Amazon is the world’s biggest online shopping destination. With over 2.5 million sellers active on its marketplace, it is easy to understand why people turn to the website when they want to buy anything.
Many customers interested in trying CBD oil for the first time have used Amazon to make their first purchase, and for good reason. Based on a survey of more than 2000+ US customers, 89 per cent of buyers agree that they’re more likely to buy products from Amazon than other e-commerce websites.
To the untrained eye, the website stocks a good range of CBD oils. Do a search on amazon.co.uk for “CBD oil” and you’ll get over 6,000 results for a range of tinctures claiming to have impressive strengths for very attractive prices. A number of the listings feature health benefits often associated with CBD such as pain relief and help with anxiety, hoping to lure shoppers in.
Scratch the surface however and something isn’t right.
Like any global website, Amazon has a comprehensive list of dos and don’ts when it comes to selling. In fact, it has a whole section dedicated to drugs and drug paraphernalia, covering everything from over the counter medicines to dietary supplements. Search for CBD on this page and you’ll find it’s explicitly prohibited:
Examples of prohibited listings
- Cannabinoids including Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
Amazon has every right to decide what it does and doesn’t sell on its website, and it’s clear they don’t wish to sell products containing CBD. So what is in these oils? After hearing from a customer who’d tried an Amazon oil first, one company decided to find out. Using a reagent testing kit on the oil a customer had purchased from Amazon, they compared the CBD content of the Amazon oil to their own lab tested 6 per cent CBD oil.
Shockingly, but not surprisingly, the Amazon oil contained no CBD at all. While the product makes no claims to contain CBD, it does appear in the search results on Amazon for CBD oil. Despite the product containing 0% CBD, and rules forbidding any product that does, Amazon is doing little to distance these misleading products from genuine searches. Amazon even allow paid adverts on their website for these brands against searches for CBD oil, despite the products containing no CBD. leafie approached Amazon for a comment, but at the time of publishing, we had not received a reply.
Amazon might not be taking an ethical approach to CBD oil, but many of the UK’s leading brands are. We asked Sam, director of Bnatural CBD, what customers should look out for when buying genuine CBD products. He replied: “Consumers should always look for reputable suppliers, ensure the business is registered with a trade association, as this means they have gone through the relevant checks to ensure compliance.”
Unlike products on Amazon, sellers and companies should be using party laboratories to verify the contents of their products. Sam added: “Always ask for lab reports which should be readily available for you to see. Most transparent suppliers will have them on their website. If not then just email them to ask, they should send them straight away.”
While it’s unfortunate that Amazon is profiting from the increased demand for CBD without actually selling the product, it’s encouraging to see the industry doing all it can to ensure its customers aren’t left feeling disappointed.