How to Sell CBD Successfully on Shopify

How to sell CBD on Shopify

How do you successfully sell CBD on Shopify? The market seems to be booming right now. So, how do you hop on the train and make money for yourself by leveraging Shopify?

The CBD consumer base has been growing rapidly for a while now. Cowen estimates that the United States CBD market will be valued at about $16 billion by 2025. Meanwhile, vaping is stylish with the young crowd, causing demand for CBD vapes and oils to skyrocket.

Diving into the CBD industry without prior information will drown your business in no time, as this is still a high-risk trade. But don’t panic; this article can help you out! Here, you’ll get the information you need to run a profitable CBD store on Shopify.

What is CBD?

First, let’s see what CBD is and what it isn’t.

CBD or “Cannabidiol”, also known as “Hemp”, is one of over 80 chemicals found in the Cannabis sativa plant. On seeing the word “hemp”, you’re probably thinking, “Oh, so CBD is a fancy name for weed?”. No, it’s not.

Although they come from the same plant, marijuana contains high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive compound that affects your brain and causes a high. On the other hand, CBD has substantially lower amounts of this ingredient, has little to no effect on the nervous system.

CBD on Shopify

So, what then is CBD if it is not cannabis? A prescription FDA-approved drug from cannabidiol called Epidiolex, for example, is medically used to treat seizures. Also, CBD’s properties relieve symptoms linked to inflammation, anxiety, and ailments like Parkinson’s disease and Crohn’s disease. However, these claims aren’t backed up by trusted scientific research or the FDA, and their effect may vary depending on the individual.

CBD typically comes as oils but also has capsules, sprays, concentrates, and vaporized liquid.

Does Shopify Allow CBD?

Previously, we established that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is yet to approve most CBD products. Naturally, this should rouse suspicion, making the CBD industry a high-risk one. As a result, many eCommerce companies and banking institutions refuse to be associated with this trade. But does Shopify also take this stance? Can you sell CBD products on Shopify?

Luckily, yes, you can. Shopify allows you to sell CBD, and other related products, in your store, provided you follow all stipulated guidelines. So, with the right precautions, you’re free to sell your goods.

While it’s true that CBD doesn’t possess intoxicative qualities, not every CBD product is legal. The CBD market is quite complex to navigate, and you need to be careful when sourcing your products to avoid problems. Shopify doesn’t allow the sale of marijuana-derived CBD products. In other words, your CBD products will be flagged if the THC level is greater than 0.3%. We’ll get into detail about this shortly.

Additionally, depending on where you live, many regulatory laws govern the CBD industry, and you’ll need to adhere to them to thrive. You can sell CBD on Shopify and be profitable, but ensure you’re always current on federal and state laws relating to your products. This is important considering that these laws are still evolving and changing, so continually look out for them or get a lawyer if possible.

Is CBD Legal?

The laws surrounding this compound are intricate and challenging to navigate, so let’s clear up a few things. This way, you won’t get stuck in the ocean without a compass, and you’ll be better prepared to start your CBD Shopify store.

CBD on Shopify

First, although you’re used to calling it that, marijuana and hemp aren’t the same in the legal sense. Shocked? While hemp grows with less than 0.3% THC, marijuana (a classic weed) has more than 0.3%. This slight difference makes hemp legal and marijuana illegal at the federal level, although marijuana is legal in a few states.

Now, for another even more shocking legal complication. Your CBD may have less than 0.3% THC, but it may be illegal. Why? Just like Shopify expressly disapproves of marijuana-derived CBD, it’s also illegal at the federal level. To clear any brewing confusion, as the name implies, marijuana-derived CBD is CBD that’s gotten from marijuana.

Finally, hemp CBD may be grown correctly but get contaminated with illegal doses of THC during the extraction process. So, again, you need to be careful when choosing your manufacturer so your CBD Shopify store doesn’t run into trouble.

