Can You Advertise CBD on Google Ads?
Is Pay Per Click Advertising For a CBD Ad Now Possible?
Google’s advertising policy does not allow CBD ads on its platform. As of January 20th 2023, Google is making an exception for ads for hemp-derived CBD products that rely exclusively on hemp keywords that promote a topical product. The promotion of topical hemp derived CBD products with low THC and FDA approved cannabidiol pharmaceuticals only in California, Puerto Rico, and Colorado is now allowed. Ads for other products like supplements, food additives, and inhalants are still not allowed. Even more, you can only promote topical based CBD and FDA approved CBD pharmaceuticals to an audience that is over 18 and YouTube Masthead ads are banned. You can only promote CBD-based topicals if LegitScript has approved of your products with a certificate of analysis.
Following this change Cannabidiol (CBD) is no longer one of Google’s CBD advertising unapproved pharmaceuticals and supplements on Google, CBD and hemp in all other forms are still banned from CBD business paid advertising on the platform. Twitter has similar policies where they allow a topical hemp derived product containing CBD they approve which is licensed by the proper authorities to promote their product using Twitter’s platforms. Organic marketing to advertise CBD or hemp on Google using SEO is allowed.
This means any CBD business webpage using Google Ads containing the words Cannabidiol or CBD anywhere on the page will have its ads disapproved by Google unless they are promoting topical CBD or FDA approved pharmaceutical CBD. The entire account will be audited and possibly permanently suspended. This includes ecommerce websites, info websites, blogs, and media websites online connected to a Google Ads account.
Can You Advertise CBD on Google Outside of Google’s Ad Network?
The organic results on Google which cannot be paid for are free range for directly selling CBD products without breaking policies on cannabis products.
Can I advertise hemp on Google Ads?
No, You cannot advertise hemp products on Google Ads since hemp is derived from Cannabis, and advertising Cannabis is currently banned from paid advertising on the platform.The only exception would be topical hemp products that contain CBD or FDA approved hemp derived CBD pharmaceuticals that are approved by a third party certificate of analysis from Legitscript. Even then you could only advertise to those 18 or older with restricted advertising and only in the states of California, Puerto Rico, and Colorado. Some brands are advertising and marketing topical CBD products such as skin creams and salves that do not contain the words CBD, Hemp, Cannabis, or Cannabidiol anywhere on the landing page or blog post across the USA.
Be warned; technically, this is still not allowed if Google catches you; Google ads will permanently suspend your products ads account. The only exception to this rule is in a case where Google is testing advertisements and marketing with a select group of curated products advertisers Google approved and the exception in California, Colorado, and Puerto Rico.
The only way to become a part of this select group of advertisement and marketing products testers is to have Google reach out to your brand directly. There is no way to request to be involved as one of the select products marketing advertisers for Google paid search results about Cannabis. If you are exclusively advertising in California, Puerto Rico, and Colorado while following all of their guidelines you could set up an ads account today. In brighter news Twitter has stopped marking posts that promote a product containing cannabis with a call to action for substance abuse support.
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Examples of CBD Brands CBD Ads and Advertisers Using Google Ads to Promote Their Products
Do not copy these Examples of Cannabis Marketing CBD Ads on Google Ads. Unless you are willing to risk your cannabis google ads account and cannabis website being permanently banned from advertising and marketing cannabis products on Google. Failure to follow this warning will have severe consequences for your brand.
Can You Advertise CBD on Google Shopping Using Your Website?
Yes, you can advertise CBD and cannabis products on Google Shopping if you are willing to risk your website being permanently banned from advertising using Google. The only other exception is if your brand is one of the select chosen brands by Google to test advertising and marketing CBD on their platform in paid search results.
Here is an example of marketing ads in the Google Shopping network:
Why CBD Brands Can Not Advertise CBD in a Google Ad?
You cannot advertise CBD in CBD Google Ads because Cannabidiol (CBD) has not been an approved supplement by the FDA. Cannabidiol (CBD) is not an approved supplement by the FDA. Google does not allow it in their ads because it is currently unregulated and stems from the cannabis plant, which is federally illegal in the United States of America. According to Google, “We are dedicated to following advertising regulations for healthcare and medicine, so we expect that ads and destinations follow appropriate laws and industry standards.”
Since hemp was only recently legalized federally in 2018, the FDA has not officially regulated products containing CBD, except for Epidiolex, which is the only FDA approved CBD product. Due to the widely unregulated industry of hemp and CBD, Google has banned advertising the supplement on their platform. Keep in mind that Google profits from delivering an excellent experience to users who use their search engine to search and purchase products. Suppose Google allows the paid advertisement and marketing of unregulated products on their platform. In that case, purchasers of these products could be harmed, which would open up Google to liability and a potential loss of users. This is why Google only allows the direct sale and marketing of CBD products in their organic search results, which Google does not control the placement of directly.
What are the CBD Advertising Laws?
The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (The Farm Bill) officially removed CBD, which contains very low levels of delta 9 THC, from the set definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). When this legislation passed, it preserved the responsibility of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure CBD products are safe for consumption, including the marketing and advertising of these products. The marketing and advertising of CBD and hemp products are subject to the CBD advertising laws under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C Act).
