- Copywriter for CBD Products – Web Copy, Product Descriptions, Blogs
- Marketing CBD Oil Beginswith Educating the Public
- Writing About CBD Oil
- The Challenge for Small Businesses Selling CBD Products
- Generate Sales for Your CBD Business
- How a CBD Copywriter Can Help
- 10 CBD facts every user should know
- 1. CBD is legal, but only if it's derived from hemp
- 2. CBD is psychoactive, but also non-intoxicating
- 3. CBD generally works better with other cannabis compounds
- 4. CBD interacts with several systems in the body
- 5. Not all CBD oil is the same
- 6. CBD dosing isn't an exact science yet
- 7. CBD is generally safe
- 8. CBD may effectively treat anxiety
- 9. CBD is generally safe and therapeutic for dogs
- 10. It's legal to fly with hemp-derived CBD, but risky
- What is CBD? Definition of Cannabidiol & CBD Oil
- How Does CBD Work?
- Pharmaceutical CBD
- CBD Oil
- The CBD Challenge
- What About CBD from Hemp?
Copywriter for CBD Products – Web Copy, Product Descriptions, Blogs
The excitement over Cannabidiol (CBD) continues to grow. An immense market is developing quickly for CBD oil-infused health and beauty products, including in states that have not legalized marijuana. Increasing availability and new awareness among the masses are two factors driving this new gold rush.
As retailers rush to sell CBD products, they need to give consideration to proper marketing.
If you already have or are starting a CBD or hemp seed oil business, the potential to cash in on the growing demand is enormous, but critical to your success will be your marketing. A copywriter for CBD products can help you gain visibility, build your brand and maximize sales.
Marketing CBD Oil Beginswith Educating the Public
With the CBD oil industry so new and the numerous kinds of products beginning developed, any marketing efforts must take an educational approach. To position your business as an industry leader, you should provide useful information that doesn’t come across as sales hype.
Taking an educational approach to marketing can be especially effective for CBD products.
The content you generate should be designed to answer consumers’ questions and guide them along the CBD buyer’s journey. With effective copywriting, you’ll be able to cultivate their trust.
Consider using some orall of these tools:
- Website – Fight the temptation to fill your CBD product website with sales copy. Instead, provide detailed, educational information that helps consumers know if your product is right for them. Additionally, taking an educational approach will position your company as an authority in the industry. Consumers are hungry for facts related to CBD products. A tell-don’t-sell strategy will position your site for maximum engagement, increased conversions
- Product Descriptions — Give detailed explanations of the features and health facts about your products. Tell consumers what they can expect from using them, who can benefit most and how soon they’ll see results. Those product descriptions can go in your web copy and also on your product labels. They’re an important component in building a brand.
- About Us – A company profile, whether published on your website, in a brochure or in other marketing materials, tells customers who is behind the business and why you’re uniquely qualified to be in the CBD industry. Done right, it can be instrumental in building a connection with your customers. A copywriter can help create an About Us page that tells your story and appeals to your target audience.
- SEO – The best website in the world is useless if no one visits it. Using Search Engine Optimization strategies, an SEO copywriter can optimize your digital presence, helping you to rank higher on Google for CBD terms, which will drive traffic to your CBD website.
CBD sellers can use a variety of written materials from web copy to product descriptions to get their message out.
- Landing Pages– Targeting specific niches, such as CBD oil, spray or cream for pain relief? Or CBD products that help with anxiety or stress management? Then you’ll want to create landing pages that speak in detail to each unique CBD market segment. Landing pages are an excellent way to gain ranking on search engines and convert visitors into customers.
- Blog – Want to be seen as a thought leader in the CBD industry? Start a blog. Write articles that tackle pressing issues and offer your progressive ideas. Publish information that you think will interest your target audience. Speak to their interests, desires and needs. While a blog affords an opportunity for promotion, make sure you don’t only include sales information. To be effective, focus on educating, informing and even entertaining your audience.
- Data Sheets/Sales Sheets – Any copywriter who has worked in high-tech or health-related industries has written her share of data sheets, also referred to as sales or selling sheets. The style of these fact-filled synopses can be applied to educating consumers about CBD products. The data sheet can be offered as a download on your website or printed and distributed at a retail location if you have one.
