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CBD Business Tips: How To Start A White Label CBD Business


Anyone can start a CBD business with the proper knowledge and a little bit of work.

Few industries are as rewarding as the cannabinoid sector right now, but in order to find success in a saturated market, there are some basic rules to the cannabinoid game you should know ahead of time. CBD is no longer up and coming, it is here. To gain traction today, you need to make sure your brand is unique, compliant, and on-target.

No matter when you enter the cannabinoid industry, consumers will still be crazy for this plant and its beneficial constituents. However, now is the only time to capitalize off of emerging new cannabinoids and the long-awaited development of a reliable CBD supply chain, and we are here to show you how. 

Table of Contents

Quick guide: How to establish your CBD business

Before we dive in, let’s outline the next steps:

  1. Find a supplier, and determine how your brand will stand out in a saturated market.
  2. Create a website, select a merchant processor, formulate your products, and upload product descriptions.
  3. Support your brand with on-site content, guest posts, social media, and other marketing efforts.
  4. Respond to the shifting market and customer concerns to develop the best brand possible.
With a white label CBD business, your supplier creates products tailored to your needs and you focus on marketing them to your customers. Photo: An assembly line of workers in protective gear carefully creates white label CBD products.
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With a white label CBD business, your supplier creates products tailored to your needs and you focus on marketing them to your customers. (Photo: GVB Biopharma)

Unlike any fad, CBD is only becoming more popular with time. The massive popularity of cannabidiol (CBD) is, in fact, also raising attention to other non-psychoactive cannabinoids that THC has overshadowed for too long. Rather than receding and going away, CBD is only growing in importance within the global economy, and it’s bringing all the other cannabinoids found in Cannabis sativa along with it.

Although all business involves tough challenges, the CBD industry remains a wide-open door for anyone with the skill and perseverance to walk through.

Armed with the right information, these challenges become insurance that competitors won’t make it as far as you have in the CBD industry. There are five major steps you’ll need to take when starting a white label CBD brand, and we’ll break it all down for you in this guide.

Step 1: Research compliance and lab testing

CBD is unlike any other industry. While recent efforts to synthesize cannabinoids from terpenes have met with some success, Cannabis sativa remains the sole commercial source of CBD, THC, and all the other cannabinoids so far discovered by science. Although many jurisdictions have liberalised cannabis laws in one way or another international laws remain antiquated.

Processing and marketing CBD is perhaps easiest in the United States, but even the American market has its challenges. Check your knowledge on CBD compliance:

  • In what way did the 2014 Farm Bill open the American general market to CBD sales?
  • How did the 2018 Farm Bill cement these changes into law?
  • Is the FDA currently deliberating how to regulate CBD?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you have some research to do before you start selling CBD. While crackdowns on upstanding CBD companies have historically been rare, there’s no telling what the coming years will bring. Plus, rarity does not excuse the brutality with which the FDA has brought the hammer down on CBD companies it deems “non-compliant.”

It’s certainly possible to sell CBD in the United States, but the process can be so complicated that many newbie cannabis entrepreneurs deem the enterprise impossible prematurely. Selling CBD is actually easier than selling THC-rich weed in the United States despite mounting marijuana legalization efforts nationwide.

What about lab testing?

It used to be possible to get away with limited or even no testing whatsoever as a CBD company. Things have changed. Met with an overwhelming number of options, consumers can only buy from brands that fit their particular tastes.

Consumers in the 21st century want CBD products that are naturaland most importantly, thoroughly lab-tested. It doesn’t matter if you have an in-house lab at your production facility⁠—you’ll need to have an independent third party lab test each batch of your CBD products for contaminants and potency if you want consumers to trust you with their dollars.

That’s one of the reasons it’s often easier to white label CBD oil rather than opting to produce it yourself. CBD white label manufacturers have to provide access to high-end labs to stay competitive, which provides you with access to the nation’s best and often costliest labs for a fraction of what it would set you back to send your own oil in for testing.

Step 2: Identify your audience

If you’re new to the CBD market or you’ve been out of the game for a while, you may be surprised by how diversified the industry has become. It used to be enough to put together a “one-size-fits-all” CBD brand that covered all the bases. The truth of the matter is, though, that dozens, if not hundreds, of companies, have already entirely dominated that approach.

