Cannabidiol (CBD) products have become super popular over the past few years, with ecommerce sales of CBD reaching $3 billion in 2022 alone.
Some 44% of regular users spend between $20 and $80 per month on CBD products, making CBD dropshipping a lucrative business idea for entrepreneurs looking to start a business on a budget. You don’t need to invest money into product development or inventory—simply sell an existing CBD product at a higher price and have your dropshipping service handle fulfillment.
But dropshipping CBD is somewhat different to selling other types of products. A scattered supplier base and mixed-quality products make CBD dropshipping a high-risk (though also high-return) business.
Do it right, though, and dropshipping oil and other hemp-derived CBD products through your Shopify store can be a lucrative niche. Here’s how to get started.
- What is CBD dropshipping?
- What makes dropshipping CBD different from dropshipping other products?
- How to get started with CBD dropshipping
What is CBD dropshipping?
CBD dropshipping is the process of selling products containing hemp-derived cannabidiol through an online store.
The difference between a traditional CBD company and dropshipping CBD is that you don’t need to hold inventory. You’ll work with a third-party dropshipping supplier who picks, packs, and fulfills a customer’s order when placed through your ecommerce store.
What makes dropshipping CBD different from dropshipping other products?
Because CBD products contain cannabis-related compounds, the dropshipping process is slightly different from other products.
CBD is a regulated product, which makes dropshipping it more complex than dropshipping other items. Laws for selling hemp-derived products vary widely between countries, and even between states in the US.
Although CBD products don’t contain THC, some states have laws that prevent people under the age of 18 or 21 from using or buying CBD products. You’ll need to verify that people purchasing CBD products through your dropshipping store meet the age requirements for that state, like CBD Farmers Collective does with a splash page.
More variation in suppliers
According to Thys du Plooy, owner and founder of Our CBD Pantry, dropshipping lets brands offer a wider range of products.
“This also enables me to find the truly outstanding products in a category and focus on these rather than having to offer products that aren’t necessarily as good but are convenient due to supplier relationships,” Thys says.
The CBD industry also encompasses a wide variety of hemp products to dropship, including:
- Supplements, capsules, and pills
- CBD flowers
- CBD for dogs and pets
- CBD oils for vaping
- CBD gummies and edibles
- Creams and lotions
- Bath bombs
- Ointments, tinctures, and topicals
- Sprays and atomizers
That variety comes with the cost of a wide range of quality. It can be more difficult to find a reputable supplier selling a high-quality product at a price you’ll still make profit on.
Speaking of profit, CBD dropshipping can be highly profitable when done right, with CBD products selling for a premium price. The greater the margin between the product price and your resale price, the more money you’ll make as a CBD dropshipper.
How to get started with CBD dropshipping
Despite the rules and regulations around dropshipping hemp-derived products, it’s an easy way to make money online without a cash investment upfront. Here’s how to start a CBD dropshipping program.
1. Choose a CBD dropshipping supplier
The quality of your dropshipping supplier arguably plays the largest role in the success of your new business. After all, shoppers won’t know that you’re not physically fulfilling orders. Any errors that your dropshipping company makes are your responsibility.
When searching for suppliers, ask for certification that proves its products are safe and regulated. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that some companies are using CBD “in ways that violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and that may put the health and safety of consumers at risk.” Protect your business by choosing a regulated supplier.
Online shoppers want free, fast delivery—so much so that 32% avoid making purchases that don’t meet their shipping requirements. Choose a dropshipping partner that leaves minimal time between receiving an order and marking it as shipped.
Need help finding a CBD dropshipping supplier? Popular options include:
—Thys du Plooy, owner and founder of Our CBD Pantry
2. Set up your online store
Once you’ve found your supplier, create an online store for customers to place orders. Shopify is perfect for hosting your CBD online store since it offers:
- Low start-up costs
- Reliable payment gateways that accept debit and credit card payment for CBD products
- Turnkey health and beauty website themes
If you’re based in the US, you’ll need to submit an attestation to Shopify for the sale of hemp and hemp-derived products. This proves you’re using a payment processor that accepts payments for CBD-related products.
3. Add CBD products to your store
Once you’ve created an ecommerce website for your CBD dropshipping business, use conversion rate optimization (CRO) best practices to increase the percentage of people that buy. That includes:
- High-quality images to help online shoppers who can’t sample the product
- Product descriptions thatfocus on the health benefits, from anxiety to pain relief, of each CBD product you’re selling
- Customer reviews and testimonials, which are used by 93% of shoppers prior to making an online purchase
- Trust signals, such as money-back guarantees or logos of any third-party certifications products may have, to build the trust an online shopper needs to feel confident in their purchase
- Welcome bars to announce special promotions or shipping deals, such as “spend $50 to qualify for free shipping” (This tactic is proven to increase average order value, and therefore, profits.)
4. Promote your products
To start making money as a CBD dropshipper, customers need to know that your online store exists. Identify your target customer and run marketing campaigns to reach them using the following tactics:
- Content marketing. Discover the keywords your target customer is searching for, such as “best CBD oils,” and produce an optimized piece of content that appears in their search engine results page.
- Email marketing. Encourage website visitors to join your email list with coupon codes or exclusive content. It’ll give you a direct line of communication with customers—even if they haven’t purchased yet.
- Influencer marketing. As your CBD store begins to grow, identify influencers that your target audience listens to. Pay a small fee to have the influencer promote your products to their fan base. This builds brand recognition and sales, especially considering 62% of shoppers consider influencer recommendations more trustworthy than celebrity endorsements.
Owned marketing channels like email are best since you control your relationship and communication with customers. But if you have some cash to invest, consider running PPC ads on Facebook, Instagram, or Google. Advanced targeting features across each platform allow you to reach your target market from $5 per day.
Note that some advertising platforms, including Meta, restrict how hemp-derived products can be advertised across its social media networks. You may need to edit your campaign messaging to meet its advertising criteria.
There’s no need to fear CBD dropshipping
While regulations around hemp-derived products are stricter than others, CBD users spend lots of money on their favorite products. Become a CBD dropshipper and you’ll profit on that existing spend without manufacturing, storing, or fulfilling your own orders.
CBD dropshipping FAQ
Can you dropship CBD?
You can dropship CBD products through your own online store. Popular dropshipped CBD products include hemp oil, supplements, lotions, and skin care items.
Is dropshipping CBD profitable?
CBD dropshipping can be a profitable business for first-time entrepreneurs. To maximize your earning potential, choose a high-quality product at a low price. Markup the same product on your online store with a high profit margin and net the difference.
How do you price CBD products for dropshipping?
When pricing CBD products, calculate the total costs of buying and selling the product, including supplier fees and shipping costs. Research the sale price of comparable CBD products. Price yours competitively while covering the cost of sale.