Buying Hemp Oil on Amazon: What You Should Know
Buying Hemp Oil on Amazon: What You Should Know
You can’t buy CBD oil on Amazon, but you can buy hemp oil. Learn the difference between the two and make sure you’re making a purchase you won’t regret.
The CBD oil industry is one of the fastest-growing in North America and as such, it should come as no surprise that there are a number of ecommerce sellers on Amazon looking to cash in on the trend.
But before you make a purchase, it’s important to know what you’re buying, whether it’s a legitimate product, and whether or not you’re purchasing it legally.
Can You Buy CBD Oil on Amazon?
In 2018 there were 101 million registered Amazon Prime subscribers in the U.S., and with each one spending an average of $1400 on the site annually, that’s an incredibly valuable market.
Because of this large and loyal audience, many suppliers are trying to get around Amazon’s stringent selling rules, which include the following clause:
Drug listings must not be for controlled substances or products containing controlled substances, such as:
- Products containing cannabidiol (CBD), a Schedule I Controlled Substance, including but not limited to:
- Rich Hemp Oil containing cannabidiol (CBD)
- Full spectrum hemp oil containing cannabidiol (CBD)
So, as long as you’re buying from a legitimate seller on Amazon, you will not be able to buy CBD oil. It’s yet to be seen if/when Amazon will allow the sale of CBD products, but as of this article’s publishing (June 2019), there should be zero products containing any amount of cannabidiol (CBD) for sale.
Still, a search for ‘CBD oil’ brings up thousands of results, mostly for hemp oils and other hemp-derived products.
With the differences between CBD oil and hemp oil largely unclear to most people, some may consider the convenience of expedited shipping to outweigh the potential risks of buying a low-quality or misleading product.
Here’s what you need to know about buying hemp oil on Amazon.
Hemp oil vs. CBD oil: What’s the difference?
As with any relatively new industry, the terminology hasn’t yet found common use amongst all producers and consumers. That being said, there are some marked differences between hemp oil and CBD oil.
CBD oil is created by extracting cannabidiol from the flowers of the hemp plant. CBD oil can be full-spectrum, broad spectrum, or an isolate. A full-spectrum CBD oil contains all of the cannabinoids in the hemp plant, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); a broad spectrum CBD oil contains all the cannabinoids except THC; a CBD oil isolate is just cannabidiol, usually in crystal or powder form, without any other cannabinoids or compounds found naturally in hemp.
Hemp oil is the result of cold-pressing the hemp stems, stalks, and seeds. Hemp seed oil is the result of cold-pressing hemp seeds. Unlike CBD oil, there are no flowers involved in the process which means that the final product is free of cannabinoids. Instead, hemp oil is used for its own beneficial qualities including its ideal 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids, which lends itself well to hair, skin, and heart health.
Amazon’s Policy on Hemp and CBD oil
Clearly, hemp oil and CBD oil are different products. So why is there so much confusion around buying CBD oil and hemp oil on Amazon?
It all comes down to Amazon’s selling policies. Amazon adheres to the DEA guidelines in which it states that any product containing CBD that has not been FDA approved is considered a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance. Other than the pharmaceutical drug Epidiolex, no CBD product has been granted this approval. Based on this fact, Amazon does not allow any CBD oils to be sold on their site.
To get around Amazon’s policy, some sellers are listing their CBD oil as “hemp oil” and avoiding the use of terms like CBD and cannabinoids. While Amazon says they are doing their best to remove these listings, it may be near impossible to keep up with the influx of CBD producers out to make a quick buck off the largest marketplace in the world.
If a CBD oil vendor is willing to bend the truth to get around Amazon’s selling policies, what else are they willing to be dishonest about? For now, it’s wisest to go elsewhere to buy your CBD oil products.
But, if you really are in search of hemp oil, which contains no CBD, Amazon could be a great place to find your ideal product. Before proceeding with your hemp oil purchase, there are a few factors to consider.
