A comprehensive Guideline for Shopify CBD

Categories: Email marketing
Sam Thomas avatar
Sam Thomas Updated: April 26, 2023


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CBD has grown in popularity on e-commerce sites in recent years, and it is rapidly becoming a familiar product for the common person. Selling CBD, on the other hand, is a high-risk venture. It’s a novel product with a hazy legal framework. If you break the regulations while selling, you could face serious consequences, such as closing your store. This post will provide you a fast introduction to the CBD market and how you can utilize Shopify to sell hemp-derived CBD products if you’re investigating or want to get into it.

Overview of CBD

The first question is, “What is CBD”?

When it comes to marijuana, many people don’t know the difference between hemp and CBD.

As a result, we’ll start by figuring out how these two compounds vary. CBD is one of the more than 85 chemical substances identified inside female hemp resin glands (cannabis).

The main difference between CBD and marijuana is that CBD products do not include THC (the psychoactive element in marijuana). CBD has no effect on the user’s nerves and does not cause intoxication.

The medicinal benefits of cannabidiol are well-known. CBD oil has a long list of health advantages, including relief from inflammation, anxiety, depression, pain, and epilepsy.

However, many CBD applications have yet to be approved by the FDA, and CBD’s effects on different people can differ, so be cautious when touting its benefits.

Hemp-derived CBD products come in various forms and can be used in a variety of ways. Each consumer will have their own preference based on the manner and dosage employed. The following CBD products are available on the market:

  • Oils
  • Capsules
  • Concentrates
  • Vapes
  • Spray

The quantities and effects of each form of CBD will vary from person to person. Customers should be given enough information about each option so that they can make the best decision possible.

Why is selling CBD worthy?

Many proponents of CBD believe that it can help prevent, diagnose, and even treat cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and psychiatric problems.

According to the FDA, CBD vendors are not allowed to make any claims about treatment efficacy.

The fact that CBD has been licensed as a drug, on the other hand, indicates that it does have certain well-defined and clinically demonstrated properties.

Cannabinoids are particularly successful in treating neuropathic pain and inflammation, according to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine in 2012.

It also mentions that marijuana has been used to treat neuropathic pain for millennia, but for many people, the euphoric components of THC make it a troublesome remedy. CBD, on the other hand, avoids these negative effects due to its low THC content.

There is currently a slew of research looking at the efficacy of CBD, particularly in the areas of sleeplessness and anxiety. There’s no denying that CBD has a slew of advantages. However, because regulatory bodies are unfamiliar with this territory, determine what you can and cannot lawfully say in marketing.

Because of public demand, Congress is currently pressuring the FDA to amend CBD laws. The next several years will be fascinating as the federal government takes a firmer stance on CBD’s legal and marketing status as a supplement and food additive.

The CBD sector is quickly expanding. According to Forbes, the CBD market in the United States could be worth $16 billion by 2025.

Of course, that figure will fluctuate a lot depending on how federal, state, and local regulations evolve. However, based on the past several years, it’s safe to assume that this number will continue to rise, and that the chance to profit from this developing business will be plentiful. When you add in the fact that one in every seven adults in the United States uses CBD or CBD-related products, it’s clear that the opportunity to profit from this growing business is ripe.

Marketing CBD online

Is it legally CBD?

Shopify started allowing the sale of hemp and hemp-derived CBD goods in 2019. However, Shopify presently only supports the hemp and CBD markets in the United States (and possibly Canada), so you can only run a Shopify CBD business in this market for the time being.

Hemp has also been removed from the CSA, meaning that cannabis or derivatives with a THC content of less than 0.3 percent will no longer be regulated by the federal government.

In order to run a legal CBD business in the United States, the CBD in your product must come from female hemp and contain less than 0.3 percent THC. However, other countries and states may have different laws.

To be legal in the United Kingdom, CBD must be THC-free and produced from industrial hemp. THC levels in other EU nations must be less than 0.2 percent. This percentage is lowered to 0.1 percent in Switzerland.

