In this complete guide, we'll walk you through all legal aspects of selling CBD on Shopify, how to build a CBD store on Shopify, with the best marketing practices and examples for your inspiration. Ever since Shopify began allowing the sale of hemp-derived CBD and CBD related products a few months ago, we’ve seen an explosion of CBD stores on the Launching a Shopify CBD store seems like a natural choice for hemp entrepreneurs, but there are a few things you need to know before selling CBD on Shopify.
Shopify CBD stores: Templates, Best Practices and Tutorial
In recent years, CBD has become increasingly popular on e-commerce sites and it is gradually becoming a familiar product for the average person.
According to Gallup, more than 64% of Americans had heard of CBD in 2019, and about 64 million Americans have tried CBD in the last two years. It can be said that this is a robust booming market, especially in the US. According to Cowen, the US’s CBD market is estimated to reach $16 billion by 2025.
CBD’s benefits are increasingly recognized by experts, and it’s gradually becoming commonplace for it to be consumed. Along with that, the number of people trying CBD for the first time is also increasing dramatically. This is a perfect time for you to enter this market. You can quickly start to sell CBD products by opening a Shopify CBD store.
However, selling CBD is a high risk business. It’s a new type of product with unclear legislation. If you violate the rules when selling, it can lead to serious consequences like your store being shut down.
If you are researching for or want to enter this niche, this article will give you a quick overview of the CBD market and how you can use Shopify to sell hemp derived CBD products.
01. What Is CBD?
People often don’t distinguish between hemp and CBD, with marijuana.
So we will start by determining the differences between these two substances. CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the more than 85 most common chemical compounds found inside the resin gland of female hemp (cannabis).
The difference between CBD and marijuana is that CBD products don’t contain any THC (the ingredient that makes you high) like marijuana. CBD has absolutely no effects on the user’s nerves and doesn’t intoxicate you.
Cannabidiol is known for its therapeutic properties. CBD oil has a wide range of benefits to relieve symptoms associated with inflammation, anxiety, depression, pain, and epilepsy.
However, many CBD uses have not yet been validated by the FDA, and CBD’s effects on people can vary, so be careful when advertising about its benefits.
There are different types of hemp derived CBD products and several great ways to use them. Depending on the method and dosage used, each customer will have his or her own preference. You can find the following CBD on the market:
Each type of CBD will have different dosages and effects on each person. You should provide customers enough information about each so they can make the best choice.
There is currently only one CBD-based and FDA-licensed drug. It’s Epidiolex, the first and only hemp derived CBD product to be certified by the FDA.
Selling hemp and CBD is a high-risk business so if you see an FDA logo on other products, then be careful because this is likely an untrustworthy one and the business is using false advertising tactics.
02. Can CBD Be Sold On Shopify?
In 2019, Shopify began supporting the sale of hemp and hemp-derived cannabidiol products. However, Shopify currently only supports the hemp and CBD market in the US (maybe Canada), so for now, you can only have a Shopify CBD business in this market..
CBD is legal to buy, sell, and use in a limited number of countries and territories around the world.
The Farm Bill 2018 Act passed by the US Department of Agriculture state that: hemp is clearly defined as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
Hemp is also removed from the CSA, which means that cannabis or derivatives with a THC of less than 0.3% will no longer be substances enforced under federal law.
To have a legal CBD business in the US, the CBD in your product must be extracted from female hemp and have less than 0.3 THC%. However, this law may differ in some countries and some states.
For example, in the UK, CBD must be THC-free and extracted from industrial hemp to be legal. In other EU countries, the THC level must be at 0.2% or less. In Switzerland, this figure is reduced to 0.1%.
CBD products extracted from marijuana and with a THC concentration more than 0.3% are illegal under the Controlled Substances Act since the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug. In DEA parlance, that means the administration believes it has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”
If you are in a country outside the US, you should research the market and the laws since CBD is still being assessed as an illegal product in many countries.
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03. Can I Dropship CBD?
It is possible to dropship CBD products in the US market. In order to do this, merchants will have to find suppliers to partner with.
