Is CBD legal? The status of CBD Oils and Hemp Oils in the EU

We’re seeing CBD (cannabidiol) everywhere nowadays: online, health stores, and in cafes. But for some there is still a stigma around what CBD is, what it does, and whether it is legal. Obviously if you are buying or selling a product or ingredient, you want to know about its legal status – which we will go into now.

CBD is a naturally occurring compound extracted from industrial hemp. Industrial hemp is a strain of cannabis, which is where confusion is caused. CBD is one of over 120 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants, the other well known cannabinoid is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) – responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana. However, industrial hemp has an incredibly low amount of THC (maximum 1% compared to 30% in marijuana). 

Although it differs from country to country, generally the law states that if CBD is legally available, the THC content must be below a certain amount. For example, in the UK CBD products must have a THC content of less than 0.2%. This means that during the extraction process manufacturers must be careful to keep all the other components as they are naturally presented, but lower the THC level if it is above the regulated amount. THC levels should be displayed in both the product info and on third party laboratory results displayed on the CBD supplier’s website.

There are specifications in EU guidelines as to what classifies as a food product and what counts as a novel food product. To qualify as a food product, the ingredient in question must have been widely available to the EU market prior to May 15 1997. If the ingredient was not available to a significant degree before this time, it receives the title of ‘novel food’. Subsequently, different legal requirements must be met for each category.

Hemp seed oil was widely available on the EU market prior to 1997, consequently meaning that it can be classified as a food product. Additionally, hemp seed oil is made from pressing hemp seeds and does not contain any cannabinoids. This makes its legal stance much easier to define.

All EU countries must abide by the regulations of selling a novel food product if CBD is available on the market. Additionally, no medicinal claims can be made due to its status as a novel food product. CBD is currently legal across the majority of EU countries, although due to constant changes in regulation it is important to check the latest information for your country.

CBD Industry Growth and Covid-19

COVID-19 has had a major impact on the global economy with nearly every industry feeling the impact.  With so many people sheltering at home, most retail businesses are struggling to stay afloat or closing all together. The CBD industry is one of the few that has continued to grow throughout the lockdowns. So what is CBD and why is it continuing to grow during the pandemic?

CBD (cannabidiol) is a naturally occurring compound found in the hemp plant, which is now legal to cultivate in all 50 American states and across the European Union. There can be a confusion between CBD products and marijuana, because they both come from the same family of plants (cannabis), but CBD products are extracted from hemp with has little to no trace of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the psychoactive component – providing the ‘high’ when smoking weed. 

With so many people forced to stay at home due to the coronavirus lockdowns, unable to work or socialize, a recent study revealed that 60% of people in the UK have experienced increased levels of anxiety. One of the primary reasons people use CBD is to help calm their feelings of anxiety.  

According to the World Health Organization, depression is the single largest contributor to disability in the world, with anxiety ranking 6th.   Anxiety and depression are most often treated with pharmaceutical drugs with a number of negative side effects including: sexual dysfunction, insomnia, headaches, drowsiness, etc.  These medicines also tend to be addictive and can sometimes be abused. 

CBD is not addictive and does not lead to the negative side effects listed above, but has been successful in studies of people and animals living with anxiety and depression. This is due to the CBD effect on the brain’s receptors of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behavior.  

According to a 2019 study, up to 6 million people in the UK have tried CBD at least once. The most common reasons listed for using CBD are its calming and therapeutic effects.  The study also demonstrated an increasing percentage of people who support the legalization of cannabis, which may stem from their experience with the benefits of CBD. 

Many people in these times are also turning to CBD  to combat insomnia. For some, the stress of isolation is compounded by financial stress and general concern for the future. They are getting less exercise, sunlight and stimulation, and more couch time than ever. When the mind is full of thoughts and worries, and the body is aching, sleep can be elusive. Insomnia affects so many other health and quality of life issues, which may also be a major factor in the continued growth of CBD use. 

The current crisis may also be a factor in the increasing size of CBD doses. According to a recent study by the Brightfield Group, 15% of users planned to buy a higher dosage product due to the coronavirus and the struggles they are experiencing.  

If you’re experiencing symptoms of stress and anxiety due to the pandemic, and you’re considering increasing your dosages, be sure to do your due diligence, consult your physician and stick with trusted brands.

