On our January podcast, we talked about the booming industry of CBD and how you can effectively market to your older demographic. CBD may seem like a no-brainer way to get into the cannabis industry, especially with the recent legalization of hemp, but many business owners and resellers are finding it difficult to explain to their older customers how CBD and THC differ. There is still a lot of confusion as to what CBD is and what it can do. There are ways to help educate your customers about your CBD brand while making your website stand out, though! Cannabis Marketing, Inc. is the expert in getting your voice heard while creating outside-the-box strategies that will help your business grow.
Advances in the CBD Marketplace
CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a compound from the cannabis plant that has none of the psychoactive elements you may think of when you think about cannabis. CBD has become popular in recent years because of its claims to help relieve anxiety, inflammation, spasms, seizures, and pain, even though none of these have been verified by the Food and Drug Administration. Because of the FDA’s stance on CBD, not enough tests have been done to verify exactly what CBD does or does not do; or how it can potentially help chronic pain, among other ailments. In December 2018, even after the Farm Bill was passed to legalize hemp, the FDA started cracking down even harder on companies selling CBD, sending letters and warnings to those who tout the health benefits of CBD. According to the FDA, “three ingredients derived from hemp – hulled hemp seeds, hemp seed protein and hemp seed oil – are safe as foods and won’t require additional approvals, as long as marketers do not make claims that they treat disease.” This poses a huge roadblock for education about CBD, as studies are few, and any claims as to the benefits of CBD, can be flagged as non-compliant.
So, how does one stay compliant in the eyes of the FDA while educating consumers about the benefits of CBD? The short answer is: Don’t say anything that could be construed as advice about health. This may sound like the opposite of what you’re supposed to do when marketing a new and exciting product, but until the FDA accepts CBD as a health supplement and products gain approval, every time you post about the “benefits” of CBD, you are putting your entire company at risk. This includes information on your website, social media profiles, newsletters, and print materials. Without FDA approval for your CBD product, it is against the law to make health claims. Think of any supplements you purchase at a health food store. They typically have some sort of disclosure, “These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”
Even without FDA approval, CBD sales in the United States last year were over $350 million, and projections indicate we’ll be seeing over $1 billion in CBD sales by 2020. With continued projected growth in this industry, it’s important to set your brand above the competition. So how can you educate consumers about why your product or website is the best, without making health claims?
Baby Boomers are curious about CBD and its potential benefits, but without science to back up claims and with SO MANY products to choose from, it’s no wonder there is confusion instead of acceptance. This demographic grew up in the “Reefer Madness” landscape; heck, they created it. Cannabis of any form was evil, would make men violent and women promiscuous, and all that nonsense. As times have changed and research has moved ever-so-slowly forward, studies have found that CBD may provide certain health benefits without any of the “high” feeling, although there is still more research needed. The psychoactive feelings associated with cannabis are a turn-off for many, so CBD presents an alternative to those who are willing to experiment with something that is not FDA-approved. Your older demographic may be experiencing undesirable side effects from prescription pills, but are also wary of substituting their doctor-prescribed medication with anything different.
The best way to remain compliant while helping your older demographic learn about your brand or products is to create content that is educational without making health statements. Some examples would be to write a blog about the amount of CBD your products contain per milliliter, create an infographic about how CBD differs from cannabis and THC, or record a video about how to use your product for the maximum effectiveness. The key is differentiating your company while educating about proper use. Our team at Cannabis Marketing, Inc. is experienced in marketing CBD with compliance initiatives that will keep your company or brand in-line while reaching your target demographic!
In short, the CBD industry is an exciting one, and we want to help the right company become THE name in the game. How could your CBD company benefit from a strategic marketing plan while ensuring compliance?