Facebook has loosened its restrictions for CBD companies that want to advertise their products. Facebook still prohibits ads for ingestible CBD or ads that direct to a landing page containing products with ingestible CBD. Although Facebook hasn’t clearly stated a new policy, many people are finding that their ads for CBD topicals are allowed to stay. This was not always the case, but it is exciting to see the progress being made! Let’s take a look at the past, present, and future of Facebook ads for CBD products.
CBD Ads in the Past
In the past, Facebook would not allow advertisements that included mentions of anything CBD related, whether it was topical or ingestible. An article on The Verge explains that many CBD companies were having their Facebook business ads account disabled after putting up ads for their products. However, the 2018 Farm Bill (aka Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018) was passed, reclassifying hemp and making it legal to grow industrial hemp and making hemp-derived CBD products that do not contain THC legal. This finally gave hemp growers eligibility for many USDA programs, defining hemp as containing 0.3 or less THC, the psychoactive portion of the cannabis plant.
CBD Ads on Facebook Today
Presently, some people are still having their CBD related ads banned by Facebook, but not all of them. Facebook seems to have relaxed its ban on certain CBD products, specifically topical ones but hasn’t explicitly stated its official stance (major gray area..) An article on Digiday published in late June 2019 states that a spokesperson from Facebook emailed a Digiday representative stating, “our policy remains the same: We don’t allow people to promote CBD or ingestible hemp on Facebook. The update to non-ingestible hemp was made months ago.” It doesn’t specifically say so on Facebook’s Advertising Policies Page, but it does state as of October 2019 that “Ads must not promote the sale or use of unsafe supplements, as determined by Facebook in its sole discretion.” That means FB can still decide to take down a CBD ad if they feel like it, but the likelihood is very low if it is for topical (non-ingestible) CBD hemp products.
This change of heart may have been prompted by a combination of the 2018 Farm Bill in combination with the SAFE Banking Act of 2019 (Secure And Fair Enforcement Banking Act). This act is intended to ensure access to financial services for cannabis-related legitimate businesses and service providers to reduce the amount of cash at such businesses. The SAFE Act of 2019 is a huge step in the right direction, and perhaps Facebook felt like if the banks could be involved with CBD companies, then they could, too.
The Future of CBD Ads
With continued growth within the CBD industry, there is hope that in the near future, Facebook will have more clearly stated policies on CBD advertising that allow advertising of any product containing CBD (fingers crossed!). The use of CBD topically and orally is becoming more widespread and accessible, and the companies that sell these beneficial products desire the ability to freely advertise their products through FB. It is doubtful this social media giant will continue to miss out on the ways they will benefit from allowing all CBD advertisements.
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