What is not allowed when marketing and advertising CBD?
- You cannot market CBD as a drug in your ads. You cannot claim that CBD can treat diseases in your ads.
- CBD cannot be marketed as a dietary supplement in your ads. CBD is currently prohibited from being added to food via interstate commerce. CBD requires substantial clinical studies to prove its medical use of CBD before being added to food and marketed as a dietary supplement. Additionally, CBD is the active ingredient in Epidiolex. This FDA-approved prescription drug requires CBD to have substantial clinical studies to prove its medical use of CBD before being added to food and being marketed as a dietary supplement.
- You cannot claim that CBD or hemp could diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent any diseases in your ads without approval by the FDA or competent and reliable scientific evidence to support these claims.
- You cannot advertise levels of CBD or THC that are not accurate in your ads.
- Claims about the health benefits, performance, safety, efficacy, and side effects in your ads must be proven by reliable and competent scientific analyses, research, or studies.
Failure to follow these guidelines could result in your business being fined and ousted to consumers.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has launched operation CBDeceit to crack down on deceptive, misleading, and falsing marketing and advertising of CBD. The commission has already fined and penalized many companies for not following the FDA’s regulations and guidelines in their ads. The FTC is responsible for regulating product advertising except for labeling, which falls under the regulatory jurisdiction of the FDA.
Can You Advertise CBD Online in an Ad?
Can you advertise CBD online? Yes, you can advertise CBD online as long as your business follows advertising and marketing guidelines set forth by the FDA and FTC. More so, your business is subject to the advertising and marketing guidelines of your company’s platforms to promote CBD. CBD is banned from paid ads on all major search engines and social media platforms. One of the only ways not banned to advertise CBD online direct to consumers is using Organic Search on search engines such as Google.
How to Use Google for Marketing CBD?
You can advertise CBD on Google using organic search listings which cannot be purchased. Your website has to earn a top placement using Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search engines such as Google have paid listings and organic listings. The paid listings are where you could purchase CBD ads if CBD were not banned on Google.
The organic listings on Google are free range for CBD advertising but cannot be purchased, unlike the paid listings. CBD advertisers can only reach a top placement in the organic listings on Google by earning a placement using Search Engine Optimization. In simple terms, SEO is the process of reaching the top placements on Google when your ideal customers are searching on Google to purchase your products or services.
94% of Google’s search engine clicks go to organic results, with just 6% of click share left for paid ads.
Why Is SEO Important for Your CBD Brand?
If you are focused on selling CBD direct to the consumer, then Google’s organic listing using SEO is best. Some of the biggest, most well known CBD brands have built their businesses using Google’s organic listings, including CBDistillery, cbdMD, and Charlotte’s Web. According to GroupM UK and Nielsen, 94% of Google’s search engine clicks go to organic results, with just 6% of click share left for paid ads. Even if you managed to be chosen by Google as one of their select CBD advertisers or decided to take the risk of being banned from Google ads, your brand would still only reach roughly 6% of Google’s user base.
If you are not focusing on CBD SEO, your CBD competitors take CBD market share out from under you. Even if you decide to run cbd advertisements, chances are those who see your CBD advertisement will search on Google for more information or search your CBD brand name to purchase products from you. Suppose you do not show up on Google for even your CBD brand name on Google. In that case, your competitors who do will convert more customers off your CBD paid advertisement.
Does SEO Have a Higher Return on Investment Than CBD Ads?
CBD Advertising on Organic Search using SEO delivers the largest ROI over time. It is the only channel that generates traffic and revenue even when you stop investing money into it. For decades paid ads, both online and traditionally, have eaten up most of a business’s ads budget. The issue with paid ads is that the acquisition cost only goes up and the return on investment decreases as consumers are fatigued by your ads.
The only solution is to spend even more money continuously adjusting your CBD paid ads to help mitigate the inevitable CBD ad fatigue or spend more money to display your ads to a new audience. Unlike paid ads, SEO continuously lowers your customer acquisition costs over time while increasing the lifetime value of a customer and return on investment. The only downside of SEO is that it is not an instant fix.
Typically, it takes at least six months or more to see a fantastic return on investment. The reason why is because you cannot pay for instant traffic. Your website has to earn traffic from Google over time. As Google trusts your website more, your website will receive more traffic. Unlike paid ads which deliver traffic instantly. Reach out for a free consultation now to learn more about how your CBD brand can advertise on Google to increase revenue and return on investment.
Related Questions About the CBD Oil Google Ads Policy
How Do I Promote CBD on Google?
The only way to promote a CBD marketing campaign on Google is to run CBD ads for topical hemp products or FDA approved CBD products such as Epiodiolex. This means you cannot run delta 8 Google ads but you could use SEO to promote hemp products like CBD and delta 8 on Google without paid advertising.
Can CBD Be Advertised?
Yes CBD can be advertised but there are strict rules set forth by platforms, the FTC, FDA, and each state which you can learn more about in our CBD advertising laws by state article.
What Platforms Allow CBD Advertising?
With the exception of Google and Snapchat for topical CBD products and FDA approved CBD products all other online platforms ban the advertising of CBD on their platforms. However you could promote any kind of hemp products without restrictions on Google using SEO.
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