As a side note, your buyer must be of age to purchase CBD, either 18 or 21, depending on your state’s laws. Also, though CBD is legal in every state of the US, some states are stricter about THC levels than others. Read up on the cannabidiol laws of your state to know what you can and can’t sell.

What Do I Need to Sell CBD on Shopify?

No one wants their business to fail, but it’s a real, looming danger if you start a CBD Shopify store without putting a few things in place. You don’t have to go searching on your own. Here’s a list of the necessary documents, attestations, and agents you’ll need to run a successful CBD store on Shopify:

  • An Attestation for the Sale of Hemp and Hemp-derived products for US residents. Residents of other countries undergo processes required by the hemp and cannabis laws of the country in question.
  • A CBD merchant account and payment processor. Shopify’s payment processor doesn’t support CBD stores.
  • A disclaimer page to help your store’s aesthetic and, of course, pass information and warnings to customers.
  • Lastly, you need a trusted CBD manufacturer or supplier, especially if you opt for dropshipping and plan to market your products.

Terms like dropshipping and payment processor may have left you feeling stumped, but we’ll discuss them in the following sections.

Can I Dropship CBD on Shopify?

Before discussing whether dropshipping is allowed for cannabidiol products on Shopify, it’s necessary to know what it means.

In simple terms, dropshipping is a business model that allows you to make sales to a customer without stocking products. This means you deliver items to the customer from a manufacturer or supplier without purchasing the goods yourself. However, you’ll be responsible for marketing the goods and tracking the delivery.

Next, does Shopify allow dropshipping for CBD products? Of course! Like other dropshipping businesses, Shopify CBD dropshipping will enable you to reap the benefits of cannabidiol merchandising without keeping inventory. All you need to do to earn is direct traffic to your e-commerce store and make sales.

How Do I Get a CBD Supplier?

This step is important and can make or break your Shopify store. A bad supplier with bad products or prices means horrid customer reviews, which leads to fewer sales. Also, remember that you have little control over the products, so you want to have a trusted supplier.

Listing every CBD supplier out there will be tedious, considering that your options also depend on your location. Here’s a short list to get you started:

Before you choose your supplier, you may want to ask a couple of questions to test the brand’s quality and trustworthiness. It’s also advisable to test the supplier’s products by yourself. Doing this will help you know the products’ quality before marketing them to others. Most suppliers will give you free test samples, so ensure you request and use them.

Also, ensure your supplier is legally licensed to sell cannabidiol and carries out third-party testing for all products. Failure to ensure the safety of the already high-risk items may pose a cause for concern at the consumer level, and that’s a bad look for your CBD Shopify store.

How to Build a CBD Shopify Store

Now that you have everything you need for a functional CBD Shopify store let’s get into the details. Building a CBD Shopify store requires you to take a series of actions, all vital to the success of your online store. Leaving out any of these steps can lead to poor sales or, worse, Shopify shutting your store down. But there’s no cause for alarm; we’ve listed a step-by-step guide to increasing your chances of selling CBD successfully on Shopify.

1. Create a Shopify Store

This is a no-brainer, but you need a Shopify store to be able to sell CBD on Shopify. Building your Shopify store is relatively simple; visit Sell CBD Online, enter your email address, and click Start Free Trial.

Sell CBD on Shopify

Amazingly, Shopify awards you with a free 14-day trial period to enable you to get your feet wet and understand how your store works. Subsequently, you’ll pay a $29 monthly fee to retain access to your store.

Although Shopify does most of the maintenance and server setup, you can choose your store name. Don’t take this part lightly; you’ll want your store to rank when buyers search for keywords related to your brand. Stay away from registered brand names and domain names to avoid legal and ranking issues. Check for available domain names for your brand.

2. Fill and Submit the Attestation Form

Above, we mentioned an “Attestation for the sale of Hemp and Hemp-derived products” as one of the necessities for CBD trading. After creating your store, this is the next step Shopify will demand if you’re a US resident.

