Every time you expect CBD to get stale, people fall in love with it even more. With so many options for diversification in the CBD industry, now is the time to get started, and the LA area is an ideal breeding ground for CBD brands in 2020. Learn from our top tips for starting a CBD brand to set yourself up for long-term success in the hemp industry.

Why start a CBD brand?

It may seem like hemp has always been popular in LA, but now, people all around the country are starting to embrace the benefits of non-intoxicating, hemp-derived cannabinoids like CBD. Instead of passing quickly like a fad, the popularity of CBD, CBG, CBN, and the other cannabinoids found in hemp is only increasing with time.

We partially have ourselves to thank. California has always been the cradle of the hemp revolution, and as with most trends, what starts in the Golden State inevitably spreads to the rest of the country. For LA-area entrepreneurs who want to capture a wider cannabinoid market, investing in hemp is the right move.

How to get bulk hemp or extract

Where do you get the raw material to get your hemp brand off the ground? There are tons of different sources of CBD these days, so let’s look at some of the options that are at your disposal:

CBD biomass

CBD biomass requires a lot of work, but it’s the least expensive form of hemp you can turn into CBD. Biomass consists of raw hemp material, and it can contain a wide variety of different CBD concentrations. You’ll need your own extraction facility to process CBD biomass, which can defeat the purpose of starting a business for many aspiring hemp entrepreneurs.

Winterized CBD extract

The term “CBD extract” usually refers to winterized CBD extract, which is the first stage of extracting CBD from hemp and refining it. Any type of hemp extract that contains CBD, however, can be considered “CBD extract” including isolate and distillate.

Isolate CBD

This type of CBD only contains the cannabidiol molecule, and it takes on a crystalline or powder form. While isolate CBD is easy to work with, cannabidiol may lose certain benefits when it isn’t paired with the other natural plant oils present in hemp extract.

CBD distillate

Honey-like in texture and appearance, CBD distillate is the most refined type of CBD that still contains natural plant oils. Distillate is currently the most popular category of CBD extract since it’s the purest and easiest to work with.

White label vs. doing it alone

Back in the day, you were on your own if you wanted to start a CBD brand. There were a few different sources of hemp, but most of them were either from China or Europe, and the quality was terrible.

Things have changed over the last few years. These days, you have your pick of white label CBD suppliers who offer impressive purity and consistency. Working with a white label supplier eliminates much of the guesswork by providing you with a finished product right out the gate.

Rather than messing around with biomass, extract, or distillate, it might make the most sense to simply have your products made for you. It isn’t cheating, but white labeling might make you feel godlike compared to all your competitors scraping by with homemade extract.

How to pick the right supplier

You want to start a CBD brand to reap the benefits. If you’d wanted to start a CBD brand just to struggle, you would have entered the industry in 2015. These days, there’s a reliable infrastructure in place for entrepreneurs who want to enter the CBD game, and failing to take advantage of white labeling could set you back before you begin.

How do you pick the right CBD supplier, though? While we can agree that it’s probably not that guy on LinkedIn with the one-paragraph bio, picking and choosing from among the viable candidates isn’t so easy a task.

First, take a look at the supplier’s reputation. Do they have any big-name clients? How many different products do they offer, and is it possible to choose a custom product package? The ideal CBD white label manufacturer will even go so far as to offer tours of their manufacturing facility to display confidence and build trust. Take your time, and do plenty of research to make sure a prospective supplier fits your CBD brand dreams.

Consider, for instance, local white label CBD manufacturer GVB Biopharma. Composed of a team of LA natives, GVB boosts the community by supplying local brands like Cookies and Wyld with the high-quality CBD they need to thrive. 

Next, try to get a gauge of the supplier’s popularity. If the company you’re considering has a polished website and lots of different white label packages to choose from, they’re probably doing well for themselves. If the supplier’s website doesn’t project confidence, however, move on.

After finding a prospective supplier, move on to first contact. If you’re met with a friendly, knowledgeable sales team and an easy onboarding process, you know you’ve found the white label CBD supplier of your dreams.  

Making your brand different

The CBD industry is still ripe for sustainable entrepreneurship. Making your CBD brand stand out, however, becomes harder the more competitors there are in the market. Pretty much every CBD brand offers vape products and tinctures these days, for instance, which makes it necessary to focus on diversifying your product lineup more than you might have when starting a CBD company in the past.

One of the easiest ways to make your brand unique is to cater to a specific subset of consumers. There are tons of CBD topicals on the market, but yours could be the only CBD topical for people who hike to the Wisdom Tree every morning. That particular consumer subset might be too specific, but you get the idea.

Create a CBD brand that speaks to a specific type of person. It’s too late to capture a wider audience—bigger brands have already beaten you to the punch. Making your products unique is the best way to succeed in the contemporary CBD industry, and we strongly recommend that you let all your LA weirdness shine as you develop a brand that will turn heads everywhere.

“We’ve noticed a common trait around brands with a hyper targeted vision of who their end-consumer is – they have superior consumer loyalty. Creating a brand personality and product around a specific demographic of buyers gives you a significant advantage in a highly competitive space.” – Sebastian Ravitz, CMO, GVB Biopharma

Keeping up with the times

The best you’ll experience is minor success if you start a CBD brand and expect it to operate on autopilot. Call it consumer’s intuition, but CBD customers tend to gravitate to brands that have the best stories and feel the most wholesome. You’ll need to keep your ear to the ground every day to craft a CBD brand that makes a true impact, but for every investment of love and time you make, your brand will become stronger.

In recent years, CBD brands that have adopted vape products, for instance, have become extremely popular. Those hemp industry entrepreneurs who were able to tell the time was right and took action are now reaping the rewards. Who knows what the next trend will be that sweeps the existing hemp industry paradigm away?

What we know for sure is that other non-intoxicating cannabinoids, like CBG, CBN, and CBC are rapidly becoming popular in ways that nobody expected. “Fringe” cannabinoids are starting to feel the same way that CBD tinctures did in 2015 and CBD vape did in 2017. We’re due for another major shift in the domestic CBD market, and if you keep a close eye out, you’ll find that the rapid rise of CBG, CBN, and CBC isn’t the only major trend due to shock the hemp market this year.

To build a successful CBD brand, continuously adapt your brand to fit the times, stay on top of social media and search engine optimization, and do everything you can to keep your brand current and ahead of the pack. Pick a reputable CBD white label supplier to get started today, and make sure to do California ingenuity proud as you take your first steps into a wider world.

LA Weekly