CBD products have exploded in popularity over the last few years, and Facebook, like other social media platforms, seems like a perfect place to advertise and promote them. Is it allowed?
What is CBD and why is it so popular nowadays?
Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is a chemical compound obtained from the hemp plant, a variety of the cannabis plant. There are more than 100 other components. One of them is THC, known for giving the “high” feeling when smoked or ingested.
The two compounds -THC and CBD – have a lot in common, but unlike THC, CBD does not have psychoactive effects.
Psychoactive does not necessarily imply dependence-producing, it means that when some particular substance is taken it can adversely affect mental processes which may lead to temporary changes of mood, behaviour or perception of reality.
In that sense, being non-psychoactive, CBD has all the benefits of the plant without the high feeling impact associated with THC.
Due to recent scientific studies confirming it can ease symptoms of different diseases and affections, like schizophrenia, chronic pain, anxiety or insomnia (just to name a few!) the public interest in CBD has grown, and the industry substantially increased in the last few years.
The wide range of CBD products is popping up in diverse stores, sold as creams, lotions, oils, pills, dog treats and bath scrubs, among others.
This rise of interest in CBD also aligns with several countries around the world legalizing cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes.
Even some of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities, film stars and professional athletes are using and advocating CBD. Many of them have dealt with pain, stress or anxiety. Others are just proponents of CBD usage because for a long time they believe in the importance of CBD and they want to make it a more available option for those struggling with medical chronic issues.
Facebook policies about CBD ads
Based on the platform’s policies on illegal products or services, drugs and unsafe supplements, Facebook rejects advertisements for CBD products at its discretion. The policies also govern advertising on Instagram, as it is owned by Facebook.
This is really frustrating for the industry: CBD brands have a tremendous amount of challenges when it comes to marketing their products. Advertising on some platforms has become a looming obstacle.
Facebook will now allow (some) CBD ads
However, Facebook announced recently that will open itself up to more advertising from CBD. The platform has relaxed its prohibition on CBD products.
A last year policy change allows CBD brands to run ads for topical hemp products across Facebook, but continues to ban ads that feature ingestible hemp, including ads that direct to landing pages with those products.
The change of policy came shortly after large pharmacies and other retail businesses announced their interest in selling CBD products by 2020. That means that CBD companies or startups will be seeing more competition, so advertising on social media has become more important than ever.
That’s why some CBD brands are trying other strategies to advertise, such as removing CBD and cannabis-related keywords from their ads and websites and choosing instead for other terms such as “natural” or “plant-based” and developing specific landing pages that don’t mention any CBD product ingredient.
Another popular way that companies use to run ads for CBD products on Facebook is posting from an educational standpoint of CBD instead of a sales placement of the products.
The key to do it is being creative and very careful: don’t forget that attempting to secure ad approval involves some risk that your business profile associated with your ad account could be deleted. To avoid that, you can run ads through a separate advertising account.
It should be noted that even if Facebook approves a given ad, there’s no guarantee that it won’t be removed later on, so don’t rely only on these ads.
One thing is true: CBD will likely continue to expand in the years ahead. More people everyday -even those who haven’t tried it or don’t need it- are more open to these products.
In that sense, more high-quality research is required to further understand and support CBD, and finally loose restrictions on its use and marketing. As awareness of CBD continues to grow, in a short period of time – hopefully- we’ll have a different picture.