If you live in another country, Shopify requires that you meet the CBD laws of your country. For example, residents of Canada and the UK need a special license to sell cannabidiol products. Also, in Canada, you’ll have to create a Shopify Plus store to sell your CBD products. If you live in the US but don’t get the form, you need to verify that you’re based in the US.

3. Apply for a Third-Party Payment Gateway

Although Shopify supports CBD sales, its payment gateway, Shopify Payments, doesn’t allow payment for hemp-related products, including CBD. So, you’ll need to apply for a third-party payment gateway (or processor).

4. Notifications

After your payment gateway has been approved, put it on your store’s notifications. For Shopify CBD stores, this means email-only notifications, as SMS isn’t endorsed, so you must disable SMS notifications for customers.

What is a Payment Gateway?

If you’re new to Shopify, you may not know what a payment gateway is. So, here’s a little background story to help you out: As an online merchant, most of your customers, if not all, will make payments using credit or debit cards. This is where the payment gateway comes in.

Whichever system you choose becomes the middleman, helping you manage your customers’ card or bank transactions and payments. This system also allows you to have a merchant account where your customers can deposit their payments.

You’re probably wondering why you can’t use your regular bank account. For an eCommerce CBD store, you need to give your customers payment flexibility, and a payment processor offers you just that. Traditional banks will usually not want to associate with the risks surrounding CBD businesses because of the numerous legal complexities. Popular payment processors include Paypal, Apple Pay, and Amazon Pay.

So, what system allows cannabidiol payments? Shopify recommends two third-party payment gateways for CBD merchants – DigiPay and Pinwheel. We’ll look at each extensively below.

1. DigiPay


DigiPay is a payment processor that offers multiple financial solutions, including but not limited to digital wallet solutions, agency banking, bill payment, etc. It is uniquely integrated with Shopify to allow hemp and CBD payments. This means that although Shopify Payments will decline your transaction, Shopify has partnered with DigiPay to ensure your customers’ payment goes through.

To sign up for DigiPay, visit DigiPay and Shopify and click Apply now.

2. Pinwheel Pay

Payment Gateway Shopify

Pinwheel Pay is a secure payment platform that boasts flexible payment options, including cryptocurrency and an automated fraud tool. You can sign up for Pinwheel with this Shopify-specific link: Shopify Integrated. CBD Payment Experts. – Pinwheel Pay

Pinwheel Pay requires a three-step process before you can use them in your CBD Shopify store, and they are as follows:


The payment gateway uses this basic get-to-know-you form to get your personal and business details. You’ll need to input information like your name and email, business address, number of years in business, and product type.


Here, the payment gateway verifies your application and confirms any sensitive information. You may need to provide proof that your product’s THC levels are below the stipulated 0.3%.

Underwriting times differ depending on your product, business, and payment gateway. Typically, you’ll be verified within 3-7 days.


At this point, you’re good to go! Shopify will fully integrate your chosen third-party payment gateway into your CBD store.

What CBD Products Sell Well on Shopify?

We know CBD comes in many forms outside the conventional oil, but what specific CBD products can you sell on Shopify? CBD products have varying levels of THC concentration (all less than 0.3%). They include:

  1. Full-spectrum CBD – contains up to 0.3% THC.
  2. Broad-spectrum CBD – contains trace amounts of THC.
  3. Isolate CBD – contains no THC. Unfortunately, these products may not yield any notable results.

Depending on the type of CBD you decide to sell on Shopify, they all have pros and cons that you should learn. Similarly, consumers may react differently to each concentration level, so advertise your products cautiously.

Did you know that CBD isn’t specifically for humans alone? Yes, there’s a world of cannabidiol products for pets, so explore this area if you’re an animal lover.

Let’s now look at some examples of CBD products you can sell.

1. CBD oils



You can opt to sell these in various flavors. Also, organic, non-organic, and even gluten-free options exist for people with special concerns. You’ll want to ensure the brand you sell has an ISO certificate to convince your customer of quality.

