CBD industry. Worth investing in?

Alexandra Gladchenko
6 min readFeb 3, 2021

When it all just started, many “conservative” enterpreneurs thought they were all fools: people, investing and believing in the flourishment of CBD industry. But have a look at it now. Healthcare workers recognizing the value of the “medication”. People, feeling helpless in their struggle with an unknown diseases, starting doing their own research and finding CBD benefits. And, what is critical: the law restrictions started to melt.

How to market CBD product, how to be cohesive with the today’s pharmaceutical industry, create a functional website while considering the ethical part of the deal, and the customer experience. This is our rough outline for this article.

What is CBD?

CBD is an oil extracted from hemp. Just to clear things out, hemp is not the same as marijuana (which contains THC, an element that gets you “high”), where its genetic brother hemp cannabis doesn’t have it. The CBD oil provides a natural way for treating a number of ailments and diseases: acne, chronic pain, addiction, anxiety, insomnia, seizures, PTSD, OCD, diabetes, and even cancer and Alzheimer’s, but there’s much more to it.

Since CBD is becoming a widely accepted substance step by step, more entrepreneurs are catching a train.

My boyfriend was recently under a surgery in Switzerland. Not being fascinated by the thought of taking all those pain relieving chemicals (Ibuprofen or similar), which inevitably damage your liver and immune system, he asked for a chance to grab a CBD to the hospital. And what do we see, they were all cool about that. The law is all thumbs up for it.

There is still research going on, and not all people and institutions are ready to fully accept the product — simply because of the lack of knowledge. And disinformation. And the plant itself is still stigmatized.

So the enterpreneurs which are on the way to dive into this business should be aware of this and other factors. In this specific field, it is especially important to set a transparent direct to consumer (D2C) communication.

How it all started with CBD

First attempts at importing a CBD oil was from China. But these were quickly banned in the US. Because those products contained heavy metals and pesticides. Then the import locations were switched to Europe.

Benefits of a CBD molecule that might be hard to believe in

Millenials and Gen Z is an open-minded nation, moving more towards the roots. They seek for natural methods for healing: their mind and bodies. Alternatives to pharmaceuticals with harsh side effects. Many now know how the “Big Pharma” works, and there’s no trust left for this money driven global machine. Medicine should be more in synch with natural healing. And CBD is the right choice for an extensive number of diseases. It can be a solution for chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation, depression issues.

U.S. government is now sponsoring some of the researches on the value of the magical compound from a cannabis plant.

Here’s the list of the studies:

Kannaway, the first company to begin research on the potential benefits of the cannabis Sativa plant

Facing a question whether it is worth investing in CBD industry 2021, let’s have a look at the real-life examples of successful businesses. Kannaway company was the first to address the United Nations & World Health Organization about CBD and in 2018 was the first direct sales company to offer CBD products to European markets.

How to a big CBD company built an effective market strategy

The company managed to be the first CBD company to be listed in PDR (Prescriber’s Digital Reference), which is great in terms of D2C marketing. Being listed in this free drug search tool allows a company to get in front of the potential target audience. Take the fact that PDR has its D2C mobile app, sends monthly e-newsletters with drug updates, email alerts on drug safety and you’ll see the point. The system is free, and has been integrated into some electronic health record (EHR) systems.

Here’s how customers see Kannaways’s Pure Gold ™ on PDR. The company provides extensive product information with product image, product description, class of a healthcare product, storage, drug interaction, food and herb interactions, mechanism of action, common brand names, how it is supplied, ingredients and supplements facts, dose recommendations with dosing considerations, missed and overdose information, considerations and precautions, manufacturing information accompanied with a table showing the flow of industrial hemp manufacture. There’s also info on clinical trials of the substance and references to a number of materials and researches.

An ultimate website for a CBD product

On their ecommerce website Kannaway builds an image of everyday wellness and describes their products to the customer as a healthy way of life. By giving direct situations where people can benefit from the product, the company manages to make its D2C marketing personalized and humane, and lets people visualize the results.

The website itself is very user-friendly and adapts to any region and language. On a product detail page itself you will find clear product image, product description, ingredients, usage and lab results. As this is a non-medical product, a company openly puts a disclosure that it doesn’t guarantee treating certain illnesses and that certain people better refrain themselves from using it.

Kannaway’s website also provides a great customer journey by allowing each shopper to make their own accessibility adjustments, like font size, content scaling, color, mute sounds, hide images and so on. A big + for the company for the UX.

What do the successful CBD entrepreneurs give out to their customers?

The company gives free access to the research, keeps its customers informed on industry news, success stories, guides through all the steps of its product manufacturing, consumption, and benefits. Kannaway also holds webinars, different kinds of retreat programs and has its own Academy in various cities of the world, giving lectures on hemp science, marketing materials and tools on a product and more. Besides those activities, the company shows a devotion to its craft and taking care of people by arranging donations to ECHO, an independent, nonprofit and charitable organization connecting special case sick children and families with the healing properties of cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD), and financial aid services. Everyone can go on Kannaway’s website and buy from 5 to 100 euros which will go to charity.

To be or not to be? Invest or not into CBD market?

This article aimed to provide a reliable skeleton for your further research. To be or not to be? Well, I’d rather not allow myself to give out a specific opinion. So I would live the question open. A little observation though: CBD is not another wishy washy medicine. It works. It helps. It does good.