Getting into the cannabis industry has never been a hotter topic than it is now. From sports stars to wellness enthusiasts, everyone wants a piece of this industry. And who can blame them? In the past decade, cannabis has undergone a transformation in the public eye, and much of this is thanks to the rise of CBD (cannabidiol). The CBD industry is predicted to be valued at $20 billion by 2024, and with the rising interest in health, wellness, and natural alternatives – this figure is only looking to rise.
However, like all good things in life, breaking into the cannabis industry entails hard work, dedication, and the right knowledge.
We’re here today to help you get a head start on your venture into the cannabis industry with the five things you need to know before you start a CBD business.
The difference between hemp and marijuana
This is a crucial place to begin. Although public education on cannabis has improved massively in recent years, there is still some way to go. Initially, when you tell people you work with cannabis you may be at the receiving end of some inquisitive faces or some pushback. You will find yourself explaining that no, you are not a drug dealer, and neither are you a massive stoner.
What needs to be explained and understood is the crucial difference between hemp and marijuana.
The cannabis plant family reaches far and wide, and hemp and marijuana are just two types of cannabis. But although they belong to the same family, there are crucial differences in their chemical compositions and consequent effects.
Plants from the cannabis family have an effect on the human body due to compounds known as cannabinoids, or more specifically when they originate in a plant, phytocannabinoids. Marijuana has a particularly high amount of the phytocannabinoid THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). This compound is wholly responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana, the feelings associated with being ‘high’.
Meanwhile, hemp – the plant from which CBD is extracted – has minimal THC content. The strains of hemp which are cultivated in order to produce CBD are chosen due to the high amount of CBD, and the low amount of THC. In fact, it is a legal requirement for all CBD products to have a THC content of less than 0.2%, so you will never experience any mind-altering effects as a result of taking CBD.
So if it’s not mind-altering, how does CBD interact with the body? Good question! Inside all of us, there is a system, made up of sets of receptors, called the endocannabinoid system (or the ECS). This is how all cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids take effect within us. When CBD meets these receptors it signals in a number of ways, including controlling the release of certain hormones which affects the way we experience stress and pain. Additionally, CBD has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Who are you trying to sell to
One of the many incredible things about being a part of the cannabis industry is the diversity of the demographic. CBD has many effects and can be formulated and marketed towards different needs and requirements.
Let’s take a look at some of the uses of CBD:
- To soothe pain
- To better the quality of your sleep
- To relax sore muscles
- To boost the immune system
- To address skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis
- To aide recovery between workouts and sports games
- To calm down and relax
First of all, we should acknowledge how amazing it is that one natural chemical compound can do all of these things. But it’s also crucial to recognise that the same product will not suffice for multiple uses. For example, while a CBD facial cream will help calm down products, you probably would not be keen to try and use that to boost your immune system. Depending on the issue you are trying to address, it’s so important to pick the right product form.
Luckily, CBD is a very versatile ingredient. On the market today you can find it in essentially every form: as an oil, a vape juice, face cream, skin cream, massage oils, in food and drinks, in capsules, and as a spray – amongst many other creative innovations. Once you have decided which issues you want to concentrate on with your CBD business, find the product form which best matches your target audience’s wants and needs. For example, if you want to help those with arthritis you won’t be producing a flavoured CBD vape juice for them, and if you want to help athletes, they probably won’t be looking for a facial cream.
How the cannabis industry works (and how it is growing)
While we are celebrating the success and boom of the cannabis industry (which is ongoing), in many ways this sudden expansive growth is a double-edged sword. Owing to the fact that the legality of CBD based products can differ not only from country to country but actually from state to state, this makes it incredibly difficult for there to be one established regulatory body.
The cannabis industry is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world.
The cannabis industry is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, yet this lack of regulation has given way to the emergence of low-grade companies who wish to cash in quickly on something they view as a trend. Consequently (and unfortunately), this means that there are a fair amount of products on the market that arent what they claim to be, either in quality or in CBD content. This can make people mistrusting, and can also give CBD a bad name if customers feel like they have bought an ineffective product.
You need to ensure that you are within the regulations of your country or state when setting up a CBD business. This for example could be a lower limit of THC content allowed or a limitation on the types or amount of products you can sell. And after having established that you are within your legal rights, you will need to establish your business as legitimate among the competition; we will look into how this can be done in the next two tips so stay with us.
The limitations in advertising
In the same way that the legality of CBD products can vary from country to country, and state to state, so do the limitations on how you can advertise a cannabis product. Establish what you can and can’t do before you set out to do anything. The limits can mean that sometimes you can promote your brand but not the product, you may have more freedom online or in print, and any medical claims will need to be handled extremely sensitively – or avoided. A popular method of promotion for many cannabis businesses is through collaborations, this could be with influencers, other brands, or initiatives. For expert guidance in the area, we would suggest that you find a partnership with an established CBD manufacturer to guide you through.
Finding the right support
Hopefully, you haven’t been daunted by any of the prospects in this guide because after all, the hard work that is put into entering the cannabis industry is rewarded ten times back. But why go into something blind, when someone who knows the way could share a map and show you the way?
By partnering with an established player in the CBD industry you can gain a wealth of knowledge, which will save you time and money. But this is not all, by finding an established partner who offers either CBD wholesale, CBD white-label, or CBD private-label services, you could start your journey at least 20 steps ahead. This kind of partnership is beneficial for newcomers in multiple ways.
First, you have the assurance that you are using a quality product from seed to shelf without having to do the work or investment required to cultivate hemp or extract CBD.
Second, you can already see how the market reacts to these products and how effective they are.
And finally, you will have a partner to mentor you through the high strung hoops which make up the CBD industry, from branding and marketing to regulatory advice.
There are a few more than five things that you will need to consider prior to entering the cannabis industry, but this is a solid jumping-off point. Establish an understanding of the natural compound (that being the CBD) you’re going to be working with and bringing into people’s lives, ask yourself what this product is going to do for your customers and how you’re going to bring it to them, and never be shy to find a partnership with a company already in the industry. Know your product, know your market, and know how you wish to move forward.
Reakiro offers CBD Wholesale, CBD White-label, and CBD private-label services with our premium grade CBD which is grown under EU regulation. If there’s anything you want to discuss from our services to beginning your journey into the cannabis industry (and everything in between) do not hesitate to get in touch with a friendly member of our team.