Can You Make Money Selling CBD Online?

can you make money selling CBD online cannabidiol sales

The demand for cannabis-derived products is massive right now, and it’s certain to get even bigger as more states pass bills legalizing recreational marijuana. But even if your state is currently dragging its feet with regard to cannabis legislation, you still have legal access to one of the plant’s most sought-after ingredients. 

I’m referring, of course, to cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD. Not so long ago it was a little-known and poorly-understood component of marijuana (and hemp). But that was then, and this is now. The past few years have seen CBD rapidly evolve into one of the foremost supplements on the market. 

This is owing mostly to its significant health benefits, as well as its flexibility (it can be administered countless ways) and lack of serious side effects. The federal legalization of hemp in 2018 also gave CBD a big boost that has grown exponentially into 2021. 

CBD’s momentum won’t be slowing down any time soon. In 2020, the global CBD market size was $2.8 billion, according to Grand View Research. By 2028, it is projected to hit $13.4 billion

Numbers like that have a lot of folks weighing up the possibility of starting their own CBD business—typically in the form of an e-commerce website. While the competition is no doubt fierce, you shouldn’t let that deter you. There is still plenty of opportunity for enterprising individuals who want to do it right. That means knowing the product, knowing the market, and understanding the regulations set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

What Is CBD? 

First, a quick refresher course. CBD is what they call a cannabinoid. The Cannabis sativa plant—from which marijuana and hemp derive—contains more than 100 of them. CBD is one of the two best known cannabinoids, along with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The latter is famous for its intoxicating psychoactive properties. Put another way, THC gets you high. The more THC a cannabis strain has, the more intoxicating its effects will be. 

CBD, on the other hand, is non-intoxicating. It’s still technically psychoactive in that it has an effect on our minds, but the important thing to understand is that, on its own, CBD does not make users feel high. What it does do is provide relief from a range of symptoms including pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression and seizures. 

CBD legality 

In 2018, the federal government made it legal to grow, harvest and sell industrial hemp. As a result, CBD products made from hemp are legal everywhere (provided they adhere to FDA requirements). 

If you’re wondering why hemp has been fully legalized while marijuana remains banned in many states, the reason is simple: hemp, by definition, contains no more than 0.3% THC. That renders it, and any product made from it, non-intoxicating. Hence, CBD products derived from hemp can be sold and purchased across the US. 

CBD products made from marijuana are a trickier proposition for sellers, as the relevant laws and regulations vary widely by state. Visit your state legislature’s website for more information about marijuana CBD products. 

How Are CBD Products Made? 

After the hemp or marijuana is grown and harvested, the CBD is extracted from the flowers using alcohol or another solvent. There are a number of ways of doing this, but most commonly it involves submerging the leaves in alcohol until enough of the active ingredients are extracted. Then the plant matter is filtered out, leaving behind a potent liquid concentrate that serves as the basis for the end product (oil, topical, capsule, edible, vape, etc.). 

With that said, you almost certainly will not be producing your own CBD products—at least not at first. Doing so would require you to build and maintain your own private production facility; you would also have to pay an independent lab to test your CBD before you put it on the market. 

If you have the expertise and resources to make that happen, fantastic. If not, you’ll have to use a supplier. 

Private Label CBD 

If you get your CBD from a supplier, you’ll be selling what are known as private label CBD products. Lots of important decisions go into starting a CBD business, but selecting the right supplier could be the most important of all. If you start off by selling an inferior product, your venture is doomed to fail. 

A good supplier will be forthcoming about every aspect of their business, from cultivation and harvesting to production facilities and manufacturing techniques. You’ll want substantial details about quality control, and also about the labs they use for testing (your customers will want to know about this too). Ask a lot of questions; if you’re not satisfied with the answers, tell them thanks but no thanks. 

It’s also crucial that you choose a supplier that can offer you some level of customization. For your business to succeed, your products need to stand out from the competition. The right supplier will be willing to work with you to develop a unique and diverse product line, taking into account your individual needs and vision. 

Abiding By Rules And Regulations 

Given the rate at which the CBD industry continues to grow, it’s not surprising that the FDA has struggled to keep up. Still, CBD products are much more regulated than they were a few years back (even if some of those regulations go largely unenforced). If you’re going to start selling CBD online, you have to know your obligations under the law for 2021. 

Much of this has to do with marketing. For instance, you are not allowed to market CBD as a “dietary supplement”; nor can you advertise it in terms of its health benefits. The FDA also technically prohibits the sale of CBD-enriched foods across state lines, despite many CBD companies selling a range of edible products. As for the product label, the following must be clearly visible: 

• Product identity 
• Ingredients 
• Net contents 
• Cautionary information 

Playing fast and loose with these requirements entails substantial risk. If your company is found to be in violation of FDA regulations, you can expect to receive an official warning letter. Failure to address the violations on time can result in legal action, including seizure and injunction. 

Cannabidiol Conclusion

Selling CBD online is far easier said than done. But if you commit to doing it the right way, and you have the creativity and imagination to set your brand apart from the rest, there’s more than a little money to be made in 2021 and beyond.

Bootstrap Business Blog Newest Posts From Mike Schiemer, Partners, & Blog Outreach Services