Starting your own CBD brand

So, you’ve been thinking about starting your own CBD (cannabidiol) brand. Honestly, there is no better time to do so than now. Cannabis is moving into the mainstream and people are waking up to the true therapeutic benefits which can be brought about by this naturally occurring compound. 

Preliminary research is showing us that up to six million people in the UK have already tried CBD and the market is flourishing. CBD products can now be found in major high street stores and also across ecommerce sights. However, although it seems like you’re seeing it everywhere, there are in fact a considerate amount of preparation that goes into starting a CBD business. 

Type of Business

The first thing to decide when starting a business is what kind of business you want it to be. Market research is fundamental for these first stages of conceptualising your company. A few questions you might want to ask yourself are: who is my target audience? What kind of products would they respond to? How do I make my brand accessible and attractive to them? As soon as you decipher who your customers are, you can begin to build your brand.

Building your brand is a challenge of two parts, the creative and logistical. We will come back to the creative aspect later on, but first we should address the question of how you will source your CBD products. This can be done one of three ways: wholesale, white label, and private label.

Wholesale, White Label, and Private Label

Depending on the type of business you want to run, you need to decide which avenue to go down in terms of relationship with your supplier – wholesale, white label, or private label. Wholesale involves reselling an already branded product. This is often the easiest route to go down for a new small business, or a startup, due to the fact that the products have been established in the market alongside all the necessary documentation (which we will come on to later). 

White label and private label, on the other hand, let you develop and distinguish your own brand identity – with varying levels of involvement from your CBD supplier. White label products are formulated and manufactured by the original supplier, and then rebranded by a second company. While your formula may not be unique, your branding will be completely your vision. Meanwhile, private labelling allows you to create a unique custom-built product, or in this case – formula. To be successful via wholesale, white label, or private label, you need to build a strong relationship with a trusted CBD supplier who has a guaranteed quality product.

The Necessary Documentation

To start a CBD business you will need a thorough and comprehensive understanding of all the laws and regulations which surround it (as well as other cannabinoids, such as THC). CBD is legal across the majority of EU countries and all 50 US states, however due to the constantly changing legislations it’s important that your business stays within regulation. Failure to do so could result in fines or penalties.

Labelling requirements, particularly within the EU, fall under the umbrella of necessary documentation. In the EU you must comply with rules which require you to state the ingredients of your products and their safety. Once again, failure to do so can result in significant repercussions.

Getting your Products on the Market

Obviously you want to sell sell sell, that’s why you’ve started a business! To start generating revenue you need a strict and tight business plan, what you’re going to sell, who you’re going to sell to, where you’re going to sell, and how you’re going to sell. All of these are interconnected and start with some good market research which will probably lead you to your target market; this will probably be within either health and wellness, sports and fitness, or cosmetics and beauty.

Budgeting and planning for marketing strategies is important for any business model, but particularly for CBD due to online restrictions. Currently Google and Facebook paid digital advertising is off limits for CBD ventures as these corporations restrict cannabis product advertising. This means you will have to get a little bit more creative. Nowadays, advertiser’s best friend (and colleague) are influencers who have organically built up a platform of followers.

If you have any questions or want to talk about starting your own CBD brand don’t hesitate to get in touch with Reakiro. Reakiro is a certified and trusted European CBD producer and supplier who has been a leader in their field for the past few years, and would now like to reach out and help new businesses begin and grow.

CBD Wholesale: Are You Prepared for Explosive Growth?

The CBD industry is growing and expanding at an incomparable rate, this is currently one of the fastest growing markets in the world. Forbes has predicted a market value of $20 billion by 2024. Why is this? Cannabis has moved into the mainstream, this plant is no longer surrounded by its associations to underground ‘stoner culture’. Instead, people are tapping into the new found health and wellness benefits which can be found in cannabis. This movement is not only seen at the grassroots level, but governments are paying attention to the potential in cannabis, particularly CBD. In late 2018 the farm bill was passed, legalising hemp across all 50 US states. CBD products are also legal across the European Union.

CBD Wholesale

The health industry has been growing from strength to strength over the past decade. Now more than ever, people are making health and wellness their priority. The number of gyms is on the rise, whilst Europe is the world’s number one fitness market. But exercise is only half of the story. The fitness market extends far and wide, from clothing to food and supplements. Clean eating has been an unavoidable phrase over the past few years, but people want to do more than avoid bad products, they want to find the best natural ingredients with maximum health benefits.