Because marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), CBD products produced from marijuana with a THC content of more than 0.3 percent are unlawful under the Controlled Substances Act. That means the DEA feels it has “no currently recognized medicinal use and a considerable potential for misuse” in their words.

Suppose you live outside of the United States, you need to do some study on the market and the legislation, as CBD is still considered an illegal substance in many nations.

CBD must be THC-free and produced from industrial hemp to be legal in the United Kingdom. THC levels in other EU nations must be less than 0.2 percent. This percentage is lowered to 0.1 percent in Switzerland.

Because marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), CBD products produced from marijuana with a THC concentration more than 0.3 percent are unlawful under the Controlled Substances Act. That means the DEA feels it has “no currently recognised medical use and a considerable potential for abuse,” in their words.

In case you live outside of the United States, you need to do some study on the market and the legislation, as CBD is still considered an illegal product in many nations.

You’ll need to look into Shopify’s CBD policy now that you’ve done your study. In case you do not adhere to the guidelines, Shopify may terminate your merchant account. After that, you’ll have an online business but no method to accept payments. Shopify’s rules are, for the most part, in line with state-level limitations on the selling of hemp-derived cannabidiol, or CBD.

The laws are continuously changing, with new states permitting certain levels of THC concentration while others have severe regulations prohibiting the sale of any hemp-related product. When it comes to an understanding the regulatory environment for consumable products like gummies or edibles, the FDA will be the essential authority to consult.

Is it possible to dropship CBD products?

In the United States, CBD products can be dropshipped. Merchants will need to partner with suppliers to accomplish this.

When starting a CBD dropshipping business, one thing to keep in mind is the supplier’s product quality. Before putting it on sale in your store, make sure the quality is good and safe.

Dropified is a CBD Dropshipping tool that will take care of all the heavy lifting for you.

How to market CBD products?

When it comes to selling CBD, the most crucial aspect is promotion. Although this is a commodity that has been legalized in many places across the United States, you will still be unable to freely advertise it online because marketing platforms such as Facebook and Google will always have their own laws and policies in place to prevent it.

You’ll need some pointers as a merchant to promote your Shopify CBD store.

Focusing on blogging and SEO

You ought to take advantage of organic traffic from SEO in addition to advertising on paid channels. Customers may learn about your company and determine what is suitable for them by reading blogs on your website.


Don’t run ads directly to your product page

Your blog should include a link to your landing page. Despite the fact that hemp-derived CBD has been lawful since the 2018 Farm Bill, social media platforms such as Facebook and Google still deem them illegal. Many shops are perplexed by their regulations on CBD advertising.

Despite the fact that CBD is not mentioned on Facebook’s Advertising Policies page, it is still listed among the forbidden goods. Facebook has taken measures to lift its ban on advertising for these products in recent announcements.

Shop owners can now advertise ingestible hemp and topical CBD on the social media platform. At the same time, send these adverts to sites that include hemp or CBD.

CBD pages, on the other hand, will not be permitted to serve as the landing page for your ad. Instead, direct them to your blog posts, which you may utilize as a product landing page.

Marketing with Influencers

This is an effective marketing strategy for circumventing the CBD product restriction. Customers will seek out stores with a well-known brand and reputation while making purchases.

Using influencers will boost your store’s credibility immediately. You can also find more leads with a smaller budget than sponsored advertising if you choose the proper influencer.

The Internet and Social Media

While the ability to run paid ads on Facebook or Instagram is limited, it is still a viable marketing avenue for CBD clubs. Potential clients may get all of the information they need on social media, thanks to a plethora of groups dedicated to CBD and hemp.

Participating in those organizations can help you build brand recognition. Remember that the ultimate goal is to make your brand trustworthy, therefore focus on sharing expertise and providing assistance to your clients.

