Sell CBD Online – E-commerce Guide

8 September 2020

While many people are ordering eCommerce CBD websites to sell cannabis products online, the trick is to do it profitably. This guide aims to tell you how you can profit from this global trend amidst the competition. While we don’t profess to be legal experts, we take you through some of the legal pitfalls to be aware of so that your online CBD business can be completely above-board. Remember, CBD isn’t yet legal in all fifty states in the US.

Firstly, let’s have a quick recap of what CBD actually is

CBD means cannabidiol. It comes from the hemp or marijuana plant, so it’s a natural product. CBD does not make you “high” like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). And it’s also not addictive. While there are many untrue claims made about it, like “it cures cancer” (it doesn’t), there’s no doubt that it is effective for anxiety, insomnia, long-term pain, and more. It can be added to foods like smoothies or to cosmetic items like body lotions.

The market for it is rapidly increasing

From July last year, cannabis in one form or another was legalized in thirty-three US states. Canada has also legalized it. This means ever-increasing consumer demand for CBD products. In fact, the North American market accounted for over 40% of the 2018 global share. The entire CBD trade is expected to reach over $20 billion by the end of this year.

CBD is popular for various reasons across different demographics.

  • It’s suitable for many different applications so it appeals to a wide number of people.
  • CBD derived from hemp is especially popular. There are product ranges to suit everyone such as pet food fortified with it to soft drinks and cosmetics. Selling these presents a huge business opportunity for entrepreneurs.
  • During the current Covid-19 pandemic, initial research seems to show that CBD helps reduce some of the inflammation in coronavirus patients’ lungs. It’s also said to help with immune function. This is going to make it a hugely popular complementary medicine in the coming days.
  • CBD comes in a variety of types to appeal to various customers. For instance, they can purchase the cold-pressed seed oil, the purified isolate (contains just CBD and no other cannabinoids), and even full-spectrum CBD oil (contains all the cannabinoids found in the plant) and more.
  • It is easier now for people to obtain CBD. Because it is no longer a controlled substance and is sold online, people are more inclined to try it because they don’t have to go looking for a brick-and-mortar store. In certain states, they can even ask their doctors to recommend it as medicine.
  • A breakthrough for the industry came in 2018 when the so-called “Farm Bill” changed the Controlled Substances Act. The definition of marijuana now excludes hemp.
  • There is no longer a negative connotation surrounding CBD products. Before, it was associated with Rastas and hippies smoking marijuana but now it’s more often associated with a healthy, natural lifestyle. More and more Americans are calling for the legalization of cannabis with over 60% of Americans in favor.

CBD and the law

Be sure to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the industry and the law to make sure your online CBD trading is legal where you live. You don’t want to end up paying hefty penalties or worse. The answer to the question, “Is CBD currently legal?” depends on where you live, what CBD extract you want to sell online (marijuana or hemp – you can only sell hemp-based CBD products online) and the type of products you intend selling.

Some states still forbid the sale and use of CBD while others control the kinds of products that may be sold. Some states insist on special permits.

When you create your online CBD business, it’s vital that you set it up to be totally in line with each state’s regulations. One way of doing this is to enforce shipping restrictions.

Be very careful about what claims you make in your marketing. Although many of your products will probably have the purpose of treating or relieving various physical complaints, you are not allowed to make health claims that cannot be proven.

CBD products derived from hemp have to be labeled and marketed in line with the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The rules change depending on whether the product is classified as a foodstuff, supplement, etc.

How to sell CBD products safely online

  1. Be aware that some platforms don’t allow CBD to be advertised. However, there are several that do.
  2. As with any online business, search engine optimization (SEO) is a proven and essential method if you want to grow. It aids search engines and potential customers to find your site effortlessly. The increased traffic will soon convert to orders and profit. To reel in your target audience and build traffic to your site, be attentive to the keywords you use in content and meta tags.
  3. Some of the main advertising platforms like Google Ads prohibit the advertising of CBD products. While this may change in the future, at the moment it’s a good idea to rely on creating great content. Use content in things like blog posts to educate your target audience about how they can incorporate CBD products into their lives and what the benefits will be. Think about bringing your audience articles simplifying the research on CBD, how it works when it’s in cosmetics, and what physical issues it can help. There’s a vast number of potential article subjects to keep your audience interested and get them to order.
  4. Go to some of the trade shows and meet others in the business. Networking will give you fresh ideas and help you build new contacts. You’ll grow your market this way too and be able to check out the competition. This will help you to find a unique niche for yourself as you contribute something a little different from everyone else.
  5. Affiliate marketing is always an option. Using affiliate marketing you can earn commission by marketing other companies’ CBD products. Find products that resonate with the online image you want to project for your company and market those. Alternatively, do it the other way around and establish a team of affiliates to promote your product. Studies show that more than half of all affiliate-referred traffic is routed via mobile. This makes it highly beneficial for those who want to sell CBD online.
  6. Influencers are the latest thing in authentic marketing. Around two-thirds of social-media users engage with influencers daily. The influencer market is growing rapidly and projections estimate it will be worth almost $10 billion in just two years’ time. A respected influencer can help you drive traffic towards your store and help you sell CBD online.

To end

Of course, there are many other ways to optimize how you sell CBD online, but hopefully, this gives you a good overview. Remember, over 60 million people in the US say that they have tried CBD in some form in the last couple of years. This is an expanding target market for your CBD products. Stay current with industry developments and legislation and you won’t go wrong. We wish you all the best!

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