Are CBD Products Right For Your Store?

As CBD makes its rounds in the world of wellness products and being specifically touted as a sleep aid, you might be wondering — what is it? Does it make sense for my store? CBD is often linked to sleep and relaxation in the conversation around wellness and self care. No brainer for a sleep shop, right? Well there’s more you need to know and consider before stocking your sleep shop with CBD products. In this story, we explore what CBD is and how to know if it’s the right accessory for you to include in your inventory. 

So, let’s start with the basics. What is it? 

Cannabis plants have two parts: CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). The CBD portion is not psychoactive while the THC portion is. This is why people sometimes talk about CBD as a body high rather than a head high. CBD can relax the body while THC has an impact on the mind. CBD as a naturally occurring chemical compound is now used in all sorts of oils, edibles, juices and lotions to help people relax or soothe chronic pain conditions. 

Typically derived from the hemp plant, CBD is a component of medical marijuana and is still included in the same class as marijuana. While it is available all over the US, it’s legal status is not fully stable. According to this article from Harvard Health Publishing, the government takes a rather perplexing stance on the issue: “In December 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements to allow researchers to conduct CBD trials. Currently, many people obtain CBD online without a medical cannabis license. The government’s position on CBD is confusing, and depends in part on whether the CBD comes from hemp or marijuana. The legality of CBD is expected to change, as there is currently bipartisan consensus in Congress to make the hemp crop legal which would, for all intents and purposes, make CBD difficult to prohibit.”

Due in part to this confusion and indecision on the part of the government, CBD is currently categorized as a supplement and not as a medication which allows it to be sold largely unregulated. There’s not a lot of consistency in how it is produced and what it is combined with. It is possible to get a CBD product and not fully know what is included in the substance. So you might be wondering how safe it is. The short answer is that it is generally safe with innocuous side effects like nausea, fatigue and irritability. However, it is important to exercise caution when purchasing products with CBD in them wholesale or ingesting it yourself especially if you take other medications like blood thinners. CBD doesn't always interact well with medications, it is important to note that it can raise the levels of some medications in your system. 

Even though there’s some risk involved and some uncertainty around the future of CBD and how it is produced and incorporated into other products, CBD does have proven health benefits. It is by no means a miracle drug or cure all, but many people have found it to be very helpful in managing anxiety, insomnia and chronic pain. And, it is predicted that the CBD market could reach or surpass $20 billion in sales by 2024—so who wouldn’t want a piece of that pie? 

Here are some topics to consider and questions you should ask yourself and your potential suppliers when considering bringing CBD products into your mix: 

Precarious Legal Status 

Because the legal status of CBD is unclear and maybe not fully established, it is important to figure out what your state’s stance on it is before bringing it into your inventory. Even if it feels like CBD stores are cropping up everywhere, you don’t want to be lumped in with those shops if they are not actually welcome in your community.

Lack Of Regulation 

Maybe even more important than legal status, it’s crucial to make sure that you know all the ingredients included in any product you decide to bring into your store and that you trust the manufacturer of that product. If you are nervous about selling a beverage or another more viscerally ingestible CBD substance, you might consider starting out with a topical cream that is infused with the oil. Products like this are useful for pain relief and can be applied to the site of soreness. While this doesn’t directly aid in sleep, often people with chronic pain have a harder time getting rest and these lotions provide a natural and non-invasive solution.  

Does It Add Something To Your Product Mix? 

This rule applies to any item you’re considering for your inventory. You should always ask yourself how the new product adds to the consumer experience in your store. Is it a gimmick to drive traffic or does it truly add value or dimension to what your store has to offer? Does it serve your client base? Will it help you reach a new demographic? In this case, the answer may very well be yes. It’s also important, particularly with a product like CBD that is trending but also hotly debated, to decide if its presence in your store would turn off any of your customers. Is it popular in your area or something that locals dislike?

Do Your Research

There’s so much information out there about CBD but also so much we don’t know yet. If you are still having doubts, continue to research specific products, manufacturers and dig into more detail about the legislation and testing around CBD.

We’ve rounded up some helpful resources as well as some great lists of CBD products and companies. While we don’t endorse these products, they provide great examples of the immense variety already available in the CBD product market. 

HuffPost rounded up companies producing CBD items ranging from lip butter to gummies to eye balm.

Healthline honed in on types of CBD oils and how to choose, this list also includes pricing. 

NY Mag’s list includes coffee and bath bombs.

Read more here, here, here, here, here, here and here

This article originally appeared in Sleep Retailer eNews on August 22, 2019.

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