Many would agree we are living in an interesting time of unprecedented change. And one industry that has featured massive change and explosive growth is CBD. With the industry size projected to be around one billion dollars in 2020, CBD, which is cannabidiol derived from hemp containing no more than 0.3% THC, is legal in most states.
In 2018, The U.S. Farm Bill made the farming of industrial hemp legal for the first time since 1937 and gave state governments the ability to consider the legalization of medicinal and recreational cannabis products. (If you are curious about CBD’s legality in your state, you can use this tool to check its status.) And while the legal status of CBD does vary by state and federally, in general one of the most critical factors of legality is whether the CBD is derived from hemp or marijuana. While these two plants are closely related, they are classified differently under law, and understanding the difference is crucial to using and marketing CBD legally.
The rules and risks of advertising your CBD business
While this legislation has opened the door for CBD products to make it into the mainstream marketplace, you may have heard that generating demand for the products is a little trickier. Building a campaign using traditional channels is still challenging for a variety of reasons. Both the FTC and the FDA have made statements about the type of claims a CBD company can make. Due to risks of running afoul of this and similar regulation, Google, Facebook and Instagram — platforms that account for 57% of the total digital advertising market — are inaccessible to CBD brands for advertising.
It is worth noting that things might be changing. Facebook has modified their stance on hemp products slightly, offering the ability for topical hemp brands, but not ingested CBD, to advertise as of July 2019. Google is said to be testing ads from the hemp industry on its platform as well.
CBD Marketing: What you CAN do
So, if digital advertising is out of the question, what should you do to build your CBD brand online?
There are a few options to consider. Content marketing or creating unbranded content that is educational and answers questions users have is a good step in the right direction. It’s important to remember that the purpose of this content is to EDUCATE your readers about CBD products so they can make informed decisions. It cannot make claims about your