Amazon controls nearly 40% of all e-commerce in the United States and conducts more consumer searches than Google.
Its official policy prohibits the sale of hemp products containing CBD/cannabinoid, but search the term “CBD” in Amazon’s search engine and more than 10,000 products will match your request. Dedicated to empowering conscious consumer choices with natural and organic products, Organic & Natural Health Association put Amazon’s bestseller, New Age Premium Hemp Oil to the test by hiring an independent, third-party lab, Alkemist Labs that has experience testing for the presence and levels of cannabinoids. After testing a sample of New Age Premium Hemp Oil 1000 MG, Alkemist Labs report shows 7.7 mg of CBD per 30 drops, which is equivalent to 1%.
“It’s being really important for consumers to know that because Amazon doesn’t allow the sale of products with CBD, there are no reputable companies selling CBD on their site,” said Karen Howard, CEO and executive director of Organic & Natural Health. “Amazon allows companies to tag products with whatever words they choose and they also allow them to purchase CBD ads. This is what populates so-called CBD products on Amazon when consumers search for them, but it’s very misleading.”
“Amazon is not a retailer you should be making quality CBD purchases from, and if you do, then you are likely overpaying for low-quality supplements.”
Howard says her organization started looking into Amazon’s CBD selling practices when reputable supplement companies were being denied by Amazon to sell CBD/cannabinoid or full-spectrum hemp oil. If a company attempts to list a CBD/cannabinoid or full-spectrum hemp oil product on Amazon’s site, it will get rejected with a redirect to its drug and paraphernalia policy and the following statement from Amazon: “This product has been identified as a prohibited CBD/cannabinoid product. Items containing CBD/cannabinoid or full-spectrum hemp oil, including topical products, are prohibited from listing or sale on Amazon.”
“So basically, Amazon states it has banned the sale of CBD supplements on its site, but allows advertising and tagging of CBD instead, inviting an influx of products to consumers that the FDA has been warning about,” said Howard whose organization also tested three other hemp oils being sold on Amazon, and did not detect any CBD. “Essentially, the public is being defrauded twice. First, Amazon’s bestseller, New Age Premium Hemp Oil contains CBD even though its label does not list CBD. Second, those searching for CBD products are being misled into buying products containing zero CBD.”
Howard says label claims made on New Age Premium Hemp Oil are also illegal, listing that the product works to: “Naturally Relieve Aches and Pains, including Multiple Sclerosis Pain, Neuropathic Pain, Osteoarthritis Aches, Sore Muscles, Runner’s Knee and Joints, Neck and Back Pain.” Testing laboratory Alkemist Labs is ISO 17025 accredited and specializes in plant authentication, botanical ingredient identification, and quantitative analytical services to the food and beverage, nutraceutical and cosmeceutical industries. They use High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to test products; a technique for separating, identifying and quantifying compounds that are present in a sample. Howard says more testing is required to determine the source of the CBD and whether or not it is synthetic.
In recent statements, Amazon has been vocal about prohibiting the sale of counterfeit products, telling USA TODAY that, “Amazon strictly prohibits the sale of counterfeit products. We invest heavily in prevention, take proactive steps to drive counterfeits to zero, and work with and empower brands through programs like Brand Registry, Transparency and Project Zero.”
“We will continue our analysis of these products on Amazon’s site. Without any requirement for GMPs, consumers are running the risk of consuming products adulterated with processed oils, and we also know synthetic cannabinoid is in the market. If we were able to easily find CBD in Amazon’s bestseller hemp oil, it’s anyone’s guesses what the other products contain or which ones are adulterated,” said Howard. “This deception Amazon is spoon-feeding consumers on CBD is highly irresponsible to millions of Americans in search of legitimate CBD supplements to help specific health ailments including stress, sleep, and pain.”