Check the Ingredients
Trying to get around Amazon’s rules is one thing, intentionally misleading potential customers is another. It can be dangerous to misrepresent CBD oil. Someone looking to buy a mild tasting hemp cooking oil may not be happy to receive a product high in cannabinoids!
This is why it’s important to read the ingredients on any hemp product you’re considering buying. The fewer the better, especially when choosing hemp oils.
The ingredients should be listed in the product details or in an image of the product. If you can’t find the ingredients, contact the seller. By researching exactly what is in your hemp product, you can easily weed out the legitimate sellers from those who aren’t looking out for the consumer’s best interest.
Research the Seller and Product
Check the internet to see if you can find your hemp product elsewhere. If the brand has its own site, you can further investigate their practices, the way they source their hemp, the CBD and THC content, and the Certificates of Analysis, which are lab reports performed on cannabis products to verify potency and safety.
Reputable brands are likely to organically source their hemp and third-party lab test all extractions to ensure purity. By looking at Certificates of Analysis, you will be able to determine what’s in your hemp and CBD products.
When it comes to buying hemp oils on Amazon, asking for these lab reports will reveal whether there are harmful pesticides, heavy metals, or insecticides present in the product you’re buying. If you are not able to find this information in an online search, reach out to the seller. It is important that you have these details before you make a purchase. If a seller can’t answer you properly, it’s best to move on.
Read the Amazon Reviews and Questions
If you are unsure about a particular product, read through the Amazon reviews and questions.
Reading through the reviews will help you narrow down what people are using the hemp oil for, and give you a good indication of whether it’s a legitimate product and/or seller. Depending on the hemp oil producer, you may find some products are better suited for managing certain ailments than others.
The ‘Customer questions & answers’ section on Amazon listings can be a useful tool for you, too. You can search the questions and answers by keyword to find the information you’re looking for. If nothing comes up, you can ask a question of your own and typically expect an answer back in a day or two. Just remember to take the answers you receive with a grain of salt. There’s a lot of misinformation and confusion around CBD, hemp, and cannabis in general, meaning even the most well-intending answer providers could unknowingly be misleading you.
Know the Laws in Your State
Before you make a purchase of any product, it is important that you understand what is and is not legal in your state. While hemp and CBD oil that contains 0.3% or less THC is legal federally, states still have the final say.
Even if CBD oil is fully legal in your state, you won’t be able to buy your supply on Amazon. Again, Amazon’s selling policies forbid the sale of CBD because of its vague legality in the U.S. Hemp oil containing 0% CBD, on the other hand, is completely fair game for purchase.
If you found this article helpful you may also be interested in:
Looking for CBD oil or hemp oil on Amazon? Make sure you know what you’re buying because things aren’t always what they seem.
Can You Really Buy CBD Oil on Amazon?
Ever searched for CBD oil on Amazon? Yah, us too.
There are hundreds of products that pop up…but they’re generally labeled as “hemp oil extract” or “hemp oil” instead of “CBD oil.”
So what gives? Do these products really contain CBD? Do they actually offer the pain and anxiety relief people are seeking? Can you really buy CBD oil on Amazon?
But there’s a bit of catch.
We’re here to clear up any confusion so if you decide to buy CBD oil on Amazon that you’re getting the real deal.
There’s A LOT of money to be made in the CBD industry right now.
Because CBD isn’t regulated, anyone can pour oil in a bottle, slap a label on it, and claim what’s being sold is CBD.
There are more than a few sneaky salesmen passing off snake oil or sub-par products for what many consumers think is good CBD oil.
So if you do decide to buy CBD oil on Amazon, be sure to keep the following in mind when you do.
Table of Contents
Buying CBD Oil on Amazon
When you do a search on Amazon for CBD oil, you’ll find products labeled as “hemp extract”, “hemp oil”, or “hemp oil extract” but never CBD.
This is because it’s against Amazon’s policy to sell CBD, which is something we’ll get into in a bit.
In order to bypass this rule, sellers don’t exactly disclose that there is actually CBD in their products.
Instead, CBD content is labeled as “hemp extract”…and is something that some of the biggest names in CBD have been doing for years to stay under the radar of strict government control.
“Hemp extract” isn’t some arbitrary term that came out of nowhere.
Companies who use this term are often advised to do so by their legal teams.
CBD oil is indeed made from a hemp extract so the term is not false.
While the purpose of this article is not to provide legal advice, if you are hemp or CBD entrepreneur (which we know many of you are or want to be!) you likely already know the term “hemp extract”.
If you don’t, do your research and talk to a lawyer about the proper labeling for your products.
What exactly is Hemp Extract? Does it Contain CBD?
To the unsuspecting consumer, it can be easy to confuse “CBD oil”, “CBD hemp oil”, “hemp oil”, and “hemp extract.”
To add to the confusion sometimes you will even see “hemp seed oil”. But don’t worry. We are going to clear all that up.
CBD’s extracted from hemp, right? So, shouldn’t any kind of hemp oil contain CBD? Nope, not all. Here’s why.
CBD (cannabidiol) is the most abundant non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis plants and is most abundant in the flowers and leaves, although much lower amounts can also be found in the stems of the plant.
Using various state-of-the-art extraction techniques, CBD is extracted from all these parts of the plant and is what’s responsible for the countless wellness benefits the cannabinoid contains.
While CBD is typically sold under the guise of just that, “CBD oil”, remember that it’s against Amazon’s policy for companies to sell CBD.
Thus the origins of “hemp extract” or “hemp oil extract.” This is CBD under the name of something else. An alias, if you will.
Hemp seed oil (AKA hemp oil), on the other hand, is produced from pressing the seeds of hemp plants.
And while hemp seeds are super nutritious and an awesome food and supplement, they contain insignificant amounts of CBD and other cannabinoids (basically none).
CBD companies don’t make their CBD products and oils from pressing hemp seeds.
They’re using the entire plant, and especially the flowers. Remember, the highest concentration of CBD is found in the flowers of hemp plants.
Hemp seed oil is good for you, but it doesn’t contain the widely-supported benefits of CBD because it isn’t the same thing!
To keep things simple, just think of hemp seed oil as a food product and CBD hemp oil and hemp extract as a supplement.
Can hemp seed oil also be taken as a supplement just like CBD?
Sure, we’ve seen concentrated amounts of hemp seed oil in capsules meant to be taken like one would take an encapsulated fish oil.
There’s some especially exciting potential for hemp seed oil to be able to help people with skin problems like eczema .
But for the most part, the majority of the hemp seed oil is consumed as a food or ingredient in recipes.
What about Amazon’s policy regarding CBD Oil?
Yes, you can legitimately buy CBD oil on Amazon. But there are a few things you need to know.
First of all, Amazon has a policy on CBD products.
According to the Amazon website:
Drug listings must not be for controlled substances or products containing controlled substances, such as:
Products containing cannabidiol (CBD), a Schedule I Controlled Substance, including but not limited to:
Rich Hemp Oil containing cannabidiol (CBD) Products that have been identified as containing CBD by LegitScript.
You can check out Amazon’s policy on CBD and other “drugs and drug paraphernalia” by clicking here . One of the ways sellers get around this is by labeling CBD oil as “hemp extract.”
The loophole exists in the fact that Amazon allows for the sale of hemp products like hemp seed oil, hemp soap, and hemp clothing — so why not “hemp extract” as well?
It’s almost the same thing as hemp seed oil but of course with one important difference — it contains CBD!
Still, there’s no guarantee, and any products sold as “CBD oil” on Amazon could be anything but, and this is where you need to be careful.
Sure, the product you purchased might say it contains 2500 mg of “hemp oil”, but (as you now know), there’s a BIG difference between hemp seed oil and hemp extract (which is really CBD).
The last thing we want is for you to mistakenly purchase one product when you were really going for another.