- Advertising – Only certain sites will allow CBD ads. At this time Google and don’t allow them. Even when derived from industrial hemp, CBD oil is considered a product of marijuana, which is listed under Google’s list of dangerous products or services.
- Social Media — The fact that you can’t use paid social advertising on places doesn’t mean you should ignore social media. You can build a strong social following and drive organic traffic to your website or store.
- Case Studies — Got a good story about someone who used your CBD product and was pleased with the result? Tell that story in the context of a case study that you post on your website or blog, and it will attract customers who have a similar condition. You can also include their testimonial with product descriptions.
- White Papers — Facts and hard data combined with compelling narrative copy can lend a scientific air to your marketing and give serious credibility to your claims in a white paper.
Got satisfied CBD customers? Get them to tell their story in a case study.
Writing About CBD Oil
In addition to the various marketing tools mentioned above designed to generate interest and sales for your CBD oil products, you can also write about CBD oil in general. By educating consumers, you’re growing your potential market of customers who might recognize a need that CBD oil is well-suited to satisfy.
Start with the Basics — A naturally occurring cannabinoid, CBD oil is derived from hemp. It does not contain THC, and therefore doesn’t make you high, un marijuana, which is derived from the cannabis sativa plant and does contain THC.
Explain the Surge in CBD Products — With the passing of the farm bill at the end of 2018, CBD is considered to be drug-free and therefore is now legal in all 50 states and a growing number of countries.
Talk About the Industry — The CBD market is dynamic, changing and evolving with each passing month. Today the therapeutic uses of CBD are being tested and confirmed by scientists and doctors around the world. The result is that CBD is growing faster than cannabis in the U.S. and is expected to soon be a $22 billion industry.
As more CBD products are created, good copy can help consumers discern between them.
Provide Definitions — CBD oil comes in many different forms:
- CBD Tinctures — Tinctures are alcohol or vegetable glycerin-based cannabis extracts. Typically less concentrated than oil, they can be taken through a dropper directly into the mouth or mixed into food or drink.
- CBD Topical Products — Topicals are applied directly to the skin where they can provide anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. They’re helpful to people who suffer from conditions such as arthritic joint pain or muscle aches.
- CBD Vaporizing — When you vaporize CBD cannabis, it offers fast-acting relief from pain and inflammation.
- CBD Sublingual Spray — Ideal for discreet use, sublingual sprays are concentrated cannabis tinctures that are sprayed under the tongue to provide relief from a wide variety of symptoms.
List the Many CBD Products — Retailers are selling everything from CBD teas, CBD gummies (CBD-infused Gummy Bears) and beer alternatives to CBD dog treats, coffee, edibles and supplements. Lotions, balms, vape oils and creams infused with CBD oil are sold in dispensaries and corner shops.
Talk About Vertical Markets — CBD products aren’t only for people. Many cat and dog owners believe CBD products for pets are beneficial and effective for helping to relieve stress and pain. Products for other animals such as horses and birds are also in development.
Bring Up the Big Brands — It’s not just small, startup companies that are developing CBD products. Many big-name brands are excited to participate in this new space.
Ben & Jerry’s, for example, is eager to be part of the CBD trend. The Vermont-based ice cream chain recently announced it plans to bring CBD-infused ice cream to freezers nationwide — but not until the federal government gives CBD-infused foods a green light.
Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is just one of many big brands looking at infusing its products with CBD.
“You probably already know that we’re fans of all things groovy — think: Half Baked and Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownies,” the company states on its website. “So it’s no surprise that we can’t wait to get into the latest food trend: cannabidiol, or CBD. We are committed to bringing CBD-infused ice cream to your freezer as soon as it’s legalized at the federal level.”
Quote Surveys — The National Restaurant Association and the American Culinary Federation surveyed 650 professional chefs about the top culinary and restaurant concepts for 2019. It found that 3 in 4 chefs said CBD- and cannabis-infused food would be a hot trend this year.
Offer Facts — Make sure they’re relevant, and don’t forget to include attribution to your source:
According to Loud Cloud Health, a company that closely monitors the CBD market:
- There are over 850 brands of CBD products in the U.S. market.
