Did you know that the CBD product market is projected to reach $20 billion in sales by 2024? Twenty BILLION!

It’s certainly a hot market, and if you’re an eCommerce retailer selling CBD products, this is the post for you. (Don’t worry — you can still take away some solid info about shipping regulated products, even if you don’t sell CBD!).

While CBD is growing fast in popularity, eCommerce sellers may still need help with the best way to ship these products while following all relevant regulations across state and country lines. ShipperHQ is here to help you sharpen your CBD shipping strategy and CBD shipping policy and guide you on how to grow your business along with the booming market.

Navigating CBD Shipping Regulations: Key Points and Strategies for eCommerce Retailers

  • The CBD product market is projected to reach $20 billion in sales by 2024.
  • eCommerce retailers face challenges in shipping CBD products while adhering to regulations.
  • CBD must be derived from the hemp plant and contain less than 0.3% THC for legal shipment within the United States.
  • State laws vary, with some allowing no THC levels in CBD products.
  • International shipping requires careful consideration, as some countries have strict regulations or bans on cannabis-related items.
  • Major carriers like UPS, FedEx, and USPS have their own regulations for shipping CBD.
  • Compliance with changing laws is crucial, and seeking legal advice is recommended.
  • Using a third-party logistics provider can assist with CBD storage, packaging, shipping, and delivery.
  • ShipperHQ offers solutions to help businesses stay compliant and scale, including defining delivery zones, setting up shipping groups, and utilizing dimensional packing.
  • A success story from cbdMD showcases how ShipperHQ streamlined shipping operations while saving coding time.
  • Legal advice should be sought for specific law-related questions.

What Exactly Am I Allowed to Ship?

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Let’s jump right in with the basics. CBD (aka cannabidiol) is derived from the cannabis plant but is typically sold without or with low amounts of THC (aka tetrahydrocannabinol — the psychoactive element part of the cannabis plant). 

CBD can be extracted and formulated in many ways, but it must be derived from the hemp plant for selling and shipping purposes. Additionally, it is federally legal to ship CBD extracts within the United States as long as it contains less than 0.3% of THC within the product. 

Factors to Consider When Shipping CBD

Many eCommerce merchants need help with shipping CBD products. Here are a few factors to keep in mind when setting up your shipping process:

State Laws

Remember how we said above that it is federally legal to sell CBD in the US, with specific regulations? Like everything else in life, there are exceptions to this rule. Those rules fall into the hands of the states, who get to determine their laws when it comes to CBD shipping.

We’re not going to get into the weeds here (pun absolutely intended), but it’s important to understand how specific each state law can be when it comes to CBD shipping. For example, some states may have the same rule for THC levels as the federal law, while others may not allow CBD products with any THC levels. 

So, it’s absolutely imperative to actively (and continually) check every state’s main government website when determining their specific regulations for selling and shipping CBD products. We are always here to support you regarding your shipping needs, but please remember to seek legal counsel if you have any law-related questions! (We’re good, but we aren’t “legal advice” good). 

Country Laws

This is another big one to confirm before shipping any CBD products internationally. Some countries specify the maximum amount of THC allowed in CBD items, while others have a strict ban on anything cannabis-related coming into their country. Check with your international carriers to determine their specific regulations or the country’s main governmental website for more info!

Carrier Regulations

So, who accepts CBD shipments? Most major carriers will ship CBD products, but each carrier has its own rules and regulations. Here are just a few examples:

  • UPS: UPS will not ship a product if made at the same facility as marijuana-derived products.
  • FedEx: FedEx only recently allowed CBD shipping but now will enable shipments of hemp-derived CBD only (no marijuana-derived products!). They also ban the shipment of “raw or unrefined hemp plants.” 
  • USPS: Along with the federal and state law regulations, the USPS requires that the mailer “retains records establishing compliance with such laws and plans, including laboratory test results, licenses, or compliance reports, for no less than 3 years after the date of mailing”.

Some carriers may also require lab tests to be presented or available before shipping. Be sure to check each of your carriers’ requirements carefully so you know exactly what you need to do to remain compliant! Especially since the guidelines are constantly changing when new laws come into play. 

A quick tip: Consider using a third-party logistics provider to help manage the CBD storage, packaging, shipping, and delivery of your products. Feel free to reach out to us for recommendations!

Essential Steps for Packaging and Shipping CBD Oil

Packaging and shipping CBD oil require careful steps to ensure compliance and product integrity:

  • Choose durable, leak-proof packaging, such as amber glass bottles.
  • Seal bottles securely and consider using shrink bands or tamper-evident seals.
  • Include necessary documentation, such as labels, ingredient lists, and lab test results.
  • Package fragile items with appropriate cushioning materials.
  • Clearly label packages with shipping information and comply with carrier-specific requirements.
  • Select a reliable shipping carrier experienced in handling CBD oil.
  • Consider temperature control options for sensitive CBD oil products.
  • Track and insure shipments for monitoring and protection.
  • Stay informed about regulatory changes and update processes accordingly.

Following these steps ensures compliant and secure packaging and shipping of CBD oil.

How ShipperHQ Can Help You Stay Compliant and Scale Your Business

Piece of mind  and compliance with ShipperHQ

Once you’ve determined your shipping requirements and ensured you follow all applicable laws, ShipperHQ can help you make your delivery operation much easier. Here are some strategies to help you remain compliant as you scale your CBD business!

1. Define Delivery Zones

With ShipperHQ, you can define specific delivery zones to allow or restrict shipping to certain areas. For example, you are restricted from shipping one of your products to Arizona. Within ShipperHQ, you can set up a shipping rule where the system automatically eliminates Arizona as a delivery option.

2. Set Up Shipping Groups

Creating shipping groups will allow you to apply specific rules to certain groups of products. For example, if you sell several products that cannot ship via air travel, you can flag those products to prevent that carrier option from showing up in the customer’s checkout. 

3. Utilize Dimensional Packing

Dimensional Packing can consider aspects like padding and tolerance within the boxes. For example, if your products need to be stored in fragile packaging, then this tool can consider the exact padding required for that shipment. This helps to get a more precise shipping quote at checkout so that you (the merchant) are not stuck with additional charges.

Customer Storytime

Say hello to our friends at cbdMD! This Charlotte-based CBD company focuses on delivering quality products directly to their customers (and their pets!). 

CBD Product examples

As they grew their business and created new products with more complex regulations, they knew they needed a shipping partner to help strategize and streamline their operation.

With ShipperHQ, they could quickly and confidently set up shipping rules and groups to exclude specific states from the shipment of restricted products — all while saving their development team over 10 hours in coding time! Check out more of their story and how ShipperHQ’s features helped keep their product launch on track and compliant over here! (coming soon)

Are you ready to up your CBD shipping game? Try out ShipperHQ free for 15 days and grow your business with confidence!


How can I ensure CBD shipping compliance?

Stay informed about regulations, label packages correctly, include required documentation, and work with reputable carriers experienced in CBD shipping.

What are common CBD shipping mistakes?

Common mistakes include improper packaging, inadequate labeling, missing documentation, and using carriers unfamiliar with CBD regulations.

Can I track CBD product shipments?

Yes, most carriers offer tracking services for CBD shipments. Retain tracking numbers for reference.

How should I handle CBD shipping returns?

Follow carrier and destination state/country regulations for returns. Contact the carrier for specific procedures.

What role do third-party logistics play in CBD shipping?

Third-party logistics providers assist with storage, packaging, shipping, and compliance, streamlining CBD logistics operations.

This post is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as legal advice.