One caveat when you open a CBD dropshipping store is the quality of the supplier’s product. Make sure the quality is good and safe before it goes on sale in your store.
Check out Dropified – a CBD Dropshipping app that will handle all the heavy works for you.
04. How to market CBD products
The most important thing about when you start selling CBD is marketing. This is a commodity that has been legalized in many states of the US, however, you still cannot freely advertise them online because marketing channels like Facebook or Google will always have their own rules and policy to prevent it.
As a merchant, you’ll need some tips to promote your Shopify CBD store.
4.1. Focus on blogging and SEO.
In addition to advertising on paid channels, you should take advantage of organic traffic from SEO. Having blogs on your site can help customers learn about your brand and choose what right for them.
4.2. Don’t run ads directly to your product page.
Put the link to your landing page on your blog. Although hemp-derived CBD has been legal since the 2018 Farm Bill, channels like Facebook and Google still consider them illegal products. Their policies on advertising CBD have left many merchants feeling confused.
CBD is not mentioned on Facebook’s Advertising Policies page, but is still included in its prohibited items. In its recent announcements, Facebook has taken steps to loosen its ban on advertising for these products.
Specifically, the social network now allows shop owners to run ads about ingestible hemp and topical CBD. At the same time direct these ads to sites with Hemp or CBD content.
However, you will not be allowed to use CBD pages as your ad’s landing page. Instead, you should send visitors to your blog pages and use them like a landing page for the products.
4.3. Influencer Marketing
This is a well-suited marketing method to bypass the ban on CBD products. When choosing to buy, customers will try to find stores with a well-known brand and reputation.
Using influencers will quickly increase your store’s trustworthiness. When you choose the right influencer, you can also find more leads with a smaller budget than paid advertising.
4.4. Native Advertising
Native advertising is where your ads will blend into the website’s interface, creating a more natural feeling for users. This form of marketing is often targeted at customers who have heard of CBD and want more information about it.
4.5. Social Media
While running paid ads on Facebook or Instagram is limited, this is still a great marketing channel to reach customers on CBD groups. Social media is the perfect place for potential customers to find the information they need through tons of groups about CBD or Hemp.
Becoming active in those groups can raise awareness of your brand. Remember to focus on sharing knowledge and provide help to your customers, since the ultimate goal is to make your brand trustworthy.
4.6. Affiliate networks
This can give your brand more coverage. However, you need to develop a good relationship with affiliate brands because they will be promoting your brand to customers.
CBD is relatively new in the online market and there is still false and inaccurate information about it on the Internet.
Be careful your affiliates don’t share false information or violate the terms of social media platforms or the law when advertising your brand. Education and training is important for your affiliates.
4.7. Email marketing
This is an old marketing style, but still one of the best methods for promoting CBD. By combining pop-ups with lead magnets and discounts, you can convince customers to fill out your form.
4.8. Lead Magnets
These are instrumental in collecting emails while also sharing knowledge about CBD to consumers. By sharing product-related documents, PDFs or helpful videos you can push people closer to making the final purchase decision,
Podcasts: Let them hear your voice. Podcasts are one of the best ways to build trust with your customers simply by having conversations with them. Usually a podcast will specialize in a certain topic, so advertising on podcasts can help you directly reach people interested in CBD and hemp.
Some 55% of the US population has heard of podcasts. They’re a marketing channel that Shopify CBD online store owners should not ignore.
Don’t false advertise. There are many different CBD retailers that advertise divine effects like cancer treatment, or other benefits that have not been confirmed by the FDA. If these cases are found, Shopify will remove the store immediately.
05. Successful Shopify CBD stores – Case Study
Many stores are selling CBD on Shopify. Among those stores is Cannuka, a store famous for its products focused on health and beauty such as eye balm, lip balm, cleansing body bars, and face cream. Let’s look at Cannuka’s Shopify store and find out how they designed it to boost CBD sales.
Cannuka’s homepage shows benefits of their products, as well as educational information about the them to help customers trust the store and choose the product that suits them best.