Photo: An empty, sunlit yoga studio, with yoga mats ready for students.
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In order to create a successful CBD business, it’s important to identify your unique audience and their needs.

We’ve reached a natural level of maturation within the CBD industry. The cannabidiol market has reached an incredible level of saturation, which means brands are in hot competition for customers. Instead of starting a price war that everyone would lose, leading CBD companies are opting to land customers in new and unique ways.

  • Find out how you want your brand to be different
  • Remember to keep your audience focused while not keeping it too narrow
  • “Health-conscious soccer moms with diabetes” might be too targeted…
  • Try “busy female professionals with kids” instead!

Knowing who your audience is will empower you to reach an existing customer base once your brand is up and running. Otherwise, you’ll simply try to bash into the huge bubble that is the CBD industry without any plan.

No matter how great your products might be, you can’t sell them without a brand. The first step to making a successful brand is understanding who you want the buyers of your revolutionary CBD products to be.

Step 3: Find a reputable supplier for your CBD business

Realize that building out a full-scale lab and all the other equipment necessary to manufacture CBD takes a significant amount of startup capital. The only entities capable of putting together reliable CBD manufacturing laboratories are investors with cash to burn or successful businesses expanding their services.

What you should be asking yourself is, “What are the top-rated white label CBD labs?” Before you protest that we’ve prematurely decided that making your own CBD is impossible, let’s explain. Manufacturing CBD in bulk requires:

  • Securing top-shelf genetics
  • Investing in toxin-free, organic production facilities
  • Preventing any contaminants from entering your products
  • Growing and harvesting finicky hemp plants
  • Extracting, winterizing, and distilling CBD-rich hemp extract
  • Formulating CBD extract into products

It used to be the case that industry outsiders could jump in on the ground level of the CBD industry and succeed. These days, however, one of the only viable options is to secure a safe, stable source of white label CBD products and start building a brand that differentiates itself from all the other players on the market.

Photo: A row of gummies in jars ready for labeling and shipping to a CBD business.
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A good supplier will have a range of products available, and be able to customize them to your needs. (Photo: GVB Biopharma)

How to white label CBD products with the right supplier

The right CBD supplier will:

  • Offer a diverse range of products
  • Provide full transparency, lab testing, and product information
  • Clearly express why its products are superior to a competitor’s
  • Be flexible and offer to create custom products
  • Offer competitive prices
  • Have superior production facilities
  • Be available for questions or concerns anytime

Step 4: Establish your brand

Now that you’ve found the right supplier to fuel your rise to CBD stardom, it’s time to figure out how to separate your CBD business from the competition. As industry insiders, we can say with confidence that the CBD market is going through a phase of over-saturation, and the bar to entry is somewhat higher than it was a year or two ago. With the right mindset, however, this challenge can be turned into an opportunity.

Many cannabis entrepreneurs have now turned away from CBD. Deeming the industry “too hard” to enter, they’ve left things up to a handful of 10 or so brands that dominate the market. What nobody seems to realize, however, is that these circumstances have created a perfect storm for true creative brands who want to enter the CBD market.

  • The truth is that CBD isn’t novel anymore
  • Consumers won’t pay for “just any” CBD
  • They need to be convinced that a particular product is better for them than a competing item
  • Just like eyeshadow, car tires, or any other industry, the CBD market has matured
  • Diversification is now the key to success

While “off-the-shelf” CBD white label product options work for some brands, a careful assessment of your needs might make you realize a more active, customized approach would yield better results. It’s definitely still possible to succeed in the new CBD market⁠—just remember that custom formulas allow you to create unique products, and pre-made products are best for tackling high-competition CBD verticals.

