Google relaxes some advertising restrictions for hemp, CBD products

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Google Ads will no longer ban all hemp and CBD advertising in California, Colorado and Puerto Rico, but there continue to be limitations to marketers.

Google announced the change to its ad policies in a blog post.

As of Jan. 20, 2023, the ban will be lifted for:

  • FDA-approved pharmaceutical products containing CBD.
  • Topical, hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC.

Companies marketing CBD topicals must be certified by LegitScript, which involves submitting products for lab testing and providing a third-party Certificate of Analysis.

Then, Google must also certify the company.

Supplements, food additives and inhaled products will still be banned under Google’s rules.

Also, not all ad formats are available to marketers, including YouTube Masthead.

CBD will no longer be included on the company’s list of Unapproved Pharmaceuticals and Supplements.

Despite Google’s policies, cannabis marketers have discovered loopholes to place digital ads.

The trick? Avoiding language containing cannabis-related terms in ad copy or on websites or using different advertising platforms entirely.