Cannuka’s footer has links to FAQ, returns and shipping information, and the ingredients used in their products.
They also have a statement about the FDA at the bottom of the footer to confirm that their products have not been approved by the FDA and will not necessarily treat unrelated diseases.
Cannuka’s product page has useful elements such as product description, usage, benefits, and ingredients, providing complete details. The reviews on the page also contribute to confirm the quality and reliability of the brand.
Cannuka puts a lot of emphasis on the ingredients in their products. They even have a dedicated page showing information on each one. On this page, Cannuka provides information that users should know about CBD, Manuka honey, and other ingredients in their products. This helps them build trust.
06. How To Build A Shopify CBD Store
61. Start with Shopify
With Shopify officially supporting CBD stores since 2019, they’ve quickly become the top choice for many large and small CBD brands. You can easily open a Shopify CBD store online at a low cost – it’s completely free for the first 14 days.
6.2. Submit An Attestation
If in the US, you will need to submit an Attestation for the Sale of Hemp and Hemp-Derived Products. You can only see this page if your Shopify store is in the US.
If you are in another country or territory, you will be bound by the laws and policies there. For example, if you are in Canada, you will need a license to sell cannabis, as well as a Shopify Plus store, to be able to sell CBD online.
6.3. Set Up Payment
Although Shopify has support for stores that sell CBD, the Shopify payments system doesn’t support these products. Shopify Payments/Stripe, Square and Paypal are great for many sites, but when it comes to CBD sales, you need to get another Payment processor.
To be able to sell CBD on Shopify, you must use payment gateways from third party payment processor:
By having fully integrated with Shopify, DigiPay offer Shopify sellers streamlined CBD payment processing with great flexibility for business of all size, its features include, but not limited to:
- Fast-track approval
- Full credit card suite
- Powerful protection and vetted security
eMerchant Brokers has also partnered with Shopify to save merchant’s time with their CBD payment processor. To get a full understanding of how they can help Shopify sellers, you would need to fill in an application form.
Besides, if you want to use a different third party payment gateway, then it must:
- Be integrated with Shopify
- Support buying, exchaging, selling hemp, CBD & hemp related items.
Note that, due to American laws, class all CBD products as a narcotic, which means that Paypal does not accept the transactions of any hemp -derived products . The stance that PayPal has taken is very similar to the stance that it has with any transactions that include cannabis plants.
The Top 10 CBD Stores on Shopify
Forbes anticipates that by 2025 the CBD market in the US could be worth as much as $16 billion. And with Shopify making it easier than ever before to sell these products online, it’s no wonder that sellers, new and established, are opening online stores.
With all of these new stores opening, we thought we’d make a list of some of our favorites. So here, in no particular order, are 10 of the top CBD stores on Shopify at the moment.
The name Cannuka comes from the combination of cannabis and Manuka honey which are the two main ingredients in their products.
While their product offering centers mostly on skin care, what makes their products stand out is their branding and clean, modern looking website design.
Their products and co-founder have even been showcased on Shopify’s CBD landing page.
2) Mind CBD
Unlike Cannuka, Mind CBD has a much more extensive product range. They even offer CBD treats for cats and dogs.
Regardless of what CBD products you’re looking for, chances are you’ll be able to find it here. Assuming that it’s legal, of course.
The power of Briogeo’s Shopify CBD store is definitely in their branding.
By focusing exclusively on selling CBD infused hair care products, they’re able to target a lucrative audience and differentiate themselves from other CBD stores.
They’re also one of the few stores along with Cannuka to have their products included on Shopify’s CBD landing page.
4) Infusion CBD
Infusion CBD sells a range of their own CBD oils, balm, capsules, gummies and even vape oil.
What separates this particular CBD store from the others on this list is that it’s sells to the UK. Which highlights that selling CBD on Shopify isn’t just restricted to the US, but is possible in any jurisdiction that allows the sale of CBD products.
