Amazon Forbids CBD Sale, Here’s Why Hemp is Allowed

The CBD industry is exploding. You can find great CBD quality products online, at retail locations, and even in some grocery stores. One place you can’t find CBD? Amazon, surprisingly.
Written by 
Kaitlin Domangue, Cannabis Writer.
|Last Updated:
Amazon hemp and CBD

Before we explain why, it’s important to explain the difference between CBD and hemp.

One of the most notable things about the hemp plant is its versatility; it’s the reason the plant is beloved by so many people around the world. The CBD industry has grown exponentially, especially in recent years. In 2018, the United States passed the Farm Bill and removed industrial hemp from the Schedule I substance list. This historic move by President Trump’s administration led to a hemp explosion in the United States, which added to the already-existing hemp industry across the globe. While the U.S. produces massive amounts of hemp each year, China remains the top producer of hemp in the world.

We see products all over the place, hemp-derived this and CBD infused that. Do they mean the same thing, what exactly is the difference between the two? Let’s look at it.

What is Hemp?

Hemp is a plant in the cannabis family, just like marijuana is. Hemp and marijuana look virtually the same; their primary difference is the THC content. Industrial hemp is required by law to test out at less than 0.3% THC. If a crop tests “hot”, it must be destroyed and discarded: not to be used or sold.

Hemp has many different purposes commercially, but its primary use is creating CBD products. In addition to CBD products, hemp plants create textiles, wellness products, cooking oils – you name it, someone likely has attempted to make a hemp version before! Hemp plastic is a thing, as well as “hempcrete” – concrete from hemp! The plant is adaptable, versatile, and hardy and comes bursting with untapped potential.

Products that are considered to be hemp, without claiming any sort of CBD content, are typically products made from the leaves and stalks of the plant. Typically, there isn’t much CBD in the leaves and stalks of the hemp plant. Regardless of the CBD content, hemp comes with powerful health and wellness benefits.

What is CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol and it is a compound found in the hemp plant. CBD is classified as a cannabinoid; it exists naturally in cannabis plants – both marijuana and hemp. Hemp-derived CBD is produced by extracting CBD from the flower of the hemp plant, then manufacturing it into a finished product.

CBD is used for a variety of reasons, but some of the most commonly cited reasons include: reducing inflammation, promoting a better night’s rest, enhancing muscle recovery, minimizing stress and anxiety, improving digestion, and boosting the immune system. CBD works with our body because of a system called the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system contains receptors throughout our bodies, called CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are literally everywhere!

You’ll find the CB1 receptors most densely populated in places like the brain stem, the spinal cord, and the nervous system. CB2 receptors tend to hang out in our immune cells and vital organs; they are especially present in the digestive system because we have many immune cells there, too! The endocannabinoid system has been studied for a few decades with some research pointing to its potential to help various conditions.

Amazon and CBD

Amazon forbids the sale of CBD on their website. Their guidelines for selling dietary supplements are pretty strict and one of them is prohibiting the sale of Schedule I controlled substances on their website. CBD is not considered to be a controlled substance so long as it falls under specific guidelines, one being that the plant cannot test out at greater than 0.3% THC. Even though appropriately-sourced CBD is not considered to be a controlled substance, it is much easier for Amazon to forbid the sale of CBD on their website than to comb through hundreds of thousands of retailers to verify their THC content.

To make things extra fun and confusing, even with these rules in place, you can still find hemp-derived products on Amazon. Sellers simply label these products as hemp oil, hemp-derived gummies, etc., careful not to use the term CBD. Because Amazon sellers typically aren’t labeling how much CBD is in each product, it isn’t recommended to purchase your product from the ecommerce giant. Instead, sourcing your CBD products from a private company that is transparent about their lab results, CBD content, and intended use will allow you to experience a much better product. At the very least, you’ll be confident knowing exactly what is in it.

In a Nutshell

To sum it all up, CBD is a compound found in hemp. Hemp is the overall plant and products claiming to be hemp-derived without a CBD content usually are produced from the stalks and leaves of the plant.

Typically, when people are searching for quality CBD products they are doing so for a specific health reason. Like we mentioned earlier, CBD works with our body’s endocannabinoid system to produce the desired health effects we seek. Without CBD, there is no modulation of our endocannabinoid system’s receptors, there isn’t really a therapeutic action taking place. Hemp products may or may not contain CBD; it isn’t worth it to test it just because you want to place your order on Amazon.

Kaitlin Domangue
Kaitlin Domangue
Cannabis Writer
Kaitlin Domangue is a cannabis copy and content writer. She has worked with dozens of amazing brands and companies to create content that drives traffic, educates consumers, and generates sales. In addition to her work with brands, she is gearing up to begin teaching other people how to be a freelance writer. She specializes in producing articles loaded with scientific evidence. Kaitlin is a wife and mother to three daughters, a Christian, and a medical cannabis patient.

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