CBD has taken the US by storm. It’s being added as a booster to morning coffees, workout supplements, juices, snacks, face masks, toothpaste, pet products, and makeup—just about everything you can imagine—and has been endorsed by celebrities like Mike Tyson, Kim Kardashian, Tom Hanks, and Jennifer Aniston. Every man, woman and their dog (literally) seems to be using CBD, so we sat down with BioCBD+ Founder James Sol Radina to talk through where he sees this storm going.
Hemp was fully legalized nationwide in 2018 with the Farm Bill. How did that impact the industry?
The Farm Bill was supposed to make it easier to sell hemp CBD, but it’s made it more challenging. It’s flooded the market with companies who are taking a generic “me too” formulation and slapping a CBD label on it. They’re looking for the cheapest ingredients and using the most aggressive marketing tactics, which is a nasty combination. There are thousands of companies entering the market who are cutting corners and not testing their product. Yet on the label, they’re making it look really good and efficacious and the consumer has a hard—if not impossible—time knowing what to look for in a legitimate company and product.
Here at BioCBD+, we triple test all our products, we’ve been around 4.5 years, we’ve been covered on major review sites, but we get lost in the noise with all the marketing schemes.
We’re one of the few companies that pride ourselves on properly picking the perfect formulations, ingredients, delivery methods, etc. If we get squeezed out, then I fear companies that are fly-by-night & quick to market, are going to become the norm and all of a sudden you’re going to get a “McDonald’s hamburger” type CBD instead of a “grass-fed locally sourced beef burger” type CBD. And that is bad for everyone.
What’s the biggest problem you see with how legalization has been implemented?
One of the biggest things I’d say is proper and clear communication across all channels, at the state, national, and local levels. Right now, we have the US federal government saying one thing (the 2018 Farm Bill), the individual states saying something different, all the way down to local jurisdictions and the local police force. What we need is clear communication from the top to the bottom, and the bottom to the top.
I read an article recently about the move to engineer cannabinoids versus use of the whole plant. What are your thoughts on this?
One of the biggest debates in the board rooms in the largest CBD businesses is how to make the most scalable, replicable version of CBD so they get the exact same thing now in a product as they will in ten years from now. In order to do that, you have to create something synthetic, because nature doesn’t work that way—every annual crop harvest is a little different. As a consumer, we want the variation, it’s actually good for us and we know the entourage effect makes whole, plant-derived CBD more effective than synthetic CBD, so the whole thing is very scary in my opinion.
There are so many different products on the market. What do you think is and will become the single most significant differentiating factor between them?
Bioavailability of CBD. Bioavailability is how effective products are in the body based on what the body absorbs. We’ve recently seen a rise in isolate CBD—a single molecule plant that’s proven to be the poorest bioavailability. Many people have tried the isolate, not gotten the effects, and then given up on CBD. But the consumer is going to start to get savvier and more educated. They’ll learn that synthetic is not as effective as an isolate version, an isolate version is not as effective as oil, oil is not as effective as water-soluble CBD, and water-soluble CBD is not as effective as the patent pending BioCBD+ capsule formulation which includes the addition of curcumin & magnesium for a proprietary blend that makes us unique.
What, in your opinion, are some of the most critical yet-to-be researched health areas of CBD?
Uh, all of them? (Laughs). It’s only recently that there’s been grants and support at the institutional level to study the medicinal benefits of cannabis, hemp and CBD. There are 46 different ailments in small trials and there’s a long way to go with bigger studies. But there’s a lot of promising data with everything from sleep to anxiety to Alzheimer’s and cancer. It’s very exciting that we now have an opportunity to study the medicinal benefits of CBD.
Any final thoughts?
I really want to take this opportunity to call forth all entrepreneurs and business owners entering the market and say we need to do business differently. If we continue to operate under the same old models other industries use, we’re going to create similar systems that are not working. As entrepreneurs and business owners, we need to do it differently. It’s no longer just about the bottom line—it’s about the plants, the people (and pets) and the planet… a triple bottom line.