Google Denies Quietly Testing Ads for CBD Products

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According to several trade industry blogs, co-founder of CBD product company Chilyo™ LP Shedrack Anderson stated, “Google approached him to be part of a ‘trial realm’ of companies that could purchase advertising on the site through its Google Ads portal.”

It was not clear, however, on what occasion Anderson made the statement, though apparently, at the time, he did not say when he had been approached by Google or if there were other CBD product vendors involved in the trial.


Online news portal, who broke the news, said also, “In a statement, a Google spokesperson reiterated that CBD ads are prohibited on its platform, and denied the existence of a trial program.”

According to the website’s reports, Anderson went on to say Google has been testing ads with “some restrictions,” including not being able to use the term “CBD” in any advertising language. Google encouraged terms like “full-spectrum hemp,” according to Anderson, who also stated the Chilyo website is being “monitored” closely for “click-throughs.”

Despite the booming market for CBD products, long-held regulatory policies in the United States still make advertising any cannabis-based products a risky proposition for social media platforms.

Currently under fire for a variety of concerns including consumer privacy, online piracy, free speech-related issues, and undue influence over global elections, social media and search platforms are not well positioned to take on more controversy. In a recent study projecting global CBD industry revenue of $2.3 billion by 2025, social media and search platforms must certainly be anxious for early access to leading companies and potentially deep-pocketed advertising budgets.

According to advertising portal, “Advertisers like Google and Facebook won’t feature ads for ‘dangerous products’ on their platforms. This limits the digital marketing efforts of CBD companies to organic marketing.” Online retailer Amazon has dozens of listings for “hemp” infused products, including oils, topicals, and gummies.

None of the products available on Amazon, however, are labeled or promoted as containing CBD (aka cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive ingredient extracted from full-spectrum hemp and some strains of cannabis). Several are packaged with labeling that indicates the hemp oil used is “unrefined” or “premium,” and used for pain relief, anxiety, and general wellness.

Typically, industrial hemp oil contains lower or trace amounts of essential cannabinoids and has many industrial uses. Hemp seeds have long been used in products like whole grain cereals, birdseed mixes, and other consumables. Hemp also is used in textiles—in fact, the United States is the largest importer of hemp products globally.

Legislation enacted by the 2018 Farm Act decriminalized hemp and hemp-based products but federal and state agencies have been slow to apply standards or guidelines for the hemp industry.

The U.S. House of Representatives recently called on the Food and Drug Administration to arrive at policies for “CBD as an additive in food, beverages, and dietary supplements.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture in mid-June also issued a memorandum allowing interstate transport of hemp.