Sometimes we all just need a bump.
Not exactly *that* kind of bump, but in a figurative sense, we really all do just need a bump sometimes.
We’re all familiar with this quote
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. …
– George Santayana
The CBD industry, or ‘boom” if you will, is repeating “the past”. For centuries, history has shown us that society runs in cycles that have us falling victim to our past mistakes. This happens with religion, politics, and especially with products. In each of these instances, we so easily believe a lot of BS we’re fed by people we deem smarter, more successful, or wealthier than ourselves. I am confident we will look back on this time period jokingly as the CBD cure-all period and shake our heads in shame.
At the same time, the capitalists of society jump on these “opportunities” and exploit them and society for their own gain, many times hurting the masses in the process. As someone who entered the CBD industry just a few years ago (I’ll tell myself it was before it was a ‘boom’), I can’t say I blame these cannapreneurs, but I do want to set some ground rules for engagement for us ALL to agree on.
As an amateur historian of society’s best/worst addictions (by picking up a few of my own), I couldn’t help but notice over the past 17 months or so, the hype on the cure-all properties of CBD has not only increased tenfold but also felt eerily similar to several other products that have infiltrated our society over the past couple centuries.
Let’s go in order or appearance for these Cannabinoid lookalike culprits.
Originally created in 1865 the first cuprit on our CBD cure-all lookalike list, this wasn’t exactly the original ‘cure-all’, but it’s the closest we have in modern society. As far back as ancient times, poisons and potions were rampant in apothecaries, pharmacies and home drug cabinets. This was in fact so prevalent that pharmacopeias (the ancient version of a CBD COA) were invited to specifically outline the formulas for official drug preparation.
This bring us to our first rule:
Support Research. Just like with the cure-alls that came before, it requires the masses to act as evangelists on behalf of the institutionalized scientific R&D facilities to help accurately categorize and regulate CBD. It’s not enough to just be in favor or research. If you’re serious about growing your CBD company for the long haul, you need to be an advocate for real scientific research in the area.
In the mid-nineteenth century, the advancement in society transforming and embracing becoming an industrialized society led to other transformations as well.
Well, look closely and you’ll see this soap was not only antibacterial but also claims to CURE, hair loss, sleep problems, smallpox, chickenpox, any and all skin irritations… you get the point.
That bring us to our second rule:
Don’t Oversell the Benefits. Stick to the true, verifiable benefits of CBD and don’t extrapolate or use hyperbolic language to inflate your sales.
Soap is a wonderful thing AND it doesn’t need to be anymore than that. These guys went drastically in the other direction from the myth that we once shamed people for bathing and soap was evil. CBD seems to be following this same pattern by overcompensating the naysayers that it “doesn’t work” by saying it does everything.
Let’s fast forward a few decades and get to the good stash.
In 1884 the first medical use of this World’s next miracle drug helped an Austrian ophthalmologist perform an eye surgery that previously would have been well, a real pain in the arse eye.
Before we knew it, this common household item was being used as a numbing agent for everything from a child’s toothache remedy to an appetite suppression vehicle (yes, a weight-loss drug!) and ‘fatigue’ pharmaceuticals.
If you haven’t guessed by now, we’re talking about the frenemy of the 80’s, cocaine.
We all the know the story of the start of Cocaine and we won’t beat that horse dead but, it is important to bring up for rules #3 and #4. As a brief recap, due to temperance legislation outlawing alcohol in a popular drink a sneaky concoction was brewed up as an alternative — “Coca-Cola” containing actual cocaine.
Be a (transparent) Health Advocate. ‘CBD isn’t a psychoactive drug. It’s not addictive and it won’t get you high.’ These are just the beginning of what’s your responsibility as CBD business owner to educate and inform your consumers about. And no, putting “transparent” on your site as a selling benefit isn’t enough.
Abide by the laws. We know. We know. The legislative restrictions from CBD friendly payment processors (or lack thereof) to extreme limitations on CBD advertising, the laws are in place right now may seem strict or unfounded, but are intended to keep our population safe, sometimes from ourselves. If you’re spending more time thinking of ways to skirt the laws than you are growing your business, you’re doing it wrong.
We all know that wasn’t the end of cocaine and just like our ancestors before us did, the withdrawals from the outcome of the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act were real and long-lasting.
But they didn’t last forever…
Just now, researching this article I Googled “cocaine and CBD” and found the top results were promoting CBD as an addiction cure for cocaine. How ironic.
I’ll say it one more time, CBD is not a cure-all!
If you do get past the safe search filters, you’ll find article after article, about the addictive properties Cocaine. Not surprising so as it is one of the most addictive controlled substances known to man even if we didn’t know it while we were feeding it to our children as a soft drink.
Now finally, let’s put the newest game in town under the microscope.
Discovered less than a century ago, CBD has quickly become the most popular and widely distributed product on the market for well, almost anything really.
From aches and pains to sexual deficiencies (watch out Viagra!), all the way to epilepsy and ADHD cures, the “benefits” of CBD are seemingly limitless.
Gee, where have I heard this before…
Which brings us to our final and perhaps the more obvious and important lesson.
Act with Integrity. Be Honest. Just because many of us are flying under (sorry Charlotte’s Web) the radar of the FTC warning letters on CBD and could probably push the limits the FTC has laid, it doesn’t mean you should.
It’s not surprising that CBD has gone from a mild wellness extract to a seemingly all ailment CBD cure-all.
In the CBD gold rush of 2019 it was only a matter of time before CBD shysters entered the market and flooded the store shelves and internet e-commerce carts with low-quality, poorly manufactured, and in some cases, just plain shitty CBD.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that CBD is a farce by any means. In fact, I think it is one of the most impactful products that’s come across the market in decades. So impactful that it’s easier for people to operate with societal blinders as to its “healing properties” rather than take a page out of history books and think maybe, just maybe we’re reliving our past and believing in a miracle cure that may not be all it’s cracked up to be.
So, are all these products the answer to all of society’s problems, or are they simply well-timed phenomenon products sent by the gods to answer the prayers of those in need?
To answer this question, a good place to start is the history museum to end all history museums — The Smithsonian. Browse through the archives and you’ll see cure-all products to fill the pages of 1,000 of medical journals that have been popped up for centuries. You’ll find there is no clear answer. And there never will be.
Let’s not let history repeat itself, stick to the lessons history has taught us time and time again and ensure we aren’t cultivating the next cocaine epidemic by telling ourselves and everyone else lies about a CBD cure-all.
So what do you say, all, can we learn from our mistakes and decocainize society (figuratively speaking, of course) for the collective benefit of ALL of us?