2. Edibles

Edible CBD

CBD gummies are growing in popularity by leaps and bounds. Sell gummies with different doses, but communicate that starting at a lower dose is better, especially in your ads. More importantly, remember that the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD gummies or other edibles, so market your products cautiously.

3. Topicals

Selling CBD on Shopify

You can also apply CBD directly to the skin. Examples of topicals include lotions, creams, balms, tinctures, and salves. Again, these come in different strengths and potencies.

4. Vapes

CBD Vapes

CBD vapes have attracted negative attention due to contamination lately, but this doesn’t discourage some buyers. Vaporized CBD oil is in high demand currently, especially because vaping is trendy, so you may want to take advantage of this market.

Other products include capsules, pills/supplements, sprays, hair products, and atomizers.

Marketing CBD Products on Shopify

No one will buy your beautifully packaged organic CBD oil if they don’t know about it. So, what’s the best way to market your products, attract customers, and make sales?

Shopify gives you many marketing tools and options to take your business to the next level. Below is a list of a few options you can use for your CBD Shopify store.

1. Aesthetics and Promos

These go hand-in-hand because they’re the first things your customer sees on landing on your store’s page. So you can’t afford to have an unattractive page with poor-quality images. Attach product descriptions to your images highlighting the benefits of each cannabidiol product along with reviews if you have any.

You may also decide to welcome first-time customers with bonuses and include any certifications your product has that guarantee its quality. Careful, though; a misleading certificate (like a false FDA approval) will likely close your Shopify store down.

2. Content Marketing

This is an entire field of study on its own, and it wouldn’t hurt to hire a Shopify expert that can show you the ropes. You must use keywords relating to your brand to attract potential customers to your page. A keyword is the customer’s possible search query, and using these exact or related words will rank your store higher on your search engine result pages.

3. Build an Email List

Have you ever purchased a product because of an email newsletter? That’s the power of email marketing. You get to communicate directly with your potential customer. Connect with your customer through email, and occasionally, send enticing offers and discounts to them.

4. Run Ads

You may decide not to run ads at the beginning unless your budget can accommodate it. But, if you choose this route, targeted ads on social media platforms can multiply your customer base quickly; after all, the CBD market is growing fast.

However, note that platforms like Facebook and Instagram restrict ads for hemp products. So, always read up on their guidelines.

FAQs About Successfully Selling CBD Products on Shopify

1. What is CBD?

CBD or cannabidiol, is a chemical derived from the Cannabis plant for its alleged pain-relieving and mental health benefits.

2. Can I sell CBD on Shopify?

Yes, you can. Since 2019, Shopify has allowed the sale of cannabidiol products, provided they have less than 0.3% THC.

3. Is CBD intoxicating?

No. THC, the chemical compound responsible for the psychoactive properties of cannabis and marijuana, is substantially reduced or absent in CBD products.

4. Will Shopify Payments support my CBD store?

No. Although Shopify permits the sale of CBD products, its payment processor does not work due to the high-risk nature of the business. So, you’ll require a third-party payment gateway to process customer payments. Good examples are DigiPay and Pinwheel.

5. Why is CBD considered high-risk?

Many people think CBD is high-risk because of the complex laws guiding its sale and purchase.

Final Thoughts…

Although risky, there’s no harm in using and selling CBD products in safe doses. You’re fine if you keep to the rules and regulations governing the sale of hemp and hemp-related products. Review your state’s laws regarding hemp and cannabidiol occasionally, so you’re not surprised. If you have all these in place, successfully selling CBD on your Shopify store will be a walk in the park.

Adoric can help turn your store visitors into paying customers. You’d be significantly reducing bounce and cart abandonment rates with attractive promo ads that keep your visitors glued to your web pages.

Ready to help your Shopify CBD store thrive? Get the Adoric Shopify app today!

Install Adoric Shopify App