- Pure CBD is perfectly safe for usage and you cannot get addicted to it.
- With over $1 billion, Colorado is the state with the highest cannabis revenues.
- Data on CBD user demographics show 40% of Americans are interested in trying CBD.
- The demand for employees in the CBD oil industry rose by 76% in one year.
- Statistics on CBD direct sales show that the majority of direct sellers are women.
- Women are founders or general managers of over 75% of CBD brands.
As you can see, there’s plenty to write about when attempting to educate customers about CBD products. Even better is that there’s currently lots of consumer interest in these products.
Providing quality information in easy-to-understand language will attract and engage your prospects. Furthermore, it will help differentiate you in what’s rapidly becoming a crowded marketplace.
There’s plenty to write about when attempting to educate customers about CBD products.
The Challenge for Small Businesses Selling CBD Products
Now that much of the stigma regarding cannabis and CBD is going away, the potential market for your CBD products is virtually unlimited. Sellers can come the shadows. And so can consumers!
The fact that CBD is therapeutically potent as well as non-intoxicating, and easy to take as a CBD oil, makes it an appealing treatment option to many people who were previously uncomfortable with the idea of smoking marijuana or using cannabis products.
With claims such as the ability to alleviate pain, stop nausea, manage anxiety and improve sleep, it’s not surprising that CBD products have become a source of hope for many people.
With big players Walmart selling CBD products, small businesses will have to be creative in their marketing to get noticed.
Big retailers are gearing up to meet demand. CVS will soon sell topical hemp-derived CBD products such as creams, sprays and roll-ons in more than 100 stores in eight states, marketing them as over-the-counter medicinal products and an alternative source of relief.
Shortly after CVS announced its foray into the CBD space,Walgreens divulged that it will sell CBD creams, patches and sprays in nearly1,500 stores in Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vermont,South Carolina, Illinois and Indiana.
Other big players Whole Foods and Walmart are expected tosoon begin dipping their toes in the water as well.
A professional copywriter can help you craft your brand and build a following for your CBD products.
The challenge that many retailers will face is how to grab their slice of the market when big business is already cashing in on the CBD craze.
For the small-timeseller without the tremendous visibility and resources of retailers Walgreensand CVS, the key to being discovered will be digital media to promote their productsand brands.
Generate Sales for Your CBD Business
Here’s a helpful infographic to give you ideas for promoting your CBD products with an educational approach.
Keep these ideas in mind when creating marketing content for your CBD products.
People are hungry to learn more about CBD. When you provide useful information, you become an industry authority.
How a CBD Copywriter Can Help
Whether your CBD business is established or yet to be launched, marketing should be a priority with an emphasis on educational written copy. Consider working with an experienced CBD copywriter to help your business reach its fullest potential.
Get your CBD products in front of buyers with a compelling message written by a CBD copywriter.
A skilled copywriter can help you raise awareness for your CBD or hemp seed oil products and build name recognition for your business, while differentiating it from the competition.
Those companies that take steps today to gain visibility for their brand and develop prominence in the CBD oil industry are the ones that will ly see the greatest growth in the coming years.
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10 CBD facts every user should know
Cannabidiol (CBD), the second-most prominent-cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, has seen a meteoric rise in the wellness market for offering a wide variety of purported health benefits without causing intoxication or side effects.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating substance found in cannabis.Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
According to a 2019 survey from Gallup, 1 in 7 Americans, or 14%, use some form of CBD, mostly for medicinal purposes. As CBD's presence continues to grow, consumers and patients are becoming more curious about the ins and outs of this therapeutic cannabis derivative.
Despite the growing popularity of CBD products, there is still a fair amount of misinformation surrounding this non-intoxicating cannabis compound, prompting a need for more educational resources and guidelines for the average consumer. What is CBD? How does it work? Is it legal? What should consumers look for in CBD oil and other CBD products?
These are all important questions that a canna-curious consumer or medical patient may have. To help set you on a path toward an informed choice, here are 10 essential CBD facts that every potential and current CBD consumer should know.
1. CBD is legal, but only if it's derived from hemp
To anyone unfamiliar with CBD, it may seem strange to see something that comes from cannabis garner such widespread attention and acceptance across the U.S.. Following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD derived from industrial hemp, defined as cannabis with less than 0.