5) CBD Farmers Collective
This is a unique entry on this list in that CBD Farmers Collective isn’t a single seller. Rather the site allows farmers in the US to sign up and begin selling their CBD products.
This not only gives farmers an easy means to selling their product online, but also gives shoppers a wide range of choice.
6) LEEF Organics
All of LEEF’s products are 100% organic and non-GMO.
Their site is also well designed and contains high quality imagery of their products, letting them show off their equally high quality packaging.
If you’re going to open your own CBD store on Shopify, take a leaf out of their book and invest in professional grade photography.
7) RE Botanicals
One thing that this Shopify store takes advantage of that not many others on this list do are customer testimonials.
Doing so helps them establish trust in the minds of potential buyers, increasing the chance that they’ll convert into actual buyers. If you’re not sure how to get positive testimonials from customers, have a look at our guide to using email marketing to generate positive reviews.
8) Made By Hemp
Made By Hemp has been in the CBD game long before selling it became possible on Shopify.
In addition to selling their product, their site goes into detail about their production processes and where they source their hemp. Providing this information also helps to establish trust with potential buyers.
9) Josie Maran
Josie Maran isn’t your typical CBD store.
First of all, Josie Maran focuses primarily on makeup and skin care, but they also sell other related items such as hair care products and bath accessories.
Their CBD products represent a special product line, Skindope. This is the only other product to be included on Shopify’s CBD landing page along with the other two stores on this list.
Sabaidee’s mission is “to help one million people live a healthier and happier life by providing the highest quality hemp extracts that work.”
While we’re not sure how many customers they’ve helped so far, based on the over 1,000 customer reviews, it looks like they’re well on their way.
There you have it, 10 of the best CBD stores on Shopify at the moment.
If you know of any others, feel free to mention them in the comments below!
If you’re looking for more inspiration, be sure to also check out our collection of CBD emails here.
Here’s What You Need to Know about Selling CBD on Shopify
On January 1, 2019, the 2018 Farm Bill removed restrictions on selling CBD online as long as it is derived from hemp plants.
Updated: February 2022
On January 1, 2019, the 2018 Farm Bill removed restrictions on selling CBD online as long as it is derived from hemp plants.
CBD, or cannabidiol, sales are expected to reach nearly $80 billion by 2030. With that much money on the table, it’s no wonder Shopify CBD stores are popping up everywhere as everyone tries to get their share.
For the small business owner, branching into CBD-related sales in their Shopify store (or launching a new CBD store from scratch) seems like a natural choice–but there are a few things you should know first.
Shopify CBD Requirements
It should come as no surprise with a substance like CBD, but Shopify has to cover themselves on the legal side. The first thing you’ll need to do is fill out the “Attestation for the Sale of Hemp and Hemp-Derived Products.”
This form basically says that as a seller of CBD products, you will abide by all Federal, state, and local laws as they pertain to these sales. It also indemnifies Shopify, which is a fancy way of saying that if you run afoul of the law, you can’t turn around and blame Shopify for it.
It also means that it’s your responsibility to keep track of the CBD related laws relevant to your target sales areas.
Legislation like this is a moving target. It’s entirely possible that states may backtrack and repeal the existing laws. If you’re opening a CBD store on Shopify (or any other eCommerce platform), be sure to keep up with the rules.
Which States Allow CBD Sales Online?
As of February 2022, you can legally sell CBD products on Shopify in all 50 U.S. states, so long as the products are hemp-derived (as opposed to marijuana-derived) and contain less than 0.3% THC. Huzzah!
It’s definitely worth noting, though, that there are some states with extra restrictions. (Every party needs a pooper and all that.)
Shopify expressly states that they are not responsible for informing CBD shop owners if there are any changes in the law. That responsibility lies with you.
Marketing CBD Online
CBD containing less than 0.3% THC became federally legal long before all the states caught on. What this means is that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) gave up their control of the sale of these products. Instead, the handling has passed to the Food and Drug Administration.
