The cannabidiol (CBD) industry is exploding as people take interest in this naturally-derived compound. BDS Analytics — a leading CBD marketing insights and data company — has reported US industry growth is expected to hit $20 billion by 2024. This forecast illuminates two important facts: Americans want access to cannabidiol and there is ample room for professional quality products that are exclusively sold by clinicians.
Various companies already provide products designed to fill this surging expansion. BDS Analytics reported that:
ingestibles and topicals are the two most popular categories in the CBD industry, with a total market profit of $888M and $491M respectively in 2018.
As a health professional, you don’t want to miss the boat! People are curious about, and open to, cannabidiol products – oils or drops, gummies, pills, or suppositories, and, importantly, CBD topicals – the growth of interest in CBD poses a major opportunity for business owners and clinicians.
But where do you start?
Finding a CBD company is a little like finding a life partner: how do you know when they are right for you? Unlike romantic liaisons, verifying details of potential suppliers can be done by asking 11 key questions. Professional companies will succinctly answer these queries and provide evidence. Your reputation rests on the recommendations you make, so ensure your endorsement is founded.
The answers to these questions will also empower you to sell CBD topicals, regardless of the flooded market, by setting yourself and your recommendations apart from the beige products that currently fill retail shelves. Read on to find out what the right questions are and what kind of answers you’re looking for.
1) Do they list everything contained inside each product?
A supplier worth their salt will easily answer the questions below. Plus, modern patients are empowered. They will ask questions about ingredients and the processes involved in product creation. Knowing the answers places you in a position of trust, and trust is required for every sale.
- a. Do you know where the company sources its CBD?
b. Are you familiar with their safety standards?
c. Is there a document you can review about third-party testing?
d. Is the manufacturing facility audited?
Answer: Look for a reliable company that undergoes a strict review process, has third party testing as standard, works closely with farmers who understand cannabidiol intimately, and that offer transparent data to substantiate all claims. Avoid dubious businesses and products, no matter how appealing their packaging or prices.
2) Provides premium customer service and communication
For the sake of your patients and your sanity, you need to know that the companies that supply your products are accessible and accountable. Customer service and account management matter. Ask and take notice…
- a. Are they there to serve you, or do they appear only to push a sale?
b. Are your calls and emails returned promptly?
c. Does the service representative speak to you in a professional manner?
d. Do you have a dedicated person available to answer your questions and provide support?
Answer: An ethical company will provide timely and appropriate customer service and communication to ensure your needs are met — as well as your patients’ needs.
3) Do they abide by an ethical code?
There are several ways to assess the ethical behavior of a company before you enter into a working relationship together. We recommend you take these steps:
- a. Ensure they do not have a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning letter.
b. Shady business practices often result in poor reviews. A Google search for “[company name] reviews” will provide insight into happy and unhappy experiences.
Answer: If a company appears dubious, please run for the hills. It is not worth the potential damage to your business’s reputation. When you work with an ethical company, you can share this with your patients to build warranted trust and sales.
4) Are their products clean?
Many companies sadly use fillers or contain harmful additives like chemical fertilizers, heavy metals, and pesticides. These undermine the quality and safety of CBD oil and other included ingredients. Every stockist should know the source of their CBD and ensure the quality standards for safety and effectiveness are met.
Proof of third party testing and a laser focus on naturally-derived products ensures clean products you can be proud to share with your clients.
Explain to patients honestly why you recommend the brands you do. Clean products raise a brand above other available options.
5) Know about a company’s past and expertise
When supplying pain relief creams, ointments and oils, your practice, in effect, acts as a topical CBD store. To maximize therapeutic outcomes and patient satisfaction, it’s important to ask potential suppliers:
- a. Do they have experience in the over the counter (OTC) topical market?
b. Do they understand the CBD landscape?
c. Do they have experience meeting federal guidelines?
d. Do they understand the science behind their products?
Answer: Choose only those companies who have considerable experience and expertise to avoid unwanted headaches and ensure effective treatment options for your patients. Expertise in product creation builds trust and will help you to sell quality CBD products at a premium price, even when other seemingly similar options are available elsewhere.
