As a long time organic manufacturer, we keep our ears to the ground when it comes to what is happening in the organic marketplace and support organizations like the Organic Consumers Association who fight to protect access to true organic products. A recent report from this excellent non-profit caught our eye.
Apparently, Amazon customers are being ripped off in droves by fake CBD products being peddled by the online retail giant. Here's how the scam works.
Officially, Amazon does not allow the sale of CBD products on its site due to fears that sellers will sneak products containing federally illegal amounts of THC into its sales pipeline. The official Amazon policy reads, "Items containing CBD/cannabinoid or full spectrum hemp oil, including topical products, are prohibited from listing or sale on Amazon." However, if you search for "CBD" on Amazon, it will return listings for about 10,000 products. What gives?
While Amazon will reject a product that is listed outright as containing CBD, it allows a convenient loophole. All a merchant has to do is list the product as "hemp oil" or "hemp extract" and then use the tag "CBD." The product will then conveniently pop up when a consumers searches for CBD leaving customers with the misleading impression that they are purchasing products that contain CBD.
Manufacturers further exploit this loophole by advertising the milligrams in their gummies or tinctures despite the fact that those milligrams are not milligrams of CBD! They even go so far as to promote their products for "pain," "insomnia," "anxiety," or "stress relief," issues that people commonly turn to CBD for help with, when, in fact, there's nothing about hemp oil that addresses those concerns. The only thing these products have in common with real CBD products is the price!
Unbelievably, Amazon even allows sellers to purchase ads targeting customers searching for the term "CBD." Those sponsored ads pop up at the top of a search for "CBD" on Amazon. So, for a fee, Amazon will look the other way while allowing its customers to be mislead into buying products that Amazon knows contain no CBD whatsoever because CBD is prohibited for sale on Amazon.
It's impossible to know how many tens or even hundreds of thousands of Americans are being ripped off by this scam while Amazon continues to look the other way, enabling the retail giant to collect its 15% commission on drastically overpriced hemp oil.
In addition to the money wasted, customers also have the added insult of getting a product that doesn't and cannot help with their health and wellness concerns. Someone who could be aided in getting a restful night of sleep with genuine CBD will, after trying the fake version, wrongly conclude that CBD doesn't do anything. This hurts people who could otherwise benefit from CBD. It also hurts the nascent industry of honest players who are genuinely trying to do the right thing by offering lab tested products that really do contain what they say they do such as our sister site, Kai's Organics.
The moral of the story: don't buy CBD products on Amazon! Make sure you buy from a reputable company that can show you lab tests to prove the CBD content in their products.
Please join us in signing the Organic Consumers Association petition asking for Amazon to discontinue these deceptive practices!
You can sign the petition here: