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Considering the massive entity that is the Amazon marketplace, it probably won’t come as much of a surprise to learn that the online retail giant has dipped its toes into the hemp oil market. But are these CBD oils the same kind of thing that you’d find in a medical cannabis dispensary?
It’s evident that the increase in CBD oil use over the past couple of years has given rise to dozens of new Amazon vendors, so as a consumer, you need to make sure you know how to identify and pick out a quality CBD oil – something that is safe, laboratory tested, and that will actually work for the reasons you’re buying it.
In this article, we talk about what these Amazon CBD (hemp) oils are, whether they’re therapeutically effective, and whether or not they even contain any CBD. First, though, let’s take a look at some of the variations that exist between different types of cannabis and hemp oils.
What’s the Difference Between Hemp Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, and CBD Oil?
Basically, there are two different types of CBD oils: ones that are made from marijuana, and ones that are made from hemp. Since both marijuana and hemp are types of cannabis plants, this has created a fair amount of confusion in terms of naming and product labeling.
In short, CBD oils made from hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC – this is why many CBD oil companies claim to be able to legally ship to all 50 U.S. states – because their products are hemp-derived. In contrast, cannabis CBD oils (that you’d find in places like medical marijuana dispensaries) may have a much higher THC content given that they are made from marijuana (which by definition has greater than 0.3% THC) rather than hemp.
CBD oils made from hemp and CBD oils made from marijuana have both been shown to produce therapeutic benefits, including helping relieve pain and anxiety, helping with sleep issues, etc. So where do CBD oils on Amazon fall?
Understanding How “CBD Oil” on Amazon Works
If you go to the Amazon website and do a search for ‘CBD oil,’ you’ll get thousands and thousands of results – most of which are advertised as “hemp oil supplements.” However, click on a few of the products and you’ll notice one thing that’s glaringly evident; none of them mention anything about CBD.
Rather, what most of these oils appear to be are extracts of the hemp seed. As we mentioned earlier, CBD oil can be made from either hemp or marijuana cannabis plants. No matter which plant they come from, however, they must be made using the flowers, leaves, stem and stalks of the plant, as these are the parts where the CBD compound is actually located.
Hemp seeds, on the other hand, do not contain CBD. And if you look closely, you’ll see that most “CBD oils” on Amazon are actually hemp seed oils.
While hemp seeds are incredibly nutritious and advantageous in their own right (we’ll talk more about this below), they are most certainly not the same thing as a CBD oil – hence the reason why none of the product descriptions on Amazon mention anything about CBD content.
Furthermore, it appears that Amazon is quite strict with their policy in regards to CBD oil, or anything cannabis-related for that matter. While hemp is indeed a legal substance now in the U.S., CBD is still defined federally as an extract of marijuana, meaning it is illegal.
While dozens and dozens of retailers across the U.S. are actively selling and marketing “CBD hemp oils” that are legal in all 50 states, a massive global entity like Amazon is not going to jeopardize their legal status until it is 100% clear that CBD is a federally-approved substance.
So in short, it appears that CBD oils for sale on Amazon are actually hemp seed oils – not the same thing at all as a true CBD oil.
We Analyzed Four of the “Best” CBD Oils on Amazon, and…
In order to show you what we’re talking about when we say that CBD oil on Amazon is actually hemp seed oil as opposed to real CBD oil, we selected four top-selling products from a simple ‘CBD oil’ search. Of the four, three of them explicitly stated that the oil was made from seeds:
- “Each serving contains 83.3mg of our high quality, premium hemp seed oil supplement…”
- “Best Natural Hemp Seed Oil – Premium Colorado Seed Extract…”
- “BEST HEMP SEED OIL – Truly the best hemp seed oil for pain relief and anxiety since it targets the neurons and receptors for stress and tension…”
The only one that didn’t explicitly say it was made from hemp seeds made no reference whatsoever to the actual CBD content. It said “800mg,” but this could be 800mg of anything — just because a hemp oil says it is 800mg, certainly doesn’t mean that’s the amount of CBD that’s in the bottle.