In order to ensure you’re actually purchasing a product with CBD oil in it, keep the following things in mind:
Make Sure You’re Buying Products with Hemp Extract
Remember that when buying CBD oil on Amazon, it’s most commonly sold under its alias “hemp extract.”
Make sure this is a key ingredient when looking at the label.
Be sure to check on the back of the label if “hemp extract” is actually an ingredient.
It should be clearly displayed under Supplement Facts on the back.
The higher the milligram content of hemp extract in the product, means the higher the amount of CBD.
Check the Milligram Content
Most legit CBD oils on Amazon will have milligram content on the bottle.
This is considered how many milligrams of CBD is in the product, which can help you determine your perfect dosage size.
If the serving size under “Supplement Facts” on the label doesn’t have mgs per serving, move on to another product.
How are you going to determine the dosage if you don’t know the mgs of CBD per dose?
If the product you are looking at on Amazon says hemp oil, and there’s no mention of “mgs” or milligrams on the bottle, it’s very unlikely that the product contains any CBD.
-This is a bottle of food-grade hemp seed oil. Healthy and delicious — but not CBD.
Contact the Seller Directly
Not sure if the product you’re considering is really CBD? Don’t be shy to directly contact the seller and ask. Have their products been 3 rd party tested? Do they really contain actual CBD? What about THC?
Send the seller a message, and they’ll likely get back to you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Getting in touch with the seller and grabbing a lab report is going to be the best way to ensure that the product you are getting is exactly the one you’re after.
Can you buy full-spectrum CBD oil on Amazon?
Full-spectrum CBD is a CBD oil or product that’s not made with only pure CBD.
It contains all the other naturally occurring plant compounds found alongside CBD in hemp.
People seek out full-spectrum CBD oil to get the benefits of not just the CBD, but the other compounds as well.
This is called the entourage effect and it’s well known in the cannabis and CBD communities.
Sellers of CBD certainly may be selling full-spectrum CBD.
You may need to inquire directly with them to ask about this or to see it on the lab report.
One clue for a full spectrum CBD product is if terpenes are listed on the bottle or you see the words “whole-plant extract”.
Look for products that come in a tincture or dropper bottle
What’s the biggest visual difference between a bottle of CBD oil and a bottle of food-grade hemp seed oil?
The bottle itself!
CBD oils tend to come in concentrated small amounts like 1 to 2 oz in a dropper bottle with a pipette at the top for dosing.
Hemp seed oil on the other hand is most often in a bigger bottle of 4 oz or more. It will resemble the same size as an olive oil or avocado oil bottle.
Still confused? Just ask!
Don’t hesitate to reach out to the seller and ask all the questions you need. Feel free to ask them if it’s CBD oil or hemp seed oil that you are buying.
Remember, it’s Amazon. It’s supposed to be easy so don’t overcomplicate things!
If the seller ignores your questions, just move on to another seller who deserves your business more.
But isn’t possible that a product could contain both hemp seed oil and CBD?
Yes, it is! Let’s clarify how that works.
CBD oil is made by suspending a predetermined amount of CBD in a base liquid for ease of oral administration.
The most common base liquid, or sometimes called “carrier oils” (get it? it carries the oil to you) are coconut oil, MCT oil, and last but not least: hemp seed oil or as it’s often called just hemp oil.
If all else fails…
Remember as we said above that a dead giveaway that the product you are looking at is CBD oil and not hemp seed oil, no matter what the label says, is the size and look of the bottle.
If the bottle looks like a small tincture sized bottle of other CBD oils or liquid herbal supplements you’ve seen on the market, that’s probably what it is.
On the other hand, if the bottle looks bigger and taller, and there’s more volume of liquid in it (usually 8 oz or more), that’s hemp seed oil for eating and has no CBD in it.
CBD oils on Amazon simply look as you would expect a supplement to look: you know, small bottle, pipette at the top for drawing up the concentrated liquid, and “Supplement Facts” (not Nutrition Facts) listed on that back of the bottle.
