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New CBD, Cannabis and Hemp Advertising on Google

2 Minute Read

For years, advertising on Google as a CBD or Hemp related business has been an absolute nightmare. Everyone has looked for an edge on how to get their business name out to the public while staying within the strict guidelines of Google. Businesses have only been able to go the organic path with SEO services. Frustration has grown as the world around us has widely accepted CBD and Hemp related products, as we see new store fronts popping up around us very quickly. Seeing how the world has been adjusting to the rise of Cannabis, it is clear it was only a matter of time until Google adjusted as well. 

Well, here we are - they have. The Google Ads and PPC landscape in this industry is about to change. The change is slight but it is a sign of things to come and here is what you need to know. Below is a synopsis of what Google has come out and stated. 

On January 20, 2023, the Dangerous Products and Services and Healthcare and Medicines Google Ads policies will be updated to allow for the promotion of FDA-approved pharmaceuticals containing cannabidiol (CBD) and topical, hemp-derived CBD products with THC content of 0.3% or less in California, Colorado, and Puerto Rico. Certain formats, including YouTube Masthead, will not be eligible for serving. CBD will be removed from the Unapproved Pharmaceuticals and Supplements list. All ads promoting other CBD-based products, including supplements, food additives, and inhalants, continue to be disallowed.

In the United States, only topical CBD products that have been certified by LegitScript can be promoted on Google. Certification will require that products sought to be advertised: (1) provide samples of their product to test for compliance with legal THC limits; and (2) provide LegitScript a third-party Certificate of Analysis. LegitScript does not certify FDA-approved pharmaceuticals with CBD.

LegitScript charges a fee for processing and monitoring applicants. To learn more about LegitScript certification and submit an application, visit the LegitScript website. Advertisers can apply for certification immediately.

Recreational CBD advertisers that are certified by LegitScript and FDA-approved pharmaceuticals containing CBD must then be certified by Google before they can begin advertising. Advertisers can request certification with Google starting on January 20, 2023, when the form is published.

Check out this video explaining the changes!


Important Take Aways

  • Changes affect California, Colorado and Puerto Rico
  • Allows promotion of FDA-approved pharmaceuticals that contain CBD and topical hemp-derived CBD products with THC content of 0.3% or less
  • CBD will be removed from the list of unapproved pharmaceuticals and supplements.
  • In the US, only topical CBD products that have been certified by LegitScript can be advertised on Google.
  • January 20, 2023 - Form to be published
All in all, the change is small but it is clear, you need to get ready for the changes ahead because change is coming and it will be huge for CBD and Cannabis.
Pat Florence

Pat Florence

VP of Marketing & Communications