3% THC, is not a controlled substance under federal law. CBD from marijuana or hemp with more than 0.3% THC is still considered illegal federally, but legal in states where medical and adult-use cannabis is permitted. The laws vary significantly from state to state, however, so it's best to double check.
For example, Idaho and South Dakota still consider CBD illegal.
2. CBD is psychoactive, but also non-intoxicating
One of the major CBD selling points to come the compound's recent product boom is that the cannabinoid is both therapeutic and “non-psychoactive,” as opposed to the extraordinarily psychoactive THC. While you might commonly read this “fact” about CBD, it isn't accurate to say that CBD is devoid of any psychoactive effects.
CBD ispsychoactive in the sense that it directly affects mental processes of cognition and mood. CBD's most well-known psychoactive effect is the calming feeling frequently associated with the cannabinoid.
CBD is, however, non-intoxicating, which means it doesn't produce the “high” of THC. THC is also psychoactive, but because its effects can leave consumers temporarily impaired, it is intoxicating.
The non-intoxicating qualities of CBD are what cause some to consider it a “non-psychoactive” cannabinoid.
CBD oil usually comes with a dropper to allow consumers and patients to measure out their dose.Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
3. CBD generally works better with other cannabis compounds
A 2015 study from The Hebrew University of Israel documented the medicinal potency of single-molecule CBD extract versus that of a whole-plant, CBD-rich extract. Single molecule extract is an isolated extract of a single compound, such as CBD. A whole-plant extract essentially preserves the full cannabinoid and terpene profile of the original plant.
The study concluded that whole-plant, CBD-rich extract had a superior therapeutic value to single-molecule CBD extract.
Though there may be cases, depending on an individual patient's condition and physical restrictions, where a CBD isolate is a more appropriate prescription, a whole-plant, high-CBD product has the advantage of working in tandem with other potentially therapeutic cannabinoids and terpenes.
This synergistic relationship is commonly referred to as the entourage effect. For instance, some studies have demonstrated CBD's ability to minimize the undesirable effects of THC, including paranoia and cognitive impairment.
4. CBD interacts with several systems in the body
One major explanation for CBD's wide range of potential benefits is the complex way it interacts with our bodies, particularly through the endocannabinoid system (ECS), an internal system made up of endogenous cannabinoids, or endocannabinoids, the receptors that these cannabinoids bind to, and the enzymes that break them down. CBD and other phytocannabinoids, or cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant, bind to cannabinoid receptors when they enter the body, and elicit a wide range of effects, depending on which receptors they activate.
Research suggests that CBD may reduce absorption of the body's pain-regulating endocannabinoid anandamide, which could lead to pain relief. CBD has also been shown to reduce epileptic seizures by inhibiting the release of neurotransmitters.
CBD also elicits therapeutic responses from the body through non-ECS receptor pathways. For example, CBD may activate serotonin receptor 5-HT1A in mice, making it potentially helpful in treating depression and anxiety. It may also suppress chronic pain and inflammation by targeting alpha-3 glycine receptors according to research conducted on rodents.
5. Not all CBD oil is the same
Those who have had limited experience shopping for CBD oil may wonder where to start, or how to find a quality product. Firstly, understand that marijuana and industrial hemp are both common CBD oil sources. There are also several types and formulas on the market, which typically fall into one of three categories:
- Full Spectrum contains the full spectrum of CBD, minor cannabinoids, cannabis-derived terpenes, and trace amounts of THC found in the plant.
- Broad Spectrum contains a full spectrum of extracted cannabinoids and terpenes, but with trace amounts of THC removed.
- Isolate is pure CBD with all other cannabis compounds removed until only a powdered or crystalline form of CBD remains.
As the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) begins to crack down on CBD oil labels with unproven claims, consumers should read their product labels carefully. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
In addition, it's also important to note that not all CBD oils and CBD-infused products are created equal.
Although some reputable CBD companies adhere to strict labeling standards, subpar or falsely advertised CBD products with vague labels with buzzwords “pure,” “all-natural,” and “organic” can be deceiving.
