Amazon CBD Oil Isn't What You Think

By Melena Gurganus
Christian Wiediger, Unsplash
Christian Wiediger

Hemp-derived CBD oil is widely available across the country. However, Amazon does not allow for the sale of any product containing CBD. When you search for “CBD oil” on, you’ll find results from third-party sellers that are highly misleading to consumers. If you are looking specifically for CBD oil products, you won’t find any. Instead, you’ll likely come across other products on Amazon that are sourced from industrial hemp but do not contain CBD. 

You want to buy CBD online from a reputable brand and exercise caution. Read the full description to see what extracts are actually in the product before you purchase.

CBD Oil on Amazon Is Misleading

You can’t buy CBD oil on Amazon, but you can find ambiguous products labeled as “hemp oil” that are being sold. It’s important to note that any hemp oil sold on Amazon is typically “hemp seed oil,” which is not the same as CBD oil. 

Note: Any products that contain CBD and are for sale on Amazon are doing so under the table. This also means that these products are even less regulated than traditional CBD oils.

Hemp oil and CBD oil are both derived from hemp plants, but they are extracted from separate parts of the crop and have different chemical compositions. Hemp seed oil contains no cannabidiol (CBD), and it’s made by cold pressing hemp seeds only. When CBD oil is created, beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes are extracted from the flowers of the plants.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about CBD and hemp, and these hemp seed oils only add to the confusion. Many hemp oil product descriptions on Amazon make overarching medicinal claims that these extracts can aid in pain relief, sleep, anxiety reduction, and other health advantages. This seems inaccurate, since hemp seed oil has not been proven to elicit such effects. These broad assertions make it seem as though hemp seed oils on Amazon contain CBD, which is widely known for its potential symptom relief and health benefits. 

When you read the fine print, many of these hemp products do state that they are made from hemp seed oil, yet it is often not disclosed whether or not CBD is an active ingredient. Amazon customers frequently have to ask specifically if a product contains CBD in the reviews/Q&A section for clarification.

Although it’s not CBD, hemp seed oil does have some wellness benefits. It’s a good source of protein, and offers nutritional value as it is rich in vitamin E and fatty acids like omega-6 and omega-3. These nutrients may aid in heart health, skin conditions, and even inflammation, but many hemp oil products on Amazon tout their ability to treat a wider array of symptoms—those that are typically associated with CBD rather than hemp seed extracts. 

Amazon also employs the use of disclaimers that absolve their company from receiving any blame in regards to ingredient lists and product descriptions of third-party sellers.

Related: Don’t buy CBD gummies on Groupon

Why Amazon Does Not Sell CBD

Although hemp seed oil is permissible, Amazon categorizes CBD as a Schedule I Controlled Substance since it is extracted from hemp, a sub-strain of cannabis plants. Amazon is abiding federal regulations. But industrial hemp is broadly legal in the United States, and CBD derived from these crops is legal to produce and sell. Regardless, selling CBD oil on Amazon is not allowed, as the commerce giant explicitly states in their outline of restricted products.

If you want genuine CBD products, it’s best to buy from trusted brands rather than large online marketplaces like Amazon.

What to Look for In a Real CBD Brand

CBD has become increasingly popular within the past few years. Many brands and products have emerged that make it difficult to discern who sells high quality CBD, and who is trying to make a quick buck. Here are a few things to look for when assessing whether or not the CBD company is legitimate and credible:

  • American grown hemp—With recent legislation changes that allow farmers to cultivate hemp in several states, we recommend buying CBD products from companies that use hemp grown on U.S. soil. Foreign-sourced hemp has been used for many years, but it’s hard to determine exactly where the hemp extracts are coming from, or if the crops were planted good soil conditions.
  • Third-party lab testing—Before you buy from any CBD company, make sure you can readily find or request lab test results for their CBD products performed by a third-party lab. These tests search for the presence of any harmful solvents, pesticides, and heavy metals. They also determine the amount of CBD and other cannabinoids within a product.
  • Full spectrum vs. isolate—Once it’s extracted from hemp, CBD oil can be distilled to form an isolate. Isolate products only contains cannabidiol with no other hemp extracts. Alternatively, there are full spectrum hemp oils. When a CBD product is labeled as full spectrum, it contains other terpenes and cannabinoids that may produce an “entourage effect.” This allows multiple cannabinoids to work together for a synergistic effect on the endocannabinoid system.

Don’t Believe Everything You Read Online

Amazon is only one of many online sellers that creates confusion within the CBD market. It’s best to do your research before buying any product that claims to be hemp or CBD oil. When looking at hemp oil on Amazon, or authentic CBD oil from other sites, it’s important to remember that neither of these products have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This does not mean that hemp extracts are harmful, but that their health claims have not been studied nor confirmed. To find CBD oil from the best brands, check out our buyer’s guide.

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