The FDA has not approved CBD as a medicine (except for a single prescription drug, Epidiolex), or as a food additive or a dietary supplement. As a result, you’re technically not supposed to market CBD by making any health claims or add it to food or drink. That remains illegal at the Federal level.
That said, you can sell cannabidiol and hemp products as such and ship them to any customer within the United States.
The laws surrounding selling CBD online can be extremely confusing. Many sellers choose to retain a law firm that specializes in “cannabusiness” to keep themselves abreast of all of the laws and how they pertain to them.
Shopify CBD Payment Processors
The last major component of selling CBD products on Shopify is how you accept online payments. With cannabis-related products, several banking laws have strange effects on who can take payments and who can’t.
Federal law forbids banks from taking money involved in the marijuana industry. That law makes payment processors uneasy when it comes to handling funds as well. You can’t use Shopify’s in-house payment processing, Shopify Payments, either. (And in case you’re wondering, yep, PayPal put the kibosh on CBD payment processing as well.)
Finding a payment solution that will deal with online CBD sales can be challenging, but not impossible. You just have to go through an outside payment vendor that integrates with Shopify.
Shopify currently recommends two CBD payment processors – DigiPay and Sezzle .
But getting approval from these third party merchants isn’t as easy as signing up. For DigiPay, you must provide test results from an independent lab that demonstrate your CBD products don’t contain more than the 0.3% THC concentration as allowed by Federal Law. You’ll also need to submit photos of your product and inventory.
For our Shopify CBD merchants (and all merchants really!), we love to refer them to a third option: Sezzle, a convenient and CBD-supported payment solution. This innovative approach to sales growth allows customers to split up their total purchase into four interest-free payments–lowering the objection to purchasing.
Best of all, for Tako readers only, Sezzle is currently offering a FREE 30-day trial. Just enter code SZORNYO at checkout.
Click here to see how Sezzle can help you close more sales.
For CBD companies offering subscriptions, we recommend Pinwheel, which is the only payment processor that supports recurring billing for CBD products!
Selling CBD On Shopify: Is It Really Worth It?
Many ardent CBD proponents claim that it can prevent, diagnose, or even treat cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and even psychiatric disorders.
Officially, the FDA prohibits CBD sellers from making any claims about efficacy in treatment. Additionally, because CBD is now in an FDA-approved medication (Epidiolex, used to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome), it can’t be used as a food additive.
However, the fact that CBD has been approved as medication shows that it does have some definite and clinically proven effects.
In 2012, a research team published a study in the Journal of Experimental Medicine that showed cannabinoids are highly effective in treating neuropathic pain and inflammation.
It also notes that marijuana has been used to treat neuropathic pain for centuries, but the psychoactive components of THC make it a problematic solution for many. However, because CBD has low amounts of THC, it avoids those side effects.
Currently there is a boatload of studies examining the efficacy of CBD, particularly for insomnia and anxiety. One oft-cited study concluded that CBD was effective in treating anxiety and insomnia in a ten-year-old girl suffering from PTSD connected to a sexual assault. Earlier attempts with standard pharmacotherapy were only partially successful, while CBD was a fully effective treatment.
There is no doubt that CBD has many great benefits. However, because this is such new ground for regulatory agencies, knowing what you can and can’t legally say in marketing is tricky.
Congress is currently pushing the FDA to make changes in CBD regulations, in part because of public demand. The next few years should be interesting, as the Federal government takes a more firm position on the legal and marketing status of CBD as a supplement and food additive.
All The Toppings
As more states change their laws regarding the sale of marijuana-derived CBD products, the landscape for online CBD sales will continue to change as well. With many states having already legalized medical–or even recreational–marijuana and several more on the cusp of doing so, you can expect to see even more potential markets open up. As the banking industry catches on to the potential windfall that CBD-related money represents, their desire to stay on the sidelines will fade as well.
The biggest challenge for you as a Shopify merchant is staying abreast of these changes.
Setting up your Shopify CBD store and developing a marketing strategy that’ll separate your products from the ocean of other CBD-related goods can be an equally daunting challenge.
Contact us to see how we can help you get up and running faster.