Moreover, not only is the wellness industry a crucial player in the CBD industry, but also the potential health properties. The farm bill was passed in the US after it was discovered that CBD could be used to treat a rare form of epilepsy. Since then, scientific and medical research on CBD has increased considerably. Currently, links have been drawn between CBD and the treatment of anxiety, depression, insomnia, and chronic pain.

Joining the CBD market now makes perfect sense. The industry is booming, and above all, everybody is a potential customer. But whilst this sounds like the perfect business venture, there are some drawbacks to be aware of when launching into this new space.

The boom of this market is relatively recent, meaning that it is the perfect point to hop in, however – this is a double edged sword. The recent growth of the market means that there are currently boundless opportunities to tap into, but it also means that the market is unregulated, and there are lower grade operations who are trying to exploit CBD.

To avoid falling into the trap of being associated with a low quality CBD operation it is important to gather all the necessary education on preparing for a CBD business. This involves sourcing high quality CBD oil, having a well planned out business model, and being up-to-date on the changing rules and legislations of the industry.

Preparing yourself for this business venture and the explosive growth of the CBD industry can be made significantly easier by partnering with an already trusted manufacturer. In doing this you can first and foremost ensure that you are supplied with high quality CBD oil, this will cut out much of the logistical headache that comes with extracting CBD, and cuts the costs. Additionally, when partnering with an established brand, a proposed business or wholesale plan will ensure that your operations are consistent and trustworthy – helping you manage the explosive growth in the best way possible.

Reakiro offers a wide range of CBD wholesale propositions, from the white label and private label to a newly launched dropshipping program. Explore the site for more information and get in touch with any questions.

CBD Business Growth Obstacles

CBD industry could reach $66 billion by 2025

Growing a new CBD business is highly rewarding, but this is a task that does not come without its challenges. Forbes predicted in a recent article that the CBD industry could reach $66 billion by 2025. To some this may seem surprising, yet the fact remains that everyone single one of us (and our dog … and our cat) has an endocannabinoid system, so we could all benefit from this naturally occurring compound. Nevertheless, the rules and regulations surrounding CBD have been shifting and changing beyond recognition in the past few years, including the passing of the farm bill in the US in late 2018. Consequently it can be difficult to establish your business in this landscape, particularly for an international audience where situations vary.

Wholesale CBD or private and white label CBD?

The first important decision to make is with your CBD supplier about whether you wish to pursue wholesale CBD, or private and white label CBD services. Each route has their advantages, so it’s about deciding what works best for you and your business. Private label and white label will allow you to tap into the CBD production and extraction processes, which will greatly help your understanding and education of the compound. Subsequently, you will have the freedom to adapt the product into your own branding vision. On the other hand, wholesaling an already established brand will allow you to benefit from their position in the market without you having to do the leg work. As mentioned earlier, this is a choice which will differ from business to business and you must decide what is right for you.

Promoting and selling your product is all about visibility, but how do you achieve visibility? There’s visibility in the physical sense; grocery shops, pharmacies, health and wellness shops, bodycare shops, petrol stations, and supplement shops. Not every high street brand is willing to take on CBD as part of their stock due to the continuously shifting regulations and the uncertainty which can surround it. However this is shifting, fast. CBD is becoming more and more visible within our towns and cities.

Online visibility is the other hurdle to tackle. Online retail is a space of boundless opportunities which bypasses many of the challenges you will face when trying to achieve physical visibility. For online visibility, mastering SEO is one of the first port of calls. Levels of investment into SEO will vary depending on whether you’re marketing your product to a city, a country, or internationally. Using location-based search submissions and geotargeting technology is notably easier than trying to market your product nationwide using SEO. The question of customer base will also affect your proposed shipping options, its fundamental that CBD is legal in the customer’s location and that the courier/postal service allows industrial hemp products in their system.

Ultimately, to make overcoming all the obstacles above as easy as possible, the secret is to find out how your product stands out; this can mean two things.

Number one: when conceptualising your product or product range ask yourself:

  1. “Why does the market need this?”
  2. “Who is going to buy this?”
  3. “How does this differ from existing products?”

Number two: when it’s time to put your product on the market, ask yourself:

  1. “Is there a retailer who carry my product?”
  2. “Who would make a good partner for my brand?”

To make your business stand out in the early stages it might be worth thinking about promoting your range outside of the CBD space. It’s much easier when everyone else in the room isn’t doing the same thing!

