Exploring the Growing CBD Market: Challenges and Opportunities

The potential of the CBD industry has led many people to explore how they can launch a CBD business. However, the industry is not without challenges, especially around the evolving legal landscape, but the opportunity is significant. If you're thinking of getting involved in the CBD industry, you should first understand more about cannabinoids and the products that use them. CBD is one of more than 100 cannabinoids, compounds found in cannabis and hemp plants.

The most famous cannabinoid is undoubtedly tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), responsible for poisoning associated with cannabis use. However, CBD does not produce an intoxicating effect; instead, it offers potential therapeutic and health benefits, although research is ongoing on its potential medical applications. CBD products are generally created in several steps. First, the raw material must be cultivated and harvested.

For example, if you're planning to use industrial hemp to create your CBD products, you'll need to grow or buy a large amount of the plant. From there, CBD oil is extracted from the plant by a variety of methods. Once again, you can do it yourself or outsource the process to an extraction company. Once you have extracted the CBD oil, it can be sold as a concentrate or used to infuse a variety of products.

Some of the most common CBD products on the market today include sublingual tinctures, infused foods, and topical products, such as gels or creams. Industrial hemp contains less than 0.3% THC and, as such, it is considered legal under federal law to cultivate, harvest and process to obtain finished products. Cannabis, on the other hand, contains more than 0.3% THC (often much higher levels) and is still illegal at the federal level. Hemp and cannabis are closely related; in fact, industrial hemp is actually Cannabis sativa L.

The difference in name is mainly due to a legal definition, which sets the threshold for the THC content. The flowers of a hemp plant contain little or no THC, while the flowers of a cannabis plant (commonly known as marijuana) contain much higher levels of THC. If you've already done any research on the CBD market, chances are you've come across the terms “full spectrum” or “isolated”. Depending on the extraction methods used, CBD oil obtained from the plant may contain other cannabinoids and compounds found in the source plant.

This is what is known as full-spectrum CBD. Full-spectrum CBD not only contains other cannabinoids found in the source material, but also compounds known as terpenes, which are responsible for creating the flavor profile, aroma and specific effects of the plant. CBD isolate, as the name suggests, is a concentrate that only contains CBD and no other cannabinoids or terpenes. While the purity of CBD isolate may seem desirable, there is some evidence to suggest that full-spectrum CBD promotes an “entourage effect”; that is, the compounds in a full-spectrum hemp extract work together to promote more significant effects.

Researchers studying CBD and other cannabinoids are still investigating the entourage effect. Needless to say, society is increasingly open-minded and accepting of CBD. Many people use it to relieve pain, manage stress, sleep better and more; and many gas stations, restaurants and local CVS stores now sell it. Plus, CBD isn't just for humans.

Animals also experience calming effects when given small doses, and many companies offer CBD products for pets, such as dogs or cats. There are countless unique opportunities for startups to sell CBD. Starting a CBD business includes all the hard work and effort of launching any other company, plus the uncertainty of a changing regulatory landscape (and all the issues that come with it). However, in a fledgling industry that is projected to experience explosive growth, today's heavy lifting could well be worth it tomorrow.

Cory Slovik, owner of Core Roots CBD, founded his company after experiencing firsthand what he said were the healing properties of the cannabinoid. Slovik soon launched Core Roots CBD looking for a business opportunity and a way to help others deal with their pain. He said that starting a CBD company is just like any other business plus a bunch of extra steps. Understanding your legal obligations and playing it safe is key in a heavily analyzed industry.

While CBD companies around the world expect clearer regulatory guidance it's important not to design their marketing strategy around the purported benefits of CBD. It's also important to keep abreast of new developments as the FDA moves forward in developing new regulations. To successfully advertise and sell your CBD products you'll need to be creative. Setting up your own e-commerce store or taking your products to a physical location is a must.

Marketing your product with an organic search strategy and customer loyalty programs is always safer than using paid advertising. And of course every market is a little different so do your research and understand local and state laws. The key to gaining a competitive advantage with staying power in the CBD industry is to develop a high-quality product that will withstand upcoming scrutiny from both regulators and polite consumers alike. If you want to differentiate yourself from other CBD companies it's key to provide third-party laboratory test results to validate quality of your product Slovik said.

In addition Slovik said that obtaining certifications such as USDA organic certification good manufacturing practices and FDA facility registration are important measures to instill confidence in consumers about quality of product they buy overall Slovik said formula for success is simple even if process is complicated.

Tamara Lutze
Tamara Lutze

General travel nerd. Incurable zombie ninja. Infuriatingly humble food fanatic. Freelance beer lover. Unapologetic travel specialist.

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