Cannabidiol, widely known as CBD, has experienced a surge in popularity over the past few years, and more people are discovering the substance every day. This increase in popularity has been a huge benefit for both CBD business owners and their customers, many of whom have found relief or financial success thanks to CBD. But as with any newly popular product or trend, there are a lot of questions that people need answered.
We’ve created this list of FAQs to help you learn the basics of how to sell CBD, some legal restrictions to keep in mind, and key information about CBD itself.
If there’s a specific question you have, jump to the relevant topic by clicking the bullet points below.
- What does CBD do?
- How do I sell CBD?
- Is selling CBD legal?
- Are there any restrictions on selling CBD?
- Can you sell CBD online?
- Does CBD get you high?
- Can I advertise my CBD company?
- Can healthcare professionals sell CBD?
- Is CBD medicine?
- Can CBD be sold as a dietary supplement?
What Does CBD Do?
This is one of the most common questions we get asked, and with good reason! Given the amount of ongoing research and numerous claims as to the benefits of cannabidiol, it can be unclear as to what CBD actually does.
In scientific terms, as laid out by projectcbd.org, CBD has the ability to bind to multiple receptors within the brain, making it a pleiotropic (a chemical that produces numerous effects through multiple molecular pathways). This is why there has been so much research performed on CBD, since it is difficult to pinpoint and isolate singular effects brought on by the substance.
As a pleiotropic, CBD most readily binds to four receptors, and modulates or inhibits a few others. We’ve detailed the basics of what these receptors do and how the presence of CBD on these receptors affects the human body.
- erotonin Receptors: Serotonin is a hormone that stabilizes and regulates mood. It also affects sleep and eating/digestion. Research conducted at the University of San Paulo and King’s College has shown evidence that when consumed in high concentrations, CBD activates a receptor that produces an anxiety-relieving effect. When activated by CBD, this receptor also exhibits positive effects on appetite, pain, sleep, and stomach issues when CBD is used in higher concentrations.
- Vanilloid Receptors: Vanilloid receptors play a role in managing a person’s perception of pain and in the mediation of inflammation and body temperature. CBD binds to TRPV1 (a key vanilloid receptor), which can help to dull the sensation of pain, though the potency of these effects has yet to be determined.
- Orphan Receptors (GPR55): GPR55 is a receptor that is involved in the modulation of numerous physical processes such as blood pressure, bone density, and bone reabsorption. When the GRP55 receptor is overactive, it can lead to osteoporosis. Per research from the University of Aberdeen in 2010, CBD has been identified as a GPR55 antagonist, meaning that it blocks the signal from this receptor. Because of this, there is reason to believe that CBD has the potential to decrease the speed of bone reabsorption, which would help slow the onset of osteoporosis.
- Nuclear Receptors (PPARs): Research has provided some evidence that CBD has an anti-cancer effect. It achieves this effect by activating PPARs, which slow unchecked replication of cells and can aid in tumor regression for certain types of lung cancers. There is also some evidence that a chemical produced by PPAR activation via cannabidiol can break down amyloid-beta plaque, which is a key contributor to Alzheimer’s disease.
- Reuptake Inhibitor: When CBD is ingested in a manner that allows it to bypass cell membranes, it can bind to a nuclear receptor within the cell itself. Research from Stony Brook University has shown that when CBD binds to these receptors it can raise the endocannabinoid levels in the brain. By increasing these levels, CBD may be able to protect against seizures, reduce anxiety, and protect against inflammation.
How Do I Sell CBD?
At the most basic level, selling CBD is simple! To start selling CBD, follow these steps:
- Identify your target market.
- Determine the best products for your target market.
- Obtain all necessary retail licenses for your location.
- Apply for a partnership with a wholesale CBD distributor.
- Purchase and resell your chosen products.
For a more detailed breakdown on how to start a CBD retail business, check out our guide on how to get started selling CBD.
Is Selling CBD Legal?
Yes! The sale of hemp-derived CBD was made legal with the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. This bill legalized the sale of hemp and allowed for the sale of CBD products so long as the CBD was sourced from hemp and contained less than 0.3% THC.
Are There Any Restrictions on Selling CBD?
Beyond the 0.3% THC limit and hemp-derived requirement, restrictions vary from state to state. For instance, Idaho requires that all CBD products have 0% THC, which limits the types of products that can be sold within the state. California, on the other hand, is very CBD friendly and allows for the sale of cannabis-derived CBD products. At the same time, California also requires special labeling considerations in accordance with Proposition 65, which requires that all products containing elements capable of reproductive harm or causing cancer be clearly labeled as such.
To help you navigate the restrictions surrounding the sale of CBD, we’ve assembled the following educational blog posts:
- Changes to CBD laws in the new year
- New CBD labeling laws and state specific regulations
- Summary of USDA rules
Can You Sell CBD Online?
Yes, selling CBD online is totally legal. It is a viable way to start a CBD retail business especially if you don’t want to be tied to a single retail location. Those who wish to start an online CBD store should keep in mind that they will need to adhere to the regulations of each state where their products are sold.
Does CBD Get You High?
No, CBD does not get you “high” as it is not derived from the cannabis plant when harvested legally. In fact, CBD has a detrimental effect on the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. Despite both of these compounds being present in both hemp and cannabis plants, CBD actually acts as a negative modulator of the receptor that provides THC with its psychoactive effects, reducing the psychoactive effects of THC.
Can I Advertise My CBD Company?
Yes, but there are restrictions to keep in mind. Most major ad platforms, such as Google and Facebook, do not allow for CBD to be advertised. As CBD continues to grow in popularity and legal restrictions are relaxed, these advertising restrictions are also expected to lessen. For the time being, the best way to advertise your CBD products online is through search engine optimization (SEO). This type of marketing enhances the content on your website with the goal of having it appear higher on a search engine results page.
Can Healthcare Professionals Sell CBD?
Yes, it is completely legal for a medical professional to sell CBD at their own private practice. If you plan to sell CBD at your private practice, make sure that you clearly state that the CBD products you sell are not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any ailment or disease. You should always recommend these products alongside more conventional treatment methods.
If you run a private practice and need help determining which products will work best for your patients, consult one of the helpful guides below.
- What CBD products are best for physical therapy patients
- What CBD products are best for chiropractor patients
- What CBD products are best for personal trainer clients
- What CBD products are best for acupuncture patients
Is CBD Medicine?
CBD is not medicine as it cannot be used to treat, cure or diagnose any condition or disease. While research trials are currently taking place to determine the efficacy of CBD in a pharmaceutical setting, there is currently not enough concrete evidence to claim that CBD is a medicine.
Can CBD Be Sold as a Dietary Supplement?
No, a dietary supplement must adhere to certain guidelines set forth by the FDA. If you are selling CBD in a pill-like form or in an edible form, we suggest that you call them ingestibles or edibles in order to avoid breaking the law.