Affiliate networks

This can help your company gain greater exposure. However, because affiliate companies will be advertising your brand to clients, you must cultivate a positive relationship with them.

CBD is a relatively new product on the online market, and there is still a lot of misinformation about it.

When it comes to advertising your brand, be sure your affiliates don’t distribute incorrect information or break the terms of social media platforms or the law. Your affiliates need to be educated and trained.

Shopify Payment processor

You’ll need to locate a system that lets you function as a Shopify CBD business to process credit cards online. Although Shopify Payments is a payment processor, CBD businesses are now unable to use its payment gateway. There are, however, other alternatives to this service.

You’ll need to find a third-party gateway, such as PayKings, that can offer you with a high-risk account. CBD is classified as a high-risk product due to the aforementioned legal restrictions; banks who support your account don’t want to risk a negative brand association with CBD goods.

Recommend: Shopify CBD Payment Processors for selling CBD products

How to apply for a CBD merchant account?

You’ll have to go through three distinct steps to obtain a Shopify CBD account.

*Application - Submit an application for a payment processing account. Filling out a generic form and then adding details to a more detailed merchant application are both required. Their processing company will gather vital information here. Share information about your business, such as how long you’ve been in business and your chargeback rates. You’ll also want to mention where you’re located and how much sales volume you handle each month.

*Underwriting - The bank will assess your application once you have completed sharing all of the essential paperwork and firm information. They may also approach you at this point to require changes to your site or verification of papers such as COAs that show THC levels below 0.3 percent.

*Approval — Once the bank has approved your Shopify CBD account, you may begin collecting payments. You can see all of your transactions and revenue flow through your payment gateway integration and a bank site. You’ll also be able to keep track of critical information like chargebacks and refunds.

5 things you must concern about before building CBD stores

Understand the Shopify CBD policy

First and foremost. You must understand what Shopify allows and does not allow.

On the Shopify website , you can read more about it.

In a word, you can only sell CBD products that are legally derived from hemp on Shopify if doing so is legal in your state and you follow all of the rules.

Shopify does not allow the sale of marijuana-based items.

Understand your unique audience

It’s critical to understand your target market before launching your store, just as it is with any other product.

Recognize that CBD has some perceived drawbacks and hazards, as well as a number of myths, in order to do so correctly.

Many potential clients are uncertain and are only dabbling with these things; they need to be reassured before they purchase.

Establishing a reputation as a CBD oil expert should be your first goal.

Instead of claiming to be a “cure-all,” clearly expressing the facts to your target audience can help you position your store as an information resource.

In this sector, credibility is crucial. Include information regarding CBD oil in the form of articles, blog posts, FAQs, pamphlets, guidelines, and downloads.

Always have Plan B for payments

One issue that a Shopify CBD store will almost certainly face that other merchants on the platform do not is being denied payment gateways.

Here’s what Shopify Payments has to say right now:

When it comes to CBD, payment gateways can be rigorous with their restrictions and regulations. There have been numerous complaints of merchants being denied access to PayPal or Stripe, to name a few examples. Only a few domestic banks in the United States accept credit cards from hemp-based CBD vendors.

Some merchant accounts even claim to accept CBD product payments, but only for a specific type of CBD product. They do not cover the entire range. Let’s not forget that CBD products are still associated with marijuana in the minds of many people, and they remain illegal under federal law.

The situation looks to be changing rapidly, and what is true today might not be true tomorrow. It’s best to assess the current situation, be aware of prospective issues, and have a backup plan ready.

Fortunately, as the business evolves, more solutions become available. Some payment gateways advertise that they accept CBD merchant accounts expressly.

The greatest strategy is to provide clients with as many payment alternatives as possible. This will enable backup plans in the event that one of the payment channels is banned.

Pay attention to accounting

It’s an awesome idea to be able to preserve a clear “paper trail” of merchant activity while selling CBD.

Because you may be investigated more closely than other sorts of businesses, having solid accounting and inventory management software is even more critical.

