eCommerce definitely had its moment in 2020. With the pandemic keeping people at home, online shopping has exploded, while many brick-and-mortar stores are struggling. Alongside this growth has been an increase in online CBD brands and retailers, as companies look to take advantage of the new digital market.
At the same time, lots of us miss the personal aspect of shopping in a physical store with experienced employees ready to help us out. Small cannabis dispensaries and large retail chains alike have begun to stock a wider range of CBD products to meet demand.
So when it comes to buying CBD, which is better: buying online or in-store? Here are the pros and cons of each.
There’s no doubt that shopping online brings a new level of convenience to browsing and purchasing CBD. With so much choice, fast delivery, and little risk of products being out of stock, eCommerce lets those consumers who know what they’re looking for quickly find what they want.
However, while stores can’t match CBD websites in terms of choice, they do give consumers convenience in the form of customer service. Those who are newer to the world of CBD benefit from the knowledge of store staff, who can help consumers quickly pick out the perfect product for their needs.
When shopping online, it’s not always clear where exactly products are being shipped from, and many consumers may be worried about breaking state or federal regulations and laws.
The good news is that, for any zero-THC, hemp CBD product, this is no longer an issue. Amendments to the federal Farm Bill in 2018 mean that CBD isolates extract from hemp can be legally bought and sold across all 50 states.
The picture is a little more complicated for CBD products that do contain THC, with each state taking a slightly different stance on laws and regulations. When shopping for these products, it’s often easier and safer to head into a local physical store, where you can feel confident that what you’re buying is definitely legal for your location.
When correctly made, CBD is a highly safe substance with a low side-effect profile and a toxicity level that would require people to consume several bottles of CBD oil before risking illness.
Unfortunately, however, not all CBD products are correctly made. The unregulated nature of the CBD market has attracted bad actors and those looking to make a quick profit without concern for producing safe or genuine CBD.
The risk of buying sub-par CBD is much higher online, where companies can use sleek branding or find their way onto trusted sites like Amazon, even though the marketplace doesn’t allow CBD to be sold there.
For those concerned about quality, shopping in-store is definitely the way to go. In physical locations, products will have been carefully chosen by store managers, and employees will be able to give consumers all the info they need on ingredient sourcing and production.
If you’re buying CBD for pets, it’s especially important to use an expert retailer such as a pet store, where employees really understand dogs’ needs.
Choice And Research
With the amount of choice available to online consumers, there’s a greater ability to research CBD products. This allows consumers to see which products are most popular and whether any have a particularly impressive history for meeting their specific needs.
For example, those looking for CBD to help with joint pain and arthritis can search online reviews and forums to find the most effective products around, while owners of French Bulldogs can see which pet CBD brand works best for that breed.
While stores may have a far more limited selection, each CBD product stocked by a physical store will have been specifically curated, and may even have been personally tested by employees. Shopping in-store is a great way to get a sense of which products your local community likes.
The Bottom Line
There are advantages to buying CBD both online and in-store, so the choice really comes down to individual consumer needs.
For those who have been using CBD for some time, and have built up some knowledge around cannabis, then shopping online allows consumers to quickly and efficiently find what they’re looking for.
For people who are new to CBD, buying in-store may be the way to go. Heading to a specialist store allows consumers to discuss their needs with employees, take advantage of expert advice, and perhaps even try out a few different types of CBD to find the perfect product for them.
If you are interested in even more lifestyle-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.