The CBD market is growing and reshaping itself pretty much every day across the globe. In new booming industries you have to take the good with the bad. It’s become clear that there are obstacles concerning regulations and establishing your brand. However, once you get the ball rolling you’ll be unstoppable.

If you have any queries about CBD wholesaling, white label, private label, or partnership please get in touch so we can start the conversation.

Private and White Label CBD Products for the EU

White labelling and private labelling CBD products allow your business to enter the CBD industry accompanied with all the inside industry knowledge and a high quality product in your name. If this is a venture you are interested in pursuing Reakiro’s white label and private label services are here and ready to guide you along the way.

The CBD industry is currently in a period of incomparable growth, predicted to reach a market value of $22 billion by 2024. Cannabidiol (CBD), a naturally occurring compound, is extracted from the hemp plant which is apart of the cannabis family.

As a European industry leader, Reakiro recognised the true potential for CBD and its place in the wellness industry over four years ago and ever since they have been dedicated to producing the highest quality CBD extract for their own products as well as their many partners.

Quality is a priority and core value of Reakiro, two years were spent finding the best European field to grow specially chosen strains of industrial hemp. Throughout the extraction process there are quality checks in place and every batch is tested by an independent third party laboratory to ensure the absence of any contaminants and confirm the potency of the CBD extract.

All Reakiro products are available for white label and private label services. The current range includes: CBD oil, CBD e-liquid, CBD capsules, and raw hemp extract. New and exciting products are currently in development, such as CBD beauty and skincare.

In addition to providing partners with premium quality CBD products and expertise knowledge, Reakiro goes above and beyond to aid the business venture in the best way they can. Reakiro can help conceptualise your design with identity and branding assistance, as well as packaging and production, advertising campaigns, and custom product formulations.

The experts at Reakiro are also committed to providing businesses with a range for scalable growth options, a stable supply, fast and efficient delivery, merchandising standards, and a go-to-market strategy.

If you or your business is interested in Reakiro’s CBD white and private label services do not hesitate to get in touch, get some samples, and start the conversation.

Who is the CBD customer?

“Health ailments without a ‘one-size-fits-all treatment’ are quite common and avoiding chemicals when it comes it health and self-care is important across all age groups. CBD sales and projections show consumers are turning to CBD for help, and demand is growing rapidly” 

– Colin Stewart, Senior Vice President, Business Intelligence at Acosta 

This September 2019, sales and marketing giant Acosta published thorough research into who exactly is today’s CBD consumer, and what this says about the rapidly growing industry landscape. The CBD industry is predicted to reach $20 billion by the year 2024; but who exactly are the key players in this booming economy.

Coming in at over a quarter, 28% of CBD customers stated that they take it either on an as-needed basis or a daily basis. The conditions and ailments most commonly cited for CBD use are anxiousness, muscle aches and pains, general wellness, headaches, and trouble sleeping.

The demographic of the users is slightly weighted towards women at 52%, versus the 48% constituted by men. Of all users, 56% are millennials – a generational group which tend to cite stress and millennial burnout due to their non-stop lifestyle as a reason for incorporate CBD into their daily life. There’s a misconception that the CBD user is largely uneducated, but this can be dispelled with the statistic of 49% of users being college educated with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Whilst millennials express that stress and burnout are their primary motivations for involving CBD in their lives, gen Xs and baby boomers, who are also significant users, take the compound for different reasons. Around a third said that they took CBD due to joint discomfort, whilst around a quarter said they used it for muscle discomfort.

Amidst this analysis of who is taking CBD, companies might be curious to know who is not taking CBD, or perhaps why people are deterred from taking CBD. Lucky for them, Acosta’s research provided the answers. For consumers who have not tried CBD, they quoted three top reasons for their choice: the price point, insufficient published research, and distrust in the product claims. 

However, out of those who are open to trying CBD 13% found that the lack of regulation was a factor holding them back. Rules and regulations around CBD are constantly changing, for example the US farm bill (making hemp legal) was only passed in late 2018, and this can be confusing for consumers. The regulatory framework has knock-on effects such as how the products are labelled and also the amount of finance and interest which is invested into scientific research on the medical benefits of CBD products.

The report The CBD Effect: A Rapidly Emerging Consumer Trend, was compiled by Acosta using industry data, a shopper survey from July 2019, and data from internal experts BDS Analytics.