Tips for making a CBD brand that pops

  • Show consumers why they get something different from your brand, even if it’s just a new approach to customer service or an unusual product formulation
  • Consumers have reached a certain level of fatigue regarding CBD, so make efforts to keep your product lineup fresh and significantly different from what “mainstream CBD producers” are offering
  • If you decide to white label CBD gummies, try using natural ingredients and throwing in beneficial vitamins, minerals, or trending natural ingredients like spirulina or reishi mushrooms
  • Integrate your web and social media presence, and learn about the latest ways that Google is rewarding FAQ-based content and penalizing wordy, wall-of-text copy

Step 5: Keep your CBD business optimized

You have a brand now, so you think you’re all done. Not so fast⁠—how are you going to prepare for changes in the future? Any effective brand strategy allows room for ongoing optimization, and the CBD industry is no different. In fact, the volatile cannabinoid market demands even more optimization than established industries, and here are a few of the categories you should focus on:

SEO

If you want consumers to learn about your brand, you need to make your site searchable. Search engine optimization (SEO) is complicated, and the rules are always changing.

Staying visible on Google and other search engine providers (SERPs) remains critical, however, so you’ll need to invest a significant portion of your marketing budget into SEO. From product descriptions to blog posts, learn which types of content Google rewards, and choose content strategies that will provide your pages with the most search impressions.

Social media

It’s up to you how in-depth into social media you get. At the very least, however, you need to make it possible for customers to find you on Facebook, Instagram, and (in some cases) Twitter. Instagram, in particular, is a hotbed of CBD advertising, but as with other social media giants, it’s hard to market CBD directly on this platform.

Instead, you’ll need to get crafty and find ways around anti-hemp censors. Expect social media optimization to take up around 10-20 hours per week when you’re getting started.

Brand adaptivity

Your business itself must remain adaptive if you want to succeed in the CBD industry. Whether that means switching suppliers, adding new ingredients, or even canceling existing product lines and developing entirely new ones, you have to stay flexible. If you start out by making your CBD brand more open-ended, it will be easier to make necessary changes as your dream takes flight.

Wrapping up: Starting a CBD business FAQ

  • White label vs. private label⁠—what’s the difference?

Private labeling is when you make product lines for a single brand while white labeling is when you make product lines for many different brands. In most private labeling relationships, a supplier has made an exclusive relationship with a retailer. White labeling, however, allows multiple brands to sell the same supplier’s products.

  • How do you get customer reviews?

Getting verified customer reviews is essential to building trust in your brand. Start by asking customers to leave reviews in order confirmation emails, and make sure to ask for reviews on social media as well. A Facebook user might give your business page a five-star review just for answering a question, after all.

  • Is dropshipping from a warehouse an option?

Shipping your products directly from the manufacturer’s warehouse is often a simpler solution than distributing orders from your location. Some white label CBD manufacturers offer this service. 

CBD business tips: The CBD industry is changing

Whether it’s your dream to offer CBD gummies, vape, edibles, tinctures, isolate, full-spectrum, or any other type of hemp product, there’s never been a time to get started. From taxes to web hosting to compliance, there are a million-and-one things to learn as a new CBD business owner, but the five steps we’ve covered above will set you up for success regardless.

Whatever industry you’re entering, the keys to success lie in making a firm plan and persevering. In a way, CBD is just like any other industry now; it’s hard to start a brand and make an impact, but there aren’t any specific impediments in your way anymore. CBD and cannabis are becoming normalized across the globe, so even if the competition is steeper, the potential rewards are only made that much sweeter.

Accordingly, treat your CBD brand just like any other business. Reward hard work, think innovatively, and work together to succeed. CBD consumers are gravitating away from “shady weed dealers” and moving toward “trusted health partners,” so build your brand to be as transparent and honest as possible. That might mean more hard work right now, but an ethical approach will ensure your ability to ride out today’s enlightened consumer habits and come out on top as a CBD champion.

Photo: A row of gummies in jars ready for labeling and shipping to a CBD business.
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GVB Biopharma

Sponsored by GVB Biopharma. GVB Biopharma is a vertically integrated, global leader in the ever-growing hemp industry. We prioritize cannabinoid research, industry innovation, and traceable quality control. GVB operates two state-of-the-art facilities: a 30,000-square-foot food-grade hemp processing facility in Central Oregon and a 40,000-square-foot white-label consumer product manufacturing facility in Las Vegas.

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