Also beware of products labeled as hemp oil or hemp seed oil, which usually do not contain any CBD at all. As the FDA begins to crack down on CBD oil labels with unproven claims, consumers should still be on the lookout for the following on all CBD oil labels:
- Amount of active CBD per serving
- Supplement Fact Panel, including other ingredients
- Net weight
- Manufacturer or distributor name
- Suggested use
- Distinction as full spectrum, broad spectrum, or isolate
- Batch or date code with a link to the laboratory results for that batch. If the product wasn't lab tested, don't buy it.
6. CBD dosing isn't an exact science yet
When it comes to finding the most effective CBD dosage for a specific condition, there is no exact measurement or universal guideline that works for everyone. Part of the reason may have to do with the fact that genetic mutations of our cannabinoid receptors cause variances in the way a body reacts to CBD.
If you, for example, are walking around with a different CB1 receptor variation than your friend, the two of you may react differently to the same dose of CBD. In other words, an effective CBD dose for one patient may not work for another.
There are several other factors that determine the effectiveness of a CBD dose, including the product itself, the method of consumption, as well as the patient or consumer's physiology.
7. CBD is generally safe
So, if we're unable to figure out what dose is most effective for treating most ailments, where does that leave the user who doesn't have experience with CBD? Fortunately, it's easy to simply start with small doses and slowly work toward higher ones.
Why? Because a 2011 study and a 2017 update show that CBD has what clinicians call a 'favorable safety profile,' due to the fact that it doesn't change major factors heart rate, blood pressure, or body temperature and it doesn't affect psychological functions.
It's also been proven that doses of up to 1,500 milligrams per day are well tolerated, even over long periods of time. However, some subjects from several CBD-related studies have reported side effects of CBD use, including extreme sleepiness, decreased appetite, diarrhea, fatigue, convulsions, and vomiting.
There is also evidence that CBD can interfere with certain prescription medications so it's best to check with a doctor or pharmacist before mixing oral CBD and prescription drugs.
8. CBD may effectively treat anxiety
Although the most effective CBD dosing can be difficult to pin down, mounting research is starting to give us a better idea of how to best use this non-intoxicating cannabinoid.
For example, a study published in the February 2019 issue of “Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry” found that CBD may be useful for treating social anxiety associated with public speaking.
The research team gave subjects doses of CBD ranging from 150 to 600 milligrams, as well as a placebo, prior to a public speaking challenge. The study seemed to indicate that 300 milligrams helped alleviate anxiety-related symptoms.
A February 2019 Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry found that 300 milligrams of may be the optimal dose for treating social anxiety associated with public speaking.Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
9. CBD is generally safe and therapeutic for dogs
CBD can help treat arthritis, seizures, and other health issues found in dogs. CBD oil may also support a dog's immune system, promote a shiny coat, and even improve breath odor. More research is needed to determine how effective CBD is for dogs, cats, and other pets, but existing evidence shows that CBD may provide a treasure trove of benefits to man's best friend.
10. It's legal to fly with hemp-derived CBD, but risky
While hemp-derived CBD items are legal under federal law, some individual states and cities still have stricter laws. In rare but documented cases, local law enforcement officers have arrested and charged people flying with CBD products. Marijuana-derived CBD products, as well as CBD products with more than 0.
3% THC, are still not allowed on domestic or international flights. Ultimately, flyers carrying CBD are at the mercy of the TSA. On April 20, 2019, the TSA posted the following on Instagram: “Let us be blunt: TSA officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs. […
] But in the event a substance appears to be marijuana or cannabis infused product, we're required by federal law to notify law enforcement.”
What is CBD? Definition of Cannabidiol & CBD Oil
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of cannabis, a plant with a rich history as a medicine going back thousands of years.
Today the therapeutic properties of CBD are being tested and confirmed by scientists and doctors around the world.
A safe, non-addictive substance, CBD is one of more than a hundred “phytocannabinoids,” which are unique to cannabis and endow the plant with its robust therapeutic profile.
CBD is closely related to another important medicinally active phytocannabinoid: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that causes the high that cannabis is famous for. These are the two components of cannabis that have been most studied by scientists.
Both CBD and THC have significant therapeutic attributes. But un THC, CBD does not make a person feel “stoned” or intoxicated. That’s because CBD and THC act in different ways on different receptors in the brain and body.
