How To Start A CBD Business Online: 7 Steps To Get Started

How To Start A CBD Business Online: 7 Steps To Get Started

There’s a lot of potential in the CBD market and knowing how to start a CBD business online can help you tap into it.


CBD or cannabidiol has taken the whole world by storm. What used to be an unheard substance, is now found everywhere you look.

It used to be considered a niche alternative treatment method at one point, but now it’s turned into a multimillion-dollar market.

The CBD market is estimated to cross a whopping $20 billion by 2024.

CBD is being used by millions every day and the number is growing due to credibility by doctors, lawmakers, researchers, etc.

Its growing popularity has made it an excellent business choice, and in this article, we will tell you how to start a CBD business.

What Is CBD?

People sometimes get confused that CBD is the same as marijuana. However, even though both are derived from cannabis, they are not really the same.

CBD is one of the 100 cannabinoids, compounds found in cannabis plants, but with a negligible amount of THC within 0.3%. THC is responsible for intoxication but CBD is non-psychoactive due to such a low THC content.

Types Of CBD Products

To understand how to start a CBD business, you need to understand the different types of CBD products that are available.

CBD Tinctures – A CBD tincture is a concentrated extract that is made by combining natural hemp oil with strong alcohol. Since they are highly concentrated, a few drops under the tongue is enough.

CBD Edibles – Any type of food that contains CBD, for example, cookies, gummies, chews, chocolate, hard candies, or even beverages, come under CBD edibles. For CBD edibles you will need to take care of the food regulations as well.

CBD Isolates – A CBD isolate is a pure powdered form of just the CBD extract which can be incorporated into different food products or consumed like a tincture. People who like to mix their own CBD products at home usually opt for CBD isolates.

CBD Capsules – For people who like to consume their CBD like medications or multivitamins, there are CBD capsules.

CBD Vaporizers and Vape Concentrates – Inhalation is also a popular method for consuming CBD, and hence it comes in the form of CBD concentrates that can be vaped like nicotine e-liquids.

CBD Topical Formulations – A CBD topical formulation is a cream, lotion, gel, salve, massage oil, etc. that can be applied directly to the skin. Applying it on painful or inflamed areas can provide relief and is a great alternative for people who don’t like to take it orally.

CBD Patches – Similar to nicotine and other pain relief patches, CBD patches release the ingredients into the body throughout the day. They are really good for maintaining a low and consistent dosage throughout hours.

CBD for Pets – Apart from humans, CBD can be used to help animals with pain or anxiety as well. CBD for pets comes in oils that are specifically formulated according to them, and food items with flavors like fish and bacon.

Is CBD Legal?

CBD has always been amidst a lot of confusion about its legality. Here’s what you need to know about its legal aspects if you’re thinking about how to start a CBD business.

As long as it meets certain requirements, CBD is federally legal in the USA. The requirement is that the THC content should be below 0.3%.

Hemp-derived CBD contains THC within that limit and is legally allowed throughout the USA. If your CBD has more than 0.3% OF THC, then it would fall under the category of marijuana and the respective state laws would apply.

Due to these misunderstandings and confusion about CBD being similar to marijuana, it was illegal to have a CBD business earlier. However, the 2018 Farm Bill cleared the air and made it legal across the whole of the United States to deal in CBD.

Even with the legal CBD, you would still need to check with the rules and regulations of every state that you want to sell in, as they could differ from the federal law.


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Apart from always checking your state’s laws, there are two main things to know:

1. Medical claims about CBD are prohibited

Even though the main reason why people use CBD is for its medical benefits, you are not allowed to sell it by claiming about them. The reason being, there has not been enough research on it by the FDA to support and approve of the medical benefits.

For instance, you can’t advertise on your site that your CBD products can help in preventing or curing serious illnesses like Alzheimer’s or cancer. Make sure whatever you claim, you have official and proven evidence to back it up.

2. CBD edibles aren’t allowed in the USA

While CBD edibles are legal in the UK, and even on the US shelves, they’re illegal under US law. As per the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, The FDA has banned adding CBD to food and beverages.

Many companies try to market their CBD products as dietary supplements, but doing that could land you in trouble in the US. Just sell something that doesn’t involve food, drink, or diet.

How To Start A CBD Business Online?

Now that you’ve understood the necessary aspects of CBD business and products, let’s take you through the steps of how to start a CBD business.

1. Do Your Research

By now you know CBD is a confusing topic in itself, and if you want to start a CBD business, you’ll need to get ahead of it. Research as much as you can on it and gather all the required information.

Before even starting your business, you need to know everything about CBD. A great understanding of the natural drug, its products, and its specific uses will come in handy in the long run.

Even though you can’t make medical claims about CBD, your customers might need some guidance or suggestions about which product to use and how. To help them better, you would need to have answers to their questions.

The better you know and understand your products, the better you can serve your customers. Good research will help you stay ahead and keep your customers loyal to your brand.

2. Pick Your Type

Before you get to the ‘how’ of how to start a CBD business, you’ll need to get your foundation right which involves picking the type of CBD you want to deal in.