In conclusion, in our opinion, it’s best to not buy CBD oil on Amazon as you’re not actually getting CBD. Rather, we’d shop around and look for a product that actually has a lab-verified CBD content. There are dozens of companies that sell online to all 50 states, that can actually verify both purity and CBD content.
From what we can tell, if you get a “CBD hemp oil” on Amazon what you’re actually getting is a hemp seed oil. While it may be nutritionally beneficial, you’re (probably) not going to be feeling any therapeutic benefits in the form of pain relief, anxiety relief, etc.
So Are Amazon “Hemp Oils” Any Good?
To clarify, we have not specifically ordered or tried any of the hemp oils for sale on Amazon, so we’re certainly not saying that they don’t work or that they’re not any good. What we can say, though, just by reading through the product descriptions, is that they don’t appear to be actual CBD oils.
Additionally, here are a couple real customer reviews that we pulled from Amazon product pages in order to help emphasize our opinion:
- “Beware! This product has for the first ingredient grape seed oil, in my book that’s not 99.9 percent pure [hemp oil]. they fool you with the advertising. I won’t order this again.”
- “This is a SCAM!! This is hemp oil and grape seed oil.. grape seed is the number 1 ingredient!! Hemp oil is $9.00 for 16oz at any us health food store and DOES NOT CONTAIN CBD OIL OR THE BENEFITS OF CBD !!”
To calrify, we are not trying to bash these products or say that every hemp oil on Amazon is garbage. Our goal is simply to inform you as a potential consumer what you should be looking out for when purchasing oils.
CBD oil – that is to say real, quality CBD oil – is an amazing therapy that’s helped thousands upon thousands of people with their medical ailments. We don’t want anyone getting turned off from it or getting a bad impression of it after buying a cheap Amazon hemp oil that doesn’t actually have any CBD in it.
…Don’t Forget About the Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds Themselves!
It is worth noting though, that hemp seed oil actually does have plenty of health benefits on its own. For example, it is rich in healthy fats and essential fatty acids, including Omega-3 and Omega-6 acids. It can also be a good source of protein, and is known to contain high amounts of vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc.
Final Thoughts on “Real” CBD Oil vs. Amazon Hemp Oil
So in summary, as far as we can tell there are not any “real” CBD oils for sale on Amazon. What these products seem to be are hemp seed oils that come from the seeds of the cannabis plant, and thus contain virtually no cannabinoids.
The products are also very careful about not using other cannabis-related words like ‘THC,’ ‘cannabinoids,’ ‘medicine,’ ‘therapy,’ and so on.
Based on our research, most “CBD oils” on Amazon are actually hemp seed oils — not the same thing in the slightest.
Even though many companies are selling CBD oil in the U.S., it is our opinion that Amazon (and other big corporations like CVS and Walmart) will not be doing so until CBD is 100%-beyond-the-shadow-of-a-doubt legal.
In order to get a true, quality CBD oil you’ll have to either get a medical marijuana card and buy from a dispensary, or order online from a quality manufacturer that offers lab-verified CBD content (see the table below for a few reputable brands).
- Full-spectrum Hemp extract
- No pesticides, solvents or chemical fertilizers
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Price Range ($48.00 – $139.00)
- Maximum potency and purity
- Compounded by a licensed pharmacist
- Highly concentrated extraction process
- Price Range ($26-$169)
- Full-Spectrum Extract (Made in USA)
- 100% Natural and Organic
- Contain no artificial flavors or preservatives
- Prices range ($48-$125)
- CBDPure uses a chemical-free CO2 extraction process
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Certified hemp grown in Colorado
- Price Range ($29.99 – $79.99)
- Over 5 Years Experience
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Organic hemp CO2 extract tincture
- Price Range ($62.00 – $204.00)