The CBD industry has cracked another digital advertising giant!
While legislation around the use of hemp-derived CBD products continues to loosen, so do the restrictions around the promotion of these products across media platforms. Following in the steps of Twitter Inc, Google Ads is the latest to roll back some of their restrictions on ads for FDA-approved pharmaceuticals containing CBD and topical CBD products with a THC content of 0.3% or less.
There is no doubt that a sharp increase in CBD products across the nation has influenced advertisers, like Google, to reassess their stance on restricting the promotion of hemp-derived products. The FDA estimates CBD to be a $4.6 billion market with projections to quadruple by 2026. That is a hard fact for advertising platforms to ignore – in October, Google reported its fifth consecutive quarter of declining sales.
While this news represents a small breakthrough for CBD companies wanting to connect with their customers through digital advertising platforms, there are some key takeaways you need to understand.
In this blog, we will look more at this pilot program and the parameters around advertising CBD products on Google Ads, in particular, how the digital marketing platform emphasizes the importance of advertising certified high-quality CBD products.
What’s Allowed and What Isn’t
On December 22, Google announced that they will be making changes to their Dangerous Products and Services and Healthcare and Medicines policies. This pilot program will take effect on January 20, 2023 in California, Colorado, and Puerto Rico, as a test to see what impact looser restrictions on CBD products will have.
While CBD will be removed from their Unapproved Pharmaceuticals and Supplements list, CBD containing products will not be eligible for advertising through certain formats, such as YouTube Masthead – a digital ad placed on Google’s homepage for 24 hours.
Additionally, the platform will not display CBD ads to users under the age of 18. Nor will they allow CBD ads that promote supplements, food additives, or inhalants. Google will only allow CBD products that have received a certification from LegitScript (see below) to advertise.
LegitScript CBD Certification
In order for a topical CBD product to be approved by Google Ads, they must first be certified by LegitScript. In order to obtain this certification, CBD product owners must:
- Provide samples of their product to test for THC levels that are within compliance; and
- Provide a third-party Certificate of Analysis.
- Any product test results, including cannabinoid profile testing, heavy metal testing, pesticide testing, and microbial testing.
- Certificates of analysis for the raw CBD or cannabis ingredient used in each product, which demonstrate the product would be considered hemp under federal law.
You can download a CBD Product Certification Questionnaire from their website which outlines the information all applicants are required to provide in order to receive a certification from LegitScript.
How Will These Changes Impact the CBD Industry?
While this move opens up more opportunities for CBD product owners to advertise on the world’s largest digital platform, some CBD industry leaders interviewed by the Wall Street Journal do not believe it goes far enough. Because CBD products with a THC level under 0.3% are legal according to Federal Law, they feel there should be no restrictions placed on companies who want to market a quality product that meets all of the federal guidelines.
The more open the platform is about advertising CBD products, the more opportunity merchants will have to promote their product and generate greater revenue. Advocates believe the legality of these products under federal law should garner more respect from advertising companies like Google.
Moving forward, Google will collect feedback from users in these three test areas as they consider expanding out to other locations. And, while the move isn’t as grand as some would like, it could make some meaningful progress for CBD in the digital space.
For example, Google's move to lessen their advertising restrictions on CBD products may pave the way for other digital advertising giants, like Facebook and Amazon, to follow suit. This could mean even more opportunities to engage directly with consumers in the near future. While the parameters around advertising under each entity will vary, you can bet there will be a keen focus on compliance and safety.
Partner With KND Labs and Invest In Your Product’s Reputation
As advertisement opportunities continue to open up for CBD merchandisers, there is an ever present drive to ensure consumers that they are using the most compliant CBD products available to them.
Knowing this reality, it is essential that brands invest in their product’s reputation. As a supply chain partner, KND Labs adheres to some of the strictest manufacturing certifications, which has earned the trust of global brands and manufacturers.
As the best-in-class producer of industrial hemp derived ingredients we seek to exceed expectations and assist in customer’s growth.
Get in touch with KND Labs today, if you would like to learn more about our commitment to quality and safety.