Disclaimer: The following article is not meant as legal or medical advice. It is also not meant to advocate or refute claims of the effectiveness of CBD in the treatment of any disorders. The purpose of the article is to highlight some of the areas that merchants who are interested in selling CBD should be aware of.
CBD is one of the hottest trends right now (as of 2019) in the ecommerce space. From oils, edibles, and even products for animals, there is a lot of demand for CBD derived products since its legalization in 2018.
However, there is also a lot of confusion on how budding entrepreneurs can get started in selling CBD products due to its historically illegal nature. This guide aims to provide a clear understanding of what is involved for those who are interested in this business.
Who’s this guide for?
This is a guide for people who are interested in selling CBD online. Whether you have some prior experience in ecommerce or you’re just starting out, you should read this in order to get yourself up to speed.
We’ll also be updating this guide as time goes on with new information.
Table of Contents:
- An introduction to the product itself: CBD
- Issues related to CBD ecommerce
- How to design your online CBD operation
- Advertising CBD products
- An introduction to the product itself: CBD
An introduction to CBD
CBD stands for Cannabidiol. For the rest of this article, we’ll just use CBD for short.
It is one of 113 chemical found in cannabis. Unlike Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis and the reason why marijuana gives a physiological “high” response, CBD is not psychoactive.
Research has been done on CBD, particularly in areas of:
- Decreasing anxiety
- Improving cognition
- Assisting with movement disorders
- Alleviating pain
- Improving gastrointestinal diseases
A quick PubMed search shows that CBD is an actively researched area:
Due to the increased awareness in recent years, many consumers are turning to CBD for its application in a variety of situations.
Note: This article isn’t meant to support or refute the claims of CBD advocates, but merely a description of the current state of the market and its context for people interested in selling CBD online.
CBD can be taken by the body in a number of ways:
- Inhalation (ie. smoking)
- Absorption through the cheeks (eg. aerospray)
- Ingested (ie. eaten)
- Topically (eg. cream)
The CBD molecule itself interacts with a number of biological receptors inside the body. Scientists do not know exactly how it works, but nonetheless there are products available on the market today which are FDA approved such as Epidiolex, a drug approved for the treatment of seizures.
CBD is “the next gold rush”
According to many online entrepreneurs, CBD is considered to be the space to be in. It is estimated that annual revenues from CBD businesses will top $22 billion dollars by 2022.
There’s no doubt that the CBD space will offer explosive growth for merchants who desire it and are ready for the challenges (which we’ll talk about below) in starting a business in this industry.
Issues related to CBD ecommerce
Let’s take a look at the issues that merchants face when selling CBD products. As with any product that is recently legalized, it’s important that you’re aware of your responsibilities as a merchant.
Note: This isn’t meant to be a legal guide or legal advice. Remember to consult your lawyer for advice when setting up your business.
If you’re interested in selling CBD (Cannabidiol) online, you need to consider how you’ll be setting up your ecommerce operations.
Why is selling CBD products different than, say, selling clothing?
Many payment gateways consider selling CBD to be a high risk business venture. With increased credit card fraudulent charges and other related concerns, banks could close your business down very quickly if they find that your business is deemed too “high risk”.
Ecommerce platforms like Shopify could also close down your business as the payment gateways you need aren’t supported. Shopify prefers its merchants to use Shopify Payments, its own payment gateway. If your business is categorized as high risk and not acceptable for using Shopify Payments, you may be asked to find a different platform.
Cartfunnel can help you mitigate risks
Cartfunnel is designed to help you run your CBD business from any website. Your shopping cart system literally goes with you wherever you go, regardless of the front-end website platform you’re using.
Here are some of the ways we help mitigate your business risks:
- Allowing you to separate your front end website to your backend shopping cart/checkout system
- Providing you with the ability to switch between payment gateways (via Spreedly)
- Enabling you to create recurring revenue stream through subscriptions
- Integrating with multiple high risk gateways (via Spreedly) or via custom integration to the gateway of your choice (extra fees apply)