Shopify Ecosystem

Your Guide To Shipping CBD Products


Relaaaaax! Shipping stress-reducing CBD products are legal across all 50 states, so CBD users can get their vapes, tinctures, lotions, and more sent right to their doorstep. Supplement and pharmaceutical companies that want their share of this growing $2.8 billion market must comply with the U.S. government’s CBD shipping regulations, specifically regarding how much THC can be present in this new supplement. 

Close adherence to these shipping guidelines is a must for companies that want to operate long-term, so be sure to build a detailed strategy for every part of your CBD business, from payment processing to marketing and shipping. 

This article provides an all-encompassing guide to shipping CBD products, including market information and special requirements for shipping. We’ll also dive into some valuable tips for how to market CBD products effectively to build your e-commerce business, such as optimized web content and affiliate marketing.

The CBD market is big business. It is estimated to be worth $1.8 billion in the U.S., and $2.8 billion globally. This already-sizable number has been forecasted to increase tenfold to $23 billion by 2025, as hemp and marijuana products become more mainstream. 

Many point to the meteoric rise in healthcare costs as one of the main drivers of this growth. Not to mention, the pressures of modern-day life have caused all-time high cases of depression and anxiety. Additionally, increased life expectancy has led to a rise in conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or arthritis, all of which have symptoms that can be eased through the use of CBD products. While these factors have caused a spike in demand, e-commerce sales have made CBD products more widely available to be shipped discreetly to your door. 

Therefore, the rise in demand and the availability of supply elude to a strong future for the CBD market.

Legalized CBD products come in a few different varieties. The market is currently divided by how the supplement is derived from the plant,  as well as the method of consumption. For the former, there are three choices available to consumers:

  1. Hemp
  2. Marijuana
  3. Other pharmaceuticals

Hemp-based CBD products are the most in-demand category for e-commerce retailers, driven by hemp’s various healthcare applications. As medicinal CBD products become more widespread, more research will lead to more uses for it. 

As for the method of consumption, CBD can be inhaled like traditional marijuana products, or consumed orally through edibles and other consumables. It can also serve as the main ingredient in health and wellness products, such as skin lotion, shampoo, candles, or animal-care solutions. 

CBD extracts can be legally shipped across the US; however, the only stipulation is that THC levels must be less than 0.3% and it must be derived from hemp, not cannabis, for the CBD to be legally mailed. 

Although it is legal in the US, your company should take special precautions when shipping abroad. Many countries classify marijuana products as illegal, so check with your legal team and local laws before doing business in an international market. 

There are some special legal requirements for shipping CBD products dependent upon the carrier and shipping service provider. E-commerce retailers need to be mindful of this complex legal landscape and  adhere to these laws to avoid any fines or legal ramifications. 

CBD Regulations by Shipping Companies

Depending on which shipping company your company uses to fulfill customer orders, there will be specific rules to be met for each carrier . The US Postal Service can legally carry CBD products, but they require certain documentation and certifications from the e-commerce retailer. For example, the seller must obtain a lab report confirming the oil’s THC levels before the USPS can ship CBD products. .  

Another solution could be to use a third-party logistics or fulfillment provider to handle every aspect of your CBD shipping, from storage to shipping. Other shipping freight providers such as UPS, DHL, or smaller alternatives also permit the shipping of CBD products domestically within the US. The seller remains responsible for self-certifying the THC levels contained in the products are less than 0.3%. 

Due to the growing size of the CBD market, capturing customer attention and converting sales is a competitive field. It is necessary to deploy a range of online marketing tactics to win new business. That said, e-commerce retailers should pay close attention to FDA guidelines regarding how they can be marketed. 

Take Advantage of SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a vital aspect of marketing CBD products. While it remains growingly complex and highly technical to optimize, SEO can still be cheaper and more effective than many other forms of promotion. Ensure that your articles are factual and well-referenced to achieve FDA compliance, as well as optimizing SEO ranking. 

Building informative and entertaining content is the best way to gain traction in the CBD market. Some examples of CBD content marketing could include:

  • Outbound posts on social media channels. 
  • Use hashtags to maximize your reach by showing up in more peoples’ interest feeds. 
  • Create a sense of community on social platforms to grow your company’s positive reputation in the industry. 

Although admission comes at a high price, selling at trade shows and exhibitions is also a must, because people come from all over to sample new products and find industry leaders.. 

Word-of-mouth and affiliate marketing

Word-of-mouth and affiliate marketing is perhaps one of the most important tools for e-commerce retailers. Affiliate marketing allows you  to leverage third-party websites that entice clicks back to your own site. One of the best things about affiliate marketing is that you only pay by the click, so your best interest aligns with theirs..

Influencer Marketing

Somewhat related to affiliate marketing, Influencer marketing is another fruitful channel for spreading product awareness. This is mainly carried out on social media platforms and video. With products such as CBD-related goods, the role of influencers is heavily regulated by the FDA to avoid the unintentional spread of misinformation. The influencer needs to be open and transparent about their commercial connection to the CBD manufacturer and retailer. 

Email Marketing

Finally, email marketing still attracts some of the highest conversion rates of all the digital marketing channels.. The customers that have subscribed to your updates are quite possibly the easiest pickings for your company to convert sales, so reward your loyal fanbase with discounts, free shipping, and more to generate quick sales.

The billion-dollar market for CBD products in the US is still expected to grow 10x its current rate by 2025. For e-commerce retailers that deploy a tight marketing and shipping strategy, the growth opportunities are immense, as long as you follow the FDA guidelines and avoid potentially business-ruining shipping infractions. 

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Special thanks to our friends at Shiphero for their insights on this topic.
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