The Struggles of Marketing CBD Products in 2020

If you haven’t heard of it already, CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found within hemp. With hemp now legal in the United States thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, a new market has emerged and many companies are looking to promote their brands. But CBD brands are fighting an uphill battle to educate consumers about the differences between CBD and the more commonly known tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While THC produces that stereotypical mind high, CBD affects the body differently and only produces a body high.

There has been extensive research into CBD that has shown its positive effects on the body like reducing anxiety, treating epilepsy, and even helping people with Alzheimer’s disease or multiple sclerosis. There is a high demand for CBD in the United States, and a booming industry that’s projected to grow to $22 billion by 2022.

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp—a strain of the cannabis plant that produces CBD—making it possible for farmers to cultivate, sell, and create products from it.

Although hemp has been legalized federally, it may still be illegal in some states, so it’s important to consult any possible contradictions in law.

The CBD oil produced from newly cultivated hemp is legal to sell and transport across state lines, but only if the hemp was farmed under strict federal and state guidelines. One of the regulations is that hemp cannot contain more than 0.3% THC, or else it’s reclassified as marijuana—which still remains illegal federally.

What Are the Issues with Advertising CBD Products?

With CBD being mostly legal across the country, there are still many hoops to jump through for businesses seeking to advertise their CBD products. Many companies and institutions have strict laws regulating or banning the advertisement of CBD, with some completely refusing business from CBD producers.

FDA Restrictions

Before being posted, a CBD advertisement must conform to strict Food and Drug Administration guidelines, which include:

  • Don’t make health or medical claims. Advertisements using claims that are unproven are strictly forbidden by the FDA and can incur serious penalties from the government.
  • Everything you say must be backed up by hard evidence. Advertising CBD as a healthy substance for your health and wellness is great, but making medical claims is not. You can’t tell people that CBD will cure their disease, or improve their medical condition—that’s something only a healthcare professional can do. All medical claims you make must be backed up by serious academic sources.
  • You can’t advertise anything forbidden by the FDA. CBD is considered a “dietary supplement” by the FDA and is therefore not regulated. However, CBD infused products like food or creams are forbidden by the FDA and cannot be advertised.

In addition to FDA limitations and legal loopholes, there remains a stigma surrounding all cannabis products in the US. Many companies are either suspicious of doing business with CBD products or outright deny any affiliation.

That’s slowly changing, with advertising platforms opening up to CBD products following its legalization. Here’s a rundown of the top social media platforms and their stances on CBD advertisement:

Google Ads

Unfortunately, Google doesn’t allow CBD product advertising on AdWords. CBD ads may be taken down, and users may be penalized when publishing future unrelated ads. However, Google is flirting with the idea of CBD advertising and is conducting trials on their platform, so the future remains uncertain.


Facebook has recently made CBD product advertisements legal on their platform. Advertisers can link directly to their landing page and directly promote their products. This change came with the legalization of CBD nationwide, as Facebook previously banned all cannabis-related content.


Unfortunately, twitter completely forbids CBD marketing on its platform. The reason for the ban is that Twitter doesn’t allow illicit substances or herbal drugs, but it’s not all bad news.

CBD marketers can still use Twitter to make informative posts about the benefits of CBD, link to their website, or make updates about new products.


Like Twitter, Instagram forbids the advertisement of CBD products. CBD marketers run the risk of being permanently banned for overtly advertising their products.

Users can, however, create brand awareness and educational posts regarding CBD, and even directly link to their product pages using Instagram Stories.

Other Factors to Consider

CBD startups may have difficulty getting loans from investors or banks. Many banks won’t lend money, process payments, or deposit checks for CBD products, which means that CBD companies might need to have business with more expensive companies overseas.

Many institutions still see CBD products as a risky venture and may be unwilling to lend money. Hopefully. This will change in the near future with CBD products becoming increasingly mainstream.

How to Successfully Market CBD Products

CBD is in a pretty tricky place right now, banks, investors, and social media giants are still on the fence about CBD despite its legalization. Hopefully, that’ll all change eventually, but until then, CBD marketers need to jump through hoops to spread the word for their products.

In order to launch a successful business, CBD marketers need to set themselves apart from their competition. One great way to do this is by building a brand. Marketing the health and wellness potential, lifestyle changes, and overall appeal of CBD products will go a long way.

A well-branded CBD company will have trendy and knowledgeable blogs, pages, and images that represent the company’s image. Having a great site isn’t enough; you need to spread the word of your product.

Influencer outreach, search engine optimization, affiliate marketing, email marketing, and more can be used in spreading knowledge of your brand. Care must be taken in complying with federal law regarding CBD products in your advertisements—just one false claim or poorly written sentence can get your business in a lot of trouble from the FDA.

Social Styles Marketing – Your CBD Marketing Agency

Are you a CBD startup that’s excited about getting into this quickly growing industry? Social Styles Marketing’s expert team specializes in health and wellness branding and we understand the intricacies of CBD marketing.

Don’t let your CBD products struggle because of strict advertising guidelines. We’ll help you reach as many people as possible using our wellness marketing strategies, influencer connections, and other services.

Still not sure? Book your FREE social media marketing strategy call today to learn more.

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