The Commoditization of Hemp and CBD

cbd hemp longevity natural medicine natural pharmacy pharmacist pharmacy pharmacy marketing pharmacy school Jan 06, 2019

So, as I was doing my Sunday Sprints today, I was ruminating on what to write to you.

As you know, the Sunday reset is a time of thought, pondering, random travels of mind and emotions.

I wanted to take a bit of a different course from the last few weeks, and get a bit back into our industry… well, let’s talk about Hemp.

The Farm Bill just passed, which is one of the most profound changes to the industry. As far as CBD is concerned, it legalized industrial hemp, including the plants used to produce CBD oil.

Honestly, its about time as we have been exporting this industry out of our country for way too long. I was first introduced to the wide array of benefits of Hemp, in 1994 when I read Jack Herrer’s Emperor Wears no Clothes.

Since then, hemp has been an industrial staple in my home; hemp clothes, hemp dog leashes and collars, I even have a couch made out of a hemp blend…most durable couch I have ever owned.

There’s still a gray area on how the Feds could interpret the rules in regards to CBD, although looking at the industry, the breaks are off, the public is on board…and I think the only thing we can accurately predict, is that CBD is about to be commoditized.

Commoditization is the process by which goods that have economic value and are distinguishable in uniqueness end up becoming simple commodities in the eyes of the market or consumers.

What does this mean for our industry?

It means that big big money is coming into the industry, and the industry is being looked at very seriously by big food and big pharma.

Liken it to the growth of “gluten free”- what was once a novelty, is a staple in most grocery stores and restaurants.

You will begin to see hemp in all sorts of food products, beverages and beyond.

As far as the nutritional industry- YUP! Everyone will be on board.

This will make it more difficult for the mom and pop hemp companies to survive, we will be seeing a contraction of the industry- although the ones with a strong footing, if the lead with innovation, quality, and clinical data first…with a strong financial backbone, the sky is the limit.

And don’t be surprised when you see some of the leaders in the field of practitioner CBD get bought out by the Nestle’s, P & G’s, and Krafts of the world- as long as they can operate independently with the same quality and focus that brought them there- all will be fine, it’s just the natural process of growth and competition.

Years and years ago I wrote about how to stand out in the commoditization of the supplement industry, so I wanted to share with you some tips on how to navigate, and utilize a company that positions you even stronger.

  • Commitment to quality- this includes third party assay testing, as well as a genetic consistency in their strains- you want a company that continues to use hemp from the same fields free of toxins and does not go down the contract manufacturing route.
  • Research backed…outcome based open minded, sans marketing hype and positioning. Yes! we must start with research, although we also must be open to what has been discovered repeatedly in the natural population, which would indicate future research. If the message sounds like a car salesman- run! There is one company which I know the quality is top notch, and the research, although when I heard their message, it screamed of MLM- if I have interest in something, I don’t need to be oversold and pitched, it seems like they are trying to cash in now- and not looking at the long term. Also…I received an email from a very high-quality nutritional company who has incorporated hemp into their line. It was riddled in “us-vs-them” position and marketing, saying why most CBD is bad. This is not good for the industry, its not they way to allow the quality to rise to the top- it actually creates a further division in the quality CBD market. I can only hope this was some marketing people they hired whom thought it would be a clever “pitch”… as I have not seen the same language out of them since.
  • Education and by health care practitioners. There is a lot to learn about CBD and Hemp, and I admittingly recommend to go with a company who has a strong educational blue print, and is structured to share with you. If you need to ask a question, they are there, if they don’t know, they will find out, ASAP.
  • Recognize the difference between food fortified hemp and nutritional / therapeutic hemp. I liken this to turmeric, the spice of the ginger family from which we get curcumin. As a spice or additive to foods, it does have great health supporting qualities- although if we are looking to reverse or modify or influence disease or symptoms, we need to go a standardized, consistent, often higher concentration of active ingredient.

All right…I think I have laid out enough words for today. A very Happy first Sunday of the New Year to you, take some time to wander and ponder.


Be Well * Have Fun * Do Good