Cannabis is more than a cash crop, as the plant contains a wealth of medicinal benefits and a bounty of scientific information. The value of these things is neither a product of inflation nor inflated rhetoric. What is overinflated are the claims by the unscrupulous, whose obsession with profits comes at the expense of the spirit of science; whose gains cost an individual his integrity—and consume his soul—because he seeks to conquer the world by cornering the market; whose lack of vision causes so many businesses to perish.
We cannot afford to have greed compromise the strides of a multi-billion dollar industry. Nor can we allow the absence of standards to be standard operating procedure, since the bad actions of one can destroy the good—and the physical goods themselves—of so many.
We must be transparent in our words and in our deeds, so there is no doubt about the all-natural properties of cannabis-related items like CBD oil.
Why is transparency so important to the extraction and sale of CBD oil?
Transparency is an example of ethical behavior. You do not have to reveal trade secrets to be transparent, but you must not be secretive about the ingredients you use or the process by which you extract or acquire those ingredients.
If you do no more than the law requires, if you think your actions are just because the law does not deem them illegal, think again; because it should not take an act of Congress to compel you to do the right thing; because acts of omission can be as harmful as acts of commission; because what a company does not tell consumers—what it withholds from the public—invites suspicion not only about itself but about the cannabis industry in its entirety.
I do not want poor oversight to blind companies to the necessity of leadership. I do not want to see progress stall and opportunities stagnate, because a few bad seeds (pun very much intended) can spoil fields of fruitful research and abundant discoveries.
What are the risks regarding excessive promotion about CBD oil?
The risks are as avoidable as the consequences are inevitable. That is, if companies make claims they cannot substantiate, if the claims are too extreme to retract, if a retraction would create a negative chain reaction among consumers—if some or all of these things were to happen, it would be a great setback to the cannabis industry. It would likely result in fines and penalties by both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The difference is in the details; which is to say if you assert what you cannot prove—and assert what the law does not allow you to say—you do a disservice to consumers; you ignore the rules concerning compliance.
What should consumers know about an all-natural brand of CBD oil?
At a minimum, they should know who runs a brand. Personalization is essential to establishing a relationship with consumers. A brand must express its virtues by stating its values: It must engage consumers by means of conversation, not advertising or mass marketing alone.
An all-natural product is a child, so to speak, of Mother Nature. Let consumers know about the glories of the environment, in addition to protecting these gifts from neglect, misuse, and/or abuse.
What is your forecast about the CBD products in general?
The industry enjoys massive growth. Its sustainability depends on the leadership of entrepreneurs and executives, whose candor we should welcome and whose comments we should invite. The more communicative these individuals are, the stronger the cannabis industry will be.
A caveat: Communication should be a source of clarity, not confusion. Judge a company not by how often it speaks but by how soundly it speaks to the needs of consumers. Judge it by its record, not simply its reputation.
What else should consumers know, or expect companies to know and discuss, involving CBD oil?
Consumers should know that a responsible company is proactive; that the responsibility of a company is to hold itself to account; that consumers should not have to uncover the truth; that the truth is (or must be) on the packaging—and in the ingredients—of the CBD oil they buy and use.
Dick Benson, Editorial Director