cbdMD Sales Growing, Key Influencers Continue to Bring the Product Mainstream
September 17th, 2019
App, Exclusive, Top News
CBD, or cannabidiol, has moved into the mainstream, a normalization process that has been supported by several regulatory and legislative events. The framework may be on the government side, but consumer uptake is being accelerated by key influencers promoting brands while educating the public on these events, as well as the potential benefits of CBD.
The market adoption has been wide and sweeping, fueled by endorsements from celebrities and superstars covering all generations. For example, the likes of Martha Stewart, Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Kim Kardashian, Emma Roberts, and many more have jumped in to support the wellness attributes of CBD, creating exposure to demographics from Baby Boomers to older Gen Z-ers.
Athletes Cheer for CBD
Athletes, in particular, are standing up and cheering the effects of CBD for a wide range of uses. Three-time Super Bowl Champion Rob Gronkowski, who surprised many by announcing his retirement from the NFL in March, is the latest high-profile athlete to bemoan today’s addictive drugs and advocate for CBD application.
There probably isn’t a more distinguished group of athletes endorsing one particular brand than cbdMD, Inc. (NYSE American: YCBD), a nationally recognized consumer cannabidiol brand and the first NYSE-listed pure CBD play. The company offers a full line of award-winning premium CBD products, including oil tinctures, topicals, capsules, gummies, pet products, bath bombs and more.
The star-studded Team cbdMD lineup includes former NFL stars Steve Smith, Sr. and Jonathan Stewart, pro beach volleyball legend Kerri Walsh Jennings, pro golfers Bubba Watson and Mark Anderson, All-American and Olympic star Lolo Jones, MMA stars like recent UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, and a bevy of extreme sports heroes.
It takes an elite athlete to make it to the professional level, combined with the constant pushing and abuse of the body to remain competitive at the highest level. Sadly, the story has been the same from most professional athletes with complaints of more traditional prescriptions being the norm. For Steve Smith, Sr., working with cbdMD has become a family affair underscored by what CBD has done for him personally after 16 years in the NFL – during which he racked up the seventh most all-purpose yards in NFL history.
“I’m proud to step forward and say that this partnership can be the platform the public needs to educate themselves on the power of CBD,” Smith said about his relationship with cbdMD.
Golf icon Bubba Watson, who needed to have cbdMD fully vetted before being allowed to endorse or use its products to ensure it was safe and in compliance with all PGA rules, has been quoted as saying, “I’ve personally felt the benefits of cbdMD’s products. cbdMD is the safest on the market and I am proud to partner with them to help millions feel better.” Watson says he takes cbdMD products to help with recovery and better sleep functions.
Bubba Watson, Pro Golfer
There are some common threads that run through athletes promulgating the benefits of CBD: safety and education.
Like no other marketing or education could do, these influencers are removing the stigma attached to cannabis. Amongst other things, they are informing people that there is a night-and-day difference between CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the two most well-known active components of cannabis, called cannabinoids. CBD is non-intoxicating, whereas THC is the cannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive high commonly linked to marijuana.
All cbdMD products are tested by an independent third-party lab and are guaranteed THC-free.
The Regulatory Catalysts
Athletes wouldn’t be in a position to put their stamps of approval on products in the way that they are if it weren’t for specific developments recently. Namely, these are the 2018 Farm Bill, Canada’s legalization of cannabis in October 2018, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approving GW Pharma’s (NASDAQ: GWPH) Epidiolex.
President Donald Trump’s signing of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, better known as the Farm Bill, had a profound impact on the CBD market by federally legalizing hemp. Hemp is defined as any part of the plant Cannabis sativa that contains less than 0.3% THC.
What hemp does have is CBD. Effectively, the passage of the Farm Bill opened a national discussion for interstate commerce of hemp-derived CBD products without fear of federal backlash.
Canada made history when it became the first industrialized country (and second only to Uruguay) to legalize recreational marijuana. Lawmakers didn’t rush into legalizing cannabis with broad strokes. Only certain forms of cannabis became legal last October, with a pin put in other types (such as edibles, concentrates, and creams) until laws could be hammered out.
Expectations are for new laws to be enacted by the end of the year, which will open up a whole new market for CBD in Canada.
Talk of “descheduling” or “rescheduling” cannabis is increasing in volume. As it stands, cannabis is a Schedule I drug at the federal level alongside heroin and LSD. By definition, these drugs have no currently accepted medical use and have a high potential for addiction. However, in June 2018, the FDA approved Epidiolex (which has CBD as its active pharmaceutical ingredient) for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, in patients two years of age and older.
The full acceptance into the world of pharmaceuticals shoots down the idea that CBD has no medical benefit. It also gives CBD advocates additional evidence to argue that cannabis needs to be rescheduled, which will pave the way for additional clinical work studying its efficacy for hard-to-treat diseases and conditions.
Awakened Market, Increasing Sales
Against this backdrop, key influencers are making a meaningful impact on the young CBD market. Many consumers – if not most – didn’t realize that CBD was a bigger part of the national discussion in terms of the legal medical marijuana movement; not to mention the worldwide consideration as more people are opening up to the possibilities of CBD and cannabis. The aforementioned developments, though, created greater awareness. The Farm Bill was particularly important for companies focused exclusively on hemp-based CBD, like cbdMD, because constraints on commerce and logistics were ultimately removed.
Still, a groundswell is underway and Americans are now becoming increasingly educated on the qualities and characteristics of CBD, a process that continues to widen sales channels to feed consumer demand as CBD is normalized in the marketplace.
With a growing choir of voices singing the praises of CBD, demand isn’t expected to wane any time in the foreseeable future. That is good news for cbdMD, which saw net sales rise 42% from Q1 2019 to $8.04 million in the second quarter, ended June 30, 2019.
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