Best Practices When Making CBD Claims
May 14, 2020 | Merchants | Dustin
With the rapid growth in CBD merchant accounts, banks are enforcing stricter policies when it comes to CBD health claims. As a general rule, it’s critical to avoid specific language and direct medical claims on your website. Following a few basic policies and adjusting the wording for CBD items on your website will help expedite your approval process and get your merchant account up and running fast.
Bank Regulations For CBD Merchants
Consistent with FDA compliance regulations, banks, and payment processing providers will be focusing on the following.
- Product Descriptions – Omit claims made in these descriptions. Keep descriptions specific to the physical properties of the item or the process by which they are made. Don’t extend the descriptions to include health benefits or purported effects.
- Keep Academic Claims Separate – CBD health reports or discussions about individual experiences should be separate from any product marketing. If you want to discuss CBD health benefits, create a separate website from the one you are selling products on.
- FDA Disclaimer – Having an FDA disclaimer doesn’t counter the claim. So if you think your description needs a disclaimer, then it should be rewritten altogether.
What Are Your Limits?
The FDA is lenient when it comes to the discussion of clinical evidence regarding CBD, however, their goal is to produce top-level researched-based findings. As a result, they focus on reducing misinformation or claims that are not well-established according to their standards.
You can state that CBD has the potential for certain health effects, but you cannot make the statement while endorsing your own products since the FDA has not evaluated your specific products for those health claims.
Soft Claims for CBD
Rewriting product descriptions may change the semantics of your message, but even soft claims are being heavily regulated. If you adjust the language to make it less direct, banks may still reject your application. Words like “may”, “possibly”, and “potentially” reduce the potency of your claim, but are still outside the limits of what’s allowed.
In general, claims come down to intent. If your intent is to enhance your product description, do not use any language related to medical benefits. Suggesting possible benefits and individual experiences conflates the facts and can persuade buyers into believing there is FDA approved evidence and research to support your claims. If your merchant provider disapproves of your word choice, it can delay the approval process or may get your application rejected completely.
Although product reviews can be useful when buying new products, they are not allowed when they make health claims. If you have a testimonial section on your site, be sure to omit any mention of health-related commentary.
Don’t List Diseases Or Conditions
A bank will reject your application if you are making claims that your CBD product helps relieve, cure, or improve specific illnesses or conditions. The list of these claims is vast and ranges from ADD and Anxiety to PTSD or Psoriasis. There are countless ailments that individuals have claimed CBD has helped them with, but they cannot be present on your site or in product descriptions.
Following these basic guidelines and avoiding definitive language will help you streamline your application and open your CBD merchant account fast.
CBD Website Requirements
In order to validate the buyer journey on your website, banks will test out buying a product. If your site is not fully operational or, if there are pages missing in the purchasing sequence, then you’ll need to finish building the website.
- Note: Banks are aware that you require an account to complete a purchase so it’s ok if your checkout page is a temporary or test page.
Farm Bill and Delta-9
One of the most common responses we receive is in regard to the Delta-9 stipulation in the Farm Bill. To state it clearly, the Delta-9 does not matter when applying for a merchant account.
You must show through valid COAs that your product contains less than 0.3% THC dry weight. If not, banks will reject your account. Moreover, the type of THC is irrelevant (THC, THCA, THCV). This rule is one banks are most strict with, so be sure to provide proper documentation within the designated ranges, and you will be fine.
Changing or omitting health claims and following website and product requirements will help you get your CBD company processing payments fast.
May 14, 2020 | Merchants | Dustin