CBD can actually lessen or neutralize the psychoactive effects of THC, depending on how much of each compound is consumed. Many people want the health benefits of cannabis without the high – or with less of a high.
The fact that CBD is therapeutically potent as well as non-intoxicating, and easy to take as a CBD oil, makes it an appealing treatment option for those who are cautious about trying cannabis for the first time.
CBD: The Multipurpose Molecule
Many people are seeking alternatives to pharmaceuticals with harsh side effects – medicine more in synch with natural processes. By tapping into how we function biologically on a deep level, CBD can provide relief for chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation, depression and many other conditions.
Extensive scientific research – much of it sponsored by the U.S. government – and mounting anecdotal accounts from patients and physicians highlight CBD’s potential as a treatment for a wide range of maladies, including (but not limited to):
- Autoimmune diseases (inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis)
- Neurological conditions (Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Huntington’s chorea, stroke, traumatic brain injury)
- Metabolic syndrome (diabetes, obesity)
- Neuropsychiatric illness (autism, ADHD, PTSD, alcoholism)
- Gut disorders (colitis, Crohn’s)
- Cardiovascular dysfunction (atherosclerosis, arrhythmia)
- Skin disease (acne, dermatitis, psoriasis)
CBD has proven neuroprotective effects and its anti-cancer properties are being investigated at several academic research centers in the United States and elsewhere.
A 2010 brain cancer study by California scientists found that CBD “enhances the inhibitory effects of THC on human glioblastoma cell proliferation and survival.” This means that CBD makes THC even more potent as an anticancer substance.
Also in 2010, German researchers reported that CBD stimulates neurogenesis, the growth of new brain cells, in adult mammals.
How Does CBD Work?
CBD and THC interact with our bodies in a variety of ways. One of the main ways is by mimicking and augmenting the effects of the compounds in our bodies called “endogenous cannabinoids” – so named because of their similarity to compounds found in the cannabis plant. These “endocannabinoids” are part of what scientists refer to as the “endocannabinoid system.”
The discovery of the endocannabinoid system has significantly advanced our understanding of health and disease. It has major implications for nearly every area of medical science and helps to explain how and why CBD and THC are such versatile compounds – and why cannabis is such a widely consumed plant, despite its illegal status.
The endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in regulating a broad range of physiological processes that affect our everyday experience – our mood, our energy level, our intestinal fortitude, immune activity, blood pressure, bone density, glucose metabolism, how we experience pain, stress, hunger, and more.
What happens if the endocannabinoid system doesn’t function properly? What are the consequences of a chronically deficient or overactive endocannabinoid system?
In a word, disease.
Cutting-edge science has shown that the endocannabinoid system is dysregulated in nearly all pathological conditions. Thus, it stands to reason that “modulating endocannabinoid system activity may have therapeutic potential in almost all diseases affecting humans,” as Pal Pacher and George Kunos, scientists with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), suggested in a 2014 publication.
By modulating the endocannabinoid system and enhancing endocannabinoid tone, CBD and THC can slow – or in some cases stop – disease progression.
There’s a lot of excitement about the healing potential of CBD – with good reason.
But it wasn’t until June 25, 2018, that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognized cannabidiol as a medicine by approving Epidiolex, an almost pure pharmaceutical CBD formulation, as a treatment for two severe pediatric seizure disorders, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
This was the first time since the peak of the reefer madness era 80 years ago – when “marihuana” became a crime instead of a cure — that the federal government had given an official thumbs-up for a cannabis-derived product.
In response to the FDA’s historic decision, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced in September 2018 that it had removed Epidiolex from Schedule I classification, a category reserved for dangerous drugs with no medical value. Henceforth, Epidiolex would be considered a Schedule V drug, the least dangerous designation under the Controlled Substances Act. The DEA later “descheduled” Epidiolex and removed it from the federal government’s list of controlled substances.
But the DEA kept cannabis and CBD (when derived from a cannabis plant with more than 0.3 % THC) on Schedule I as an illegal narcotic. In the world according to Uncle Sam, pharmaceutical CBD is officially the only good cannabinoid while the rest of the plant remains an ‘evil’ weed.
Given CBD’s reputation as a popular, artisanal remedy, one would think that Epidiolex would command a lot of “off label” attention.
