Jan 13, 2020

Why Your Business Needs a CBD Language Policy

False claims, complicated subject matter, and heavy regulation can make CBD a difficult industry to navigate. Learn why your business needs a CBD language policy.

Download Language Policy Tips & Guidelines

Hi there! I’m Tyler. I’m Director of Sales and also the Compliance Officer here at HempLucid, and today I want to talk with you about a document that we use to guide all of our conversations about CBD.

We stick to it like glue, and we call it the HempLucid Language Policy.

Don’t Fall Into the Trap of False Claims

We strongly encourage store owners to join us in adopting this language policy. You don’t want to fall into the trap of making false claims about CBD and what it can do. The truth is, there are no guaranteed results with CBD, and I’ll say that same thing to anybody, right up front. We don’t know exactly how individuals will respond. How, exactly, is CBD going to affect you? I don’t know!

If I tried to guess, I would most likely be wrong.

Here’s the thing: hemp, CBD, cannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system… It’s all very complicated! You’ll be benefited by working out some talking points as you are finding the best ways to educate your customers.

Sell CBD Products More Effectively

If you learn to explain CBD the way that we do, I believe you will sell all the CBD products in your store more effectively, and that you will see an increase in your bottom line. Our desire is for HempLucid to be a household name, so we’ve worked hard to get the language just right.

If you look around online even just a little bit, it won’t be hard to find some pretty wild claims about what CBD can do for people. We’ve heard it all. I think it’s unfortunate that some folks choose to latch on to some positive stories they hear, then use those stories to make promises about the potential benefits of CBD just to try and sell some, because at the end of the day it’s only false hope you’re selling. False hope. It seems like CBD can do some pretty cool things for some people, but very often the effects are… kind of subtle. 

Focus on Balance

For most people, the effect of CBD is peace and a feeling of balance and well-being. We really focus on the concept of balance. Used every day, in optimal conditions, CBD can potentially help you feel a sense of balance, whatever that means for you. That’s it. That’s as much of a claim as I am comfortable making. 

So if somebody asks me “What can I expect if I start taking HempLucid every day?” (and I do recommend taking it every day because that’s how you get the best results).

But I always answer. “CBD tends to have a balancing effect, whatever that means for you. Everyone’s body is a little bit different, so balance for you probably means something different than it means for me.” This is normally a good jumping-off point for a pretty good discussion about CBD. Usually, I’ll follow up by telling people about the endocannabinoid system in all of our bodies, how it’s the largest system in your body and how little molecules in our products stimulate this system like a lock-and-key, and how, when it works, it tends to promote a feeling of kind of generalized well-being. 

We do hope that this balancing effect, this kinda harmonious CBD vibe, stays pretty true to most people’s experience, but even then we don’t really make any promises because it’s so individual. We try to just allow our products to speak for themselves because that’s how you win hearts and minds. Working at trade shows and giving samples to people, sometimes the whole conversation gets over-complicated and people really want to press me on certain things. Trying to get me to make claims– I just tell them, “There’s no way to know unless you try it.”

Heavy Regulation in an “Unregulated” Industry

Another reason we are cautious about making claims is that making claims is not only unethical, but it’s also illegal! You might hear sometimes that the CBD industry is unregulated, but in some ways, it’s actually heavily regulated, at local, state, and federal levels. 

The two main federal agencies with regulatory power over CBD are the United States Department of Agriculture, or USDA, and the FDA… or the Food and Drug Administration. 

When it comes to the language that we use, our industry is regulated by the FDA, a uniquely powerful organization. This agency oversees consumer markets totaling literally trillions of dollars of annual commerce in the United States, yet, they’re completely dynamic, fast-acting when they need to be, and very capable of achieving their goals.

So when the 2018 Farm Bill passed, Congress granted the authority to regulate products containing cannabis-derived compounds to the FDA under the FD&C — the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. This does mean that CBD is ultimately going to be regulated the same as any other substance that falls under FDA jurisdiction. They will determine whether CBD can be safely added to foods, beverages, or cosmetics, and they will regulate the interstate commerce of cannabis and its derivatives.

Avoid “Unsubstantiated Health Claims”

FDA public statements and Warning Letters to CBD manufacturers have helped us to understand their current thinking on CBD. And it is the strongly-held opinion of the FDA that CBD sellers who make specific health claims about what CBD can do are in violation of FDA regulations.

If you say “CBD can cure “blank”—more or less, anything, right?—then you are making a drug claim about CBD, and attempting to market these products as a “drug” that can perform a specific function in the body, thus requiring FDA regulation. If you’re trying to sell CBD as a drug, then the FDA will regulate it as if you were selling a drug, and this is why the FDA warns and strongly advises against what they call “unsubstantiated health claims”.

The FDA is paying attention, and luckily, we happen to side with the FDA on this. We hope that wholesalers will join us in following this guidance, and approaching the topic of CBD with the nuance and carefulness that it deserves.

Taking A Proactive Approach to Compliance

We try to take a proactive approach to compliance, and make sure that our company continues to meet and exceed expectations. Part of this is ensuring that we talk about CBD honestly and effectively, while keeping expectations realistic. CBD is about balance, whatever that means for you. 

Please click the link below to see a special version of the HempLucid Language Policy, amended especially for store owners. We invite you to join us in upholding this policy, protecting your business, and arming your customers with the truth about CBD.

Download Language Policy Tips & Guidelines

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