two-ounce dropper bottle, featuring a small pipette at the top. Hemp seed oil, since it needs to be used in greater quantities at once, tends to be in a bottle that holds at least four ounces.

Regardless of these typical differences, consumers should still err on the side of caution and follow the above methods to learn more about the formula they choose.

Best CBD Products Presently Listed on Amazon

As Amazon’s policies change, it is difficult to say which products will still be listed online from one day to the next. However, these companies have managed to keep their formulas online so far, allowing consumers to get the desired effects that CBD advertises.

Doing a simple CBD search on Amazon.com shows a list of nine possible products that consumers can purchase with CBD in them on the website, including:

  • Gummies
  • Hemp oil
  • Capsules
  • CBD Buds
  • Dog treats
  • Pain cream
  • Lotion
  • Pills
  • Vape cartridges

The gummies are not marketed as CBD gummies, but as hemp gummies, boasting high amounts of hemp extract in each formula. One of the sponsored products – a “premium hemp gummies” bottle from New Age – states on Amazon that the product includes 50 milligrams of “premium hemp extract” in every gummy with no THC. The official website, however, requires that the user is at least 18 years old to enter, adding that only two to three pieces should be taken in a six-hour window. Hemp seed oil doesn’t come with this kind of caution, so why would there be a warning?

Hemp oil is the most common way, as seen above, to reference CBD oil, and one of the top sponsored formulas again comes from New Age. Still, the company is careful about their marketing, offering no lab results on their website and never actually denying or confirming CBD’s presence in their products.

CBD capsules are idea as products who aren't interested in the taste that drops offer, and Inquirer.net states that their top choice comes from Endoca, which doesn’t appear to be listed on Amazon anymore. However, Amazon has products like New Age (again), along with R+R Medicinals. R+R Medicinals states that each gel capsule offers 30 milligrams of hemp extract with a “proprietary blend” of ingredients.

On their official website, the Colorado-based company explicitly states,

“We only use full spectrum extracts with all of the flavonoids, phytonutrients, terpenes, and other compounds that are naturally present in the hemp plant.”

They also put their products through third-party testing, which is published on the website to break down all of the ingredients found inside, confirming that they use “full-spectrum hemp extract.”

While it may sound a bit risky to offer “CBD buds,” a quick search will show consumers these kinds of products are not actually offered. Instead, consumers will find similar products, like “hemp flower.” A company called Creatively Branded offers exactly this product, and customer reviews mention us of the product as a source of CBD. The company states that there is a lab test available on their formula, which offers “less than .3% Delta 9.” Delta 9 could be an abbreviation for “Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol,” better known as THC, to show that there is no more than trace amounts of the substance.

The rest of the products that Inquirer.net references can easily be searched online, but consumers need to pursue every research possible to ensure that they get the product they want, regardless of whether it is CBD or hemp.

According to BodyNutrition, an authority on ranking health supplements and CBD oil products, Nutiva Organic Hemp Oil is another one of the products to make the cut with Amazon, as BN refers to it as “the best-selling hemp oil product on Amazon.” The extract is organic and pure and seemingly is exclusively hemp seed oil, so consumers won’t get any CBD out of it.

Other oils listed on the popular review portals as “CBD products” come from Just Hemp Foods, Manitoba Harvest, Dr. Adorable, Eco Finest, Sweet Essentials, Renewalize, Absolute Scientific, EndoCanna Care, and Wise Help. However, consumers will find that five of these formulas are made from hemp seed oil (Dr. Adorable, Sweet Essentials, Just Hemp, Sweet Essentials, EndoCanna Care, and Renewalize). Consumers that want to get the nutritional benefits of hemp oil will appreciate these products, but what about consumers that want CBD.

Realistically, none of these publicly advertise CBD as one of its ingredients. Manitoba Harvest’s Organic Hemp Oil focuses on using the formula for cooking and consumption with its’ Omega-3s and Omega-6s. The oil by ECO Finest has already been removed from Amazon, though it isn’t clear if the platform or the company removed it. Wise Help has managed to stay on with its mint flavor and premium absorbability, adding that it has no THC included, and it promotes everything that CBD does – relaxation, sleep, and pain. However, it doesn’t mention CBD.

Even as quickly as these different platforms are publishing their lists, there are still products being removed. To stay on the good side of Amazon, it looks like hemp seed oils are the only companies that are seemingly safe from the chopping block. However, the number continues to dwindle, so there’s a chance that some of these products may not available for much longer.

Can CBD Oil Realistically Be Purchased on Amazon?

Technically, the answer to this question is no, if the answer is based on the policies of Amazon. However, there is a possibility of merchants carefully listing their products in a way that consumers are still able to get CBD. Always read the labels of the products advertised and perform any further investigations, when possible.

As the 2020 year continues to push the green rush forward, no matter what CBD product type you choose, use or try; always be willing to seek a company's third-party test results and verify the certificate of analysis to gain better clarity what ingredients and dosage potency is contained in the cannabidiol-infused product you try. Once there is an industry standard for CBD product testing and results are made available, buying a true hemp-derived cannabis oil extract in 2020 on Amazon.com may not be the best option until the global marketplace updates its CBD listing policies and vets each brand optimally.

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