After all, physicians often prescribe pharmaceuticals off label to treat conditions that were not the actual focus of clinical trials.
But the costly price tag for Epidiolex (more than $30,000 annually) precludes off label prescribing as well as affordable access for tens of millions of Americans without health insurance.
For those who can’t obtain pharmaceutical CBD, there are numerous internet storefronts, community markets, coffee shops, health clubs, chiropractic offices, upscale boutiques and gas stations that retail various hemp-derived CBD oil products, including pure CBD isolates comparable in chemical make-up to Epidiolex.
CBD oil products and flower with varying levels of THC and CBD are also available for smoking or vaping at cannabis dispensaries in states that have legalized the herb for therapeutic use.
In response to massive consumer demand, a huge, unregulated market in CBD oil products reached a critical mass in 2018. A surge of consumer interest in all things CBD was suddenly newsworthy with hosanas of praise coming from athletes, film stars, soccer moms, and parents of desperately ill children.
CBD oil has been touted as a curative for the sick and a preventive for the healthy, an all-purpose palliative for pets as well as people of all ages.
But along with a growing awareness of cannabidiol as a potential health aide, there has also been a proliferation of misconceptions about CBD and cannabis therapeutics.
The CBD Challenge
CBD is a molecule, not a miracle. Many people could benefit significantly from legal access to a wide range of cannabis remedies, not just low-THC or no-THC products. CBD alone may not always do the trick. There is compelling evidence that CBD works best in combination with THC and the full spectrum of other cannabis components.
Figuring out how to optimize one’s therapeutic use of cannabis is the driving force behind the great laboratory experiment in democracy known as medical marijuana that’s been unfolding state-by-state and country-by-country in recent years.
The advent of potent cannabis oil concentrates, non-intoxicating CBD-rich products, and innovative, smokeless delivery systems has transformed the therapeutic landscape and changed the public conversation about cannabis.
It’s no longer a matter of debating whether cannabis has merit as an herbal medication – today the key challenge is discerning how to utilize cannabis for maximum therapeutic benefit. Given its low-risk profile, many people are using CBD as an add-on therapy to their existing treatment plans.
But most health professionals know little about CBD or cannabis therapeutics and they lack sufficient expertise to adequately counsel patients regarding dosage, modes of administration, CBD/THC synergies, and any risk factors, including interactions with other drugs.
Instead, the onus has been on a loose-knit community of self-reliant patients, supportive families and a few pioneer physicians who’ve learned a lot through trial and error and shared information about how to navigate promising avenues of cannabis therapy.
What About CBD from Hemp?
What began as a grassroots populist rebellion against cannabis prohibition has morphed into a multibillion-dollar market catalyzed by the rediscovery of CBD as a wellness option. CBD oil is red hot these days, and it seems that everyone – do-gooders as well as profiteers – wants a piece of the action.
CBD has also catalyzed the rebirth of the U.S. hemp industry, which lay dormant for decades because of drug war politics. The 2018 Farm Bill includes a provision that legalizes the cultivation of hemp (cannabis with no more than 0.3 % THC) in large part because of the popularity and driving economic force of CBD.
Growing hemp is now a legitimate agricultural enterprise in the United States. But extracting CBD-rich oil from hemp biomass and marketing CBD oil concentrates and isolates for ingestion and inhalation steps on Big Pharma’s toes and is frowned upon by the DEA and the FDA.
Legalities aside, hemp-derived cannabidiol is just a mouse click or a phone tap away for anyone willing to roll the dice and purchase CBD oil products that are manufactured with little regulatory oversight.
The upside of all this is easy access to CBD oil; the downside is inconsistent quality.
Many hemp-derived CBD oil products are mislabeled as to cannabidiol and THC content. And poorly processed CBD oil may be tainted with toxic solvent residues, pesticides, corn syrup, artificial flavors and colors, and other contaminants.
Fortunately, good quality CBD oil products are also available for the conscientious consumer – the label reader, the brand researcher – who understands that cannabis and CBD are best used as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Copyright, Project CBD. May not be reprinted without permission.
CBD, the Entourage Effect & the Microbiome: Dr. Ethan Russo from Cannabis Conversations on .