Here’s a quick recap of what to look for if you want CBD on Amazon
♥ Small tincture bottle with pipettes at the top for concentrated oral delivery
♥ “Hemp extract” written on the label
♥ Milligrams per dose clearly written on the label
♥ The sense you should get from a CBD product on Amazon is that it’s a product intended to be a supplement, not a food or recipe ingredient (although people put CBD oil in just about any food or drink!)
♥ Reach out to the seller directly to ask all of your questions and make sure to request 3rd party lab reports for you to examine to see what’s really in the products they’re selling
So Can I Really Buy CBD Oil on Amazon?
But it’s important to keep everything we mentioned in mind.
Don’t be duped by the countless companies trying to pass off a poor quality product to you as CBD.
Read your labels. Make sure the product you’re looking at contains “hemp extract” and read reviews from other buyers.
Are you better off buying CBD in a specialty store or directly from a manufacturer online?
Not only are you going to not be fooled into buying a product that doesn’t contain CBD, but you’re going to get better service.
You’ll also be in no violation of Amazon’s rules.
But not everyone has access to specialty stores. And not every CBD company will ship to states without medical cannabis laws.
-Plus, buying things on Amazon is just so easy and convenient.
To answer the question “can you really buy CBD oil on Amazon?” once and for all: Yes, you can. It’s just not going to be labeled as CBD and you’ve got to look out for imposters.
While it’s unclear what the future holds for CBD oil (and cannabis products in general) on Amazon, what is clear is that the e-commerce giant will stand by federal law for the time being.
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Thanks for your feedback, Jamie. Glad you benefitted from the article 🙂
Love you podcast and thanks so much for this post! I was wondering if there has been any changes in the Amazon policy since the farm bill passed. I feel like I’m seeing a lot more CBD products listed on Amazon. Also, the prices are dirt cheap compared to buying from other distributors. Is this because of competition on Amazon or that they are selling lower quality brands? Thanks again for everything you do.
Great article. We tried listing our product without following what others were doing and weren’t allowed. Other advie If possible look at the seller’s website and search for their lab tests. In our state we are required to have lab work to prove the amount of CBD labeled. We list all of our CBD lab tests, microbial tests, heavy metals test, solvents, and pesticides. This is what you should be looking for. Continue to get the good word out on this wonderful plant.
Hey Paul! Thanks for your comment and for sharing your experience with all of us 🙂
CBD oil tincture has different amounts of it. 500mg, 1000mg and 1500 mg.
How much is right to take?
Hi Jan. Thanks for your question. Most people start with a small amount and then slowly increase the dose only if needed. A good place to start is the serving size of the capsule or CBD oil you are using.
After US farm bill 2018 was passed is Amazon changing their rules in favor of allowing “CBD”?
Hey Ron. Thanks for your great question. As far as we know, Amazon hasn’t changed their rules yet. But I expect they will change in the future.
I hav not received any confirmation about my recent order.
Monday March 4 2019
Hi Patricia. Who did you place your order from? CBD School does not sell any CBD products at this time.
Good article but you didn’t go over the other part of the Amazon problem. There are different grades of hemp extract that contain CBD, you can have 4000mg of Hemp extract but that doesn’t mean it contains close to 4000mg of CBD, full spectrum hemp extract is available commercially in varying grades from as low as 20% CBD. Someone buying a 4000mg bottle could be getting as little as 800mg CBD, this makes a huge difference when trying to compare oils on a price basis. I wouldn’t buy CBD oil on Amazon from a company you cant find for sale outside of Amazon or that doesn’t even have a website. Its a shame because for people looking to experiment with CBD there are so many different companies out there being completely misleading with what they are selling.
Good points, Matt! Thank you for commenting and sharing your thoughts with us 🙂
I bought from Holistapet on Amazon. Same price etc as their web. Bottle came marked as hemp oil and Holistapet does not respond to my questions. Did I get taken?