There are three types of CBD:

I. CBD Isolate – CBD Isolate is the purest form of CBD, where there is no other compound or ingredient present in the final product. It is usually obtained by extracting from hemp plants and customers can use it to mix their own CBD products at home.

ii. Full Spectrum CBD – Full Spectrum CBD contains whatever is naturally found in the plant, including essential oils and other cannabinoids. These compounds together enhance the effects of the CBD product and that is often termed as the “entourage effect”.

iii. Broad Spectrum CBD – Broad Spectrum CBD is like a compromise between Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate, where all-natural compounds are left in the product but THC is completely removed.

Before you go ahead, make sure you:

  • Decide which CBD type you want to use
  • Identify the CBD products you want to sell
  • Define a niche in the market
  • Research opportunities within your industry

3. Find A Reliable CBD Supplier

People buy CBD products to get relief from pain, anxiety, etc. and if your products aren’t helping them, they won’t buy from you again.

You need to find a reliable CBD supplier that is providing you with great quality products.

Besides, since legality issues are involved with CBD you need to be even more careful about who you pick as a supplier.

Some suppliers provide products with higher THC content than permitted by law, which could land you in trouble.

Consider the following when picking your supplier:

Extraction method – Make sure that the supplier you pick uses a clean extraction method, the best one being CO2 extraction, which gives a purer product. Petroleum-based extraction is cheaper and more common but doesn’t produce a great product.

Growing Standards – Pesticides, toxins, plastics, etc. in the soil can impact the product. Find a supplier that maintains clean growing conditions.

Medical Claims – Stay away from suppliers who make huge medical claims about their CBD on their websites. If the FDA finds out, you could get dragged in the mud too.

Testing – Go for a supplier who sends their products for testing and agrees to share the results and reports of these tests. If they don’t, it’s likely that their product is not of good quality.

Certification – The safest way to get a high-quality CBD is through the list of US Hemp Authority-certified companies. There are over 60 certified companies, some of whom offer wholesale, and some even directly to the public. Getting your supplies from an officially certified supplier could build your goodwill and help you gain consumer trust.

4. Build Your Brand

It can be hard to outshine in the CBD market, and even harder to gain customer trust and loyalty.

Build your brand in the following ways to create a strong identity and gain market share:

Identify target audience – CBD is a very specific product and you need to know who you’re selling to. Start conducting surveys, create customer profiles, research on social media, and learn all you can about your target audience.

Pick a business name – Pick a business name that represents your brand well. It should be easy to remember, but something that would stick with people also.

Create a logo – Your logo should be attractive enough to create an impression on the first look. Try representing your brand and your business name through your logo in the best way possible.

Find your brand voice – Your brand voice would include the content on your site, your product descriptions, how you answer emails, post on social media, and so on. It should be consistent and your customers should be able to connect with it.

Pick your colors – Green is usually a great choice for a CBD business as it represents nature, relaxation, renewal, etc. Even if you don’t use green, use a color scheme that would reflect calmness, positivity, and comfort.


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5. Build Your Online Store

Usually, online entrepreneurs have the option of selling on sites like Amazon and eBay.

By now you know how to start a CBD business; but to run it, you’d need an online store. You can hire a professional website builder to build your online store for you.

Alternatively, you can yourself build your store with the help of website builders like Wix, Shopify, BigCommerce, etc.

6. Set Up Payments

The CBD industry is considered to be a “high risk” industry due to the ongoing regulatory debacle. Hence, many payment processors tend to exclude CBD businesses to minimize their operational risks.

However, there are specific payment processors that handle high-risk businesses including CBD businesses like PayKings, SMB Global, Easy Pay Direct. Here’s what you need to look for in your payment processor:

High-risk experience – Make sure that your payment processor has a high-risk experience. A great way to find a payment processor that caters to a gaming, online dating, or pharmaceutical business, as these are high risk as well.

Customer support – Go for a payment processor that provides great customer support. In the event of your customer asking for a chargeback or refund, you will need it.

Integrations – Get a payment processor that can easily integrate with your online store for seamless transactions.

7. Market Your CBD Business

Knowing how to start a CBD business is just one part of the equation; the other is knowing how to effectively market it.

However, the only drawback here is that you can’t use common digital marketing methods like Facebook, Google, and Instagram ads as they don’t allow CBD ads. So here are a few other ways you can market your CBD business in:

Bloggers and Influencers – Find bloggers or influencers that are already involved with CBD and get them to talk about your business and products. Even if they review your products, it could expose your brand to a huge potential customer base.

Content – The more research you do on CBD, the more you can write about it. Write articles or create guides to inform people about it. You can also do interviews with experts or other CBD sellers.

SEO – Use relevant keywords throughout your site and blogs, structure your pages using headings, compressing images, and so on, to optimize for SEO and get your site to rank high on Google searches.

Trade shows – Attend CBD trade shows to build contacts and spread the word about your business.

Email marketing – Keep your customers engaged with email marketing. Keep sending them loyalty rewards like coupons and discounts, exclusive sale offers, etc. from time to time to make them feel valued. You can even use it to bring back customers who abandoned the cart and recover lost sales.

In Conclusion

Selling CBD online offers a huge opportunity for ambitious entrepreneurs. It’s a rather young, greedy, and fast-growing market that can give you a lot of return if you do it right.

There definitely are a few grey areas and regulations that you need to be well aware of and keep a check on. You’ll need to check on your local state laws and stay on top of any other new legislation that comes out.

However, if you can take all that in your stride, this could turn into a lucrative and long-lasting business.

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