Concentrate on what sets you apart

There are many strong companies in the market already, as you can see from the outstanding Shopify CBD oil stores listed below.

You should make an effort to stand out from the crowd. Your success will be determined by how you differentiate yourself, whether it’s by the customer service you provide (as previously said), targeting a specific demographic or geographic area, delivering things that no one else has, or some other method.

Of course, your Shopify CBD store will be the focal point of your branding.

A clean, clutter-free appearance, straightforward navigation, high-quality product information, an easy-to-follow payment process, and an overall unmatched customer experience are all vital in any successful store.

How to build a CBD Store?

Begin with Shopify

Since Shopify began supporting CBD stores in 2019, it has quickly been the preferred platform for many major and small CBD businesses. You can quickly start a Shopify CBD store online for a minimal cost - the first 14 days are entirely free.

Read more: Build a Shopify Store Within 10 Minutes

Submit a Certificate of Attestation

If you’re selling hemp or hemp-derived products in the United States, you’ll need to file a Hemp-Derived Products and Attestation for the Sale of Hemp. This page is only visible if your Shopify store is located in the United States.

You will be bound by the policies and laws of the nation or territory you are visiting. For example, in order to sell CBD online in Canada, you’ll need a cannabis sales license as well as a Shopify Plus store.

Set up a payment plan

Despite Shopify’s support for CBD stores, the Shopify payment system does not accept these products. For many sites, Shopify Payments/Stripe, Square, and Paypal are excellent options, but for CBD sales, you’ll need to find another payment processor.

You must use payment gateways from third-party payment processors to sell CBD on Shopify, which ensures:

  • Become Shopify-integrated
  • Support the purchase, exchange, and sale of hemp, CBD, and hemp-related products.

Because all CBD products are classified as narcotics in the United States, Paypal does not accept transactions for hemp-derived items. PayPal’s attitude on cannabis transactions is quite similar to its stance on all other transactions involving cannabis plants.

Top Shopify Stores in 2022

No potential CBD store owner should open their doors without first learning about what’s already available — and how the top shops operate.

In no particular order, here are five of the top Shopify CBD stores:


Cannuka is a great example of a Shopify CBD merchant who is laser-focused on a single type of CBD product. The shop sells skincare items made with CBD derived from hemp and Manuka honey.

Cannuka’s website has a modern, clean look to it and is simple to navigate and purchase from. It is included on the Shopify landing page for CBD businesses, which is solid evidence of its success.


Apart from selling a lot of pure-extract CBD oil, the Sabaidee brand has distinct marketing and stands for something else (which is its main product).

The company is committed to sustainability to plant one million trees and promote health and wellness through its products.

Infusion CBD

This UK-based company sells CBD oils, balms, capsules, gummies, vape oil, and even coffee created “with love” from hemp grown in California.

Its advertising is centered on helping clients relieve pain, and the store is an excellent example of how to get into markets around the world (aside from the United States) that allow the selling of hemp-derived CBD products.

LEEF Organics

The LEEF Organics brand prides itself on its products’ purity, cleanliness, non-GMO status, and organic nature. Its Shopify CBD site includes tinctures, balms, and skincare goods, among other things.

The brand is active on social media and has a clean, bright, mobile-friendly website with high-quality graphics.

CBD Farmers Collective

The CBD Farmers Collective is a marketplace where hemp producers and CBD sellers from across the United States may join together to offer their products.

It understands that many smaller manufacturers and individuals interested in selling CBD products do not necessarily wish to open their own stores. Its consumers benefit from the wide range of products company offers.


To sell hemp and CBD alone, you must understand the ambiguity in social media platforms’ and search engines’ advertising restrictions, as well as the online misconceptions regarding this product. Still, selling CBD products on the internet isn’t difficult.

Because Shopify allows merchants to offer CBD goods with clear policies, they may save a lot of time and work when launching an online CBD business.

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