Hi Bill. Sorry to hear that. Will you tell us a bit more about the product so that we can look into this for you? Thanks
thank you that was really educational. I have heard that hemp oils can be be not Cbd myself but did’t know how to tell. this article needs to be read by many. thanks again.
Hi Karen! Thanks for you feedback. Please let us know if you have any more questions we can help you with 🙂
Great article! Excellent point by Matt, precisely why I found this article. I would just add that the CBD percentage in the extract can be significantly lower than even the 20%, but its probably fair to use that to give a rough idea how much CBD might be in an Amazon product, so divide the claimed percentage by 5!. Claims of up to 60% on Amazon are totally ludicrous, any concentration above 20% CBD become darker very viscous and the CBD starts to crystalize in the bottle! You would need to heat the bottle (which can damage the properties of the carrier oil) to re-liquidize! Also beware of Amazon reviews which are notorious for being fake. As author suggests, contact seller for full data sheets or seek a reputable supplier elsewhere that gives full transparency of information up front.
Hi Lloyd! Thanks for your sharing your feedback! 🙂
CBD is a Schedule V controlled drug according to the FDA.
To date, the agency (FDA) has not approved a marketing application for cannabis for the treatment of any disease or condition. FDA has, however, approved one cannabis-derived and three cannabis-related drug products. These approved products are only available with a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider (Schedule V).
Amazon says it won’t list controlled drugs so technically you can’t list a CBD product…don’t know how they get away with it at present.
Please correct me if I am wrong
Hi Roger. We recommend speaking a lawyer for the most up to date legal advice. Our recommendation is Rod Kight 🙂
Roger, I’m not 100% certain on this, but I’m pretty confident that the difference here (and what makes it legal for people to sell it on Amazon) is that they are ONLY selling Hemp derived CBD vs. Cannabis derived CBD. Hence the “hemp extract” which is why the Farm Bill passing was such a big deal. As far as I’m aware, you can get CBD from both cannabis and hemp, but the hemp is legal federally. The bigger problem that I see is how misleading all of the amazon products are though because of these amazon regulations. All of the bottles I’ve seen only show the amount of “Hemp seed extract” (ex-2,500 mg Hemp Oil Extract) which is just like buying 2,500 mg of orange juice when I’m looking for vitamin c!
While I appreciate the time it took to write this article, there are a few things that make it still a bit confusing for most people who otherwise don’t know too much about CBD (cannabidiol).
I can speak about it because I’ve been writing about it and consuming it for years.
Let me state this unequivocally: there is no CBD oil that is being sold on Amazon, despite what the seller or the reviews may claim the effectiveness is on sleep, anxiety, pain or anything else.
While there are minute amounts of CBD found in the seeds, it’s statistically insignificant that it would produce any kind of medicinal effect, contrary to what the reviewers on Amazon claim.
So there is essentially zero CBD in the products being touted as such in the title of the product on their Amazon product page.
I’ve called Amazon numerous times and complained about this issue, but it seems to fall on deaf ears; they’re making money hand over fist and so are the unethically and morally bankrupt sellers that are selling it to unsuspecting people who are legitimately in pain and suffering and trying to find relief.
I really do wish there was something more I could do, but until Amazon puts more effort into overseeing their products that are fake, mislabeled or otherwise duping consumers, these shady practices will continue.
Another point is that many of the sellers offer a steep discount or a free “CBD oil” product in exchange for a review. This happens too often, so much so, that there are websites, one in particular called Fakespot (I’m not affiliated) that rate the reviews based on an algorithm that spots fake reviews.
Anyone reading this can take a proactive step in keeping themselves from buying fake products on Amazon, not just CBD oil, is to install the Fakespot extension; it rates from A to Z and it’s pretty dead-on. There are a few other fake review spotting extension but this one is a fave of mine.
I hope this info helps.
I received a bottle from a company called “Just CBD “. but the bottle indicates full spectrum MCT oil. Is that different ?
There's tons of CBD oils on Amazon. But is that really CBD oil? Read this article to find out everything you need to know about buying CBD on Amazon.