6) Do they have a history of long professional relationships?
With the burgeoning world of new CBD players, this can create a trap. Skipping through suppliers is exhausting, and companies who disappear overnight lead to frustration. A simple way to circumvent these challenges is to work with an established, reputable cannabidiol supplier who is well versed in assisting practitioners to run a successful topical CBD store.
Aidance, the mother company of CBD CLINIC™ founded in 2004, is a developer and manufacturer of topical dermatology products with customers in over 150 countries and sells to major national retail chains. CBD CLINIC leverages the 16 years of experience Aidance has to deliver active pharmaceutical ingredients that have been clinically proven.
7) Are they consistently working on development and improvement?
As with people, companies need to consistently work on research and development, improvement and evolution. Asking a potential supplier the following questions will help you gauge their progress, passion and fit for your practice…
- a. Do they have a product pipeline? Are they innovating new products?
b. If required, would they redesign for product clarity?
c. Do they consider practitioner feedback and use it to evolve product development?
Answer: The companies who are worth partnering with will answer ‘yes’ to each of these as they are interested in the product and brand progression, implementing new scientific discoveries and working with practitioners to propel patient results and practice success.
8) Are they congruent and authentic?
Having an incredible company beside you in the trenches provides significant value and can act as a catalyst for your in-practice topical CBD store. But how do you know they are who they say they are? Ask:
- a. Does the product do what it says it will do? Investigate any claims and ask for the evidence those claims are based on. Try the product to ensure it works.
b. Do they comply with the FDA monograph for active ingredients such as menthol, camphor, and lidocaine? There are only a few companies able to make this legitimate claim and it makes all the difference to product effectiveness and trustworthiness.
c. Do they clearly mark instructions on the packaging according to regulatory requirements?
Answer: Partnering with congruent, authentic brands elevates your practice’s results and perception. It’s great for successfully growing an in-practice topical CBD store.
9) Are they sustainable?
With climate change at the forefront of community consciousness, the use of sustainable ingredients like jojoba seed oil, which has been shown to extend the shelf life of CBD products while being gentle on the environment, is paramount.
Warning: Being associated with non-ethical and unsustainable products is poor practice and poor marketing.
10) Are they exclusive?
High-quality products attract a premium and allow for healthy profits. However, if you stock lines that can be purchased from the local pharmacy at a discounted price, you’ll lose credibility and money.
Answer: Selling products that are the exclusive domain of licensed practitioners encourages loyalty and profitability.
11) Are they branded for easy sales?
While we might like to believe otherwise, we do judge a book by its cover… Or in this case, clinical products by their packaging. With this in mind, consider if the potential supplier has branding that represents your clinical persona. Is the messaging congruent with your practice offerings and patient needs? Consider these scenarios:
- a. Would you sell a second grade, neon-covered product to high-level executives?
b. Would you feel comfortable offering an elderly massage patient a relaxation cream that comes bundled in hot pink packaging, adorned with a cartoon animal logo?
c. Would you recommend a product that looks and feels like it was formulated in a white-coat laboratory for people with real health concerns?
Answer: Obviously, c!
The bottom line is, you need to provide the highest quality, most effective products for your patients. Products that help patients find relief from everyday muscle and joint pains, including arthritis, strains, sprains, bruises, and backache. The chosen brand needs to be compelling and professional, to provide quality, reliability and effective relief, to be honest and trustworthy, and to be the right product for the right place: you won’t see authentic Louis Viton sold in gas stations.
The Right Partner Will Help You Grow
Do your research, choose a couple of businesses you’d like to work with and set up a coffee date (or phone call) to discuss the above questions. By partnering with a company that fulfills these requirements and prioritizes customer support and communication, you can build a long term relationship. CBD is an expanding market and you, as a trusted health professional, are in the perfect position to take a piece of that pie and grow a healthy in-practice topical CBD store that delivers patient and practice value, regardless of the current flooded market.
Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. It has not been approved by the FDA to diagnose, treat, prevent, cure, or mitigate any diseases or conditions. We use CBD in our products for cosmetic purposes only.