We can describe the world of CBD tinctures in one word: saturated. To successfully sell your product in today’s crowded marketplace, you’ll need to differentiate and think like an expert. Fortunately, Green Flower has the perfect person to teach you how—Kimberly Dillon.
Kimberly Dillon is the founder of Plant & Prosper, a marketing and branding agency that caters to regulated cannabis clients. She’s also one of the world-class teachers featured in the Green Flower CBD Certificate, a 10-module program that walks budding professionals through the emerging CBD industry.
Now, here’s a glimpse into how to make and sell CBD Tinctures like the pros.
The Green Flower Guide to Making and Selling CBD Tinctures
Tinctures are perhaps the simplest CBD products to make. But, what exactly is a tincture, anyway? In technical terms, a tincture is a botanical infusion that uses alcohol. To make a proper tincture, manufacturers infuse botanicals or botanical extracts into alcohol. In early medical history, herbs were soaked in wine or other fermented alcohols to make a tincture. Nowadays, however, manufacturers use solvents with a higher degree of processing, like distilled alcohol. Contemporary tinctures don’t often use the whole plant, either. CBD tincture is infused with either purified CBD or a refined extract from high-CBD hemp plants.
But, here’s the catch: alcohol-based tinctures are not common in the cannabis industry. Neither are vegetable glycerine-based infusions, which are often used in other botanicals. What is more popular, however, are “oil tinctures” which dissolve cannabis compounds in oil, rather than alcohol. Oil tinctures are the most common products on the market. Although, technically, these products should be called “infusions.”
The Benefits of CBD Tinctures for Manufacturers
For hopeful manufacturers, tinctures are enticing products. Why? Four reasons.
- Tinctures are easy to produce, they don’t require lots of ingredients or sophisticated technology to create.
- Tinctures are inexpensive to produce, relative to other products.
- Tinctures are versatile; they can be used orally, sublingually, and topically.
- Tinctures have a long shelf-life.
All of these benefits, however, can lead to one major downfall: market saturation. Because CBD tinctures are easy to make, almost every major CBD brand offers a tincture. As a result, it can be very difficult for brands to make their products stand out.
Making CBD Tincture
To make a CBD tincture or infusion, all you need is a carrier and a CBD substrate. Oil carriers are the most popular option for CBD infusion manufacturers; CBD is fat-soluble, which means that it dissolves particularly well in fats, including olive, hemp, or medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil. But, oil carriers also avoid some of the issues consumers associate with alcohol; you can use an oil tincture orally as well as on the skin, they can are easily added into foods without altering flavor, and they are often preferable choices for those who struggle with substance abuse or hope to avoid alcohol for other reasons.
Once you have your carrier oil, it’s time to choose your CBD substrate.
CBD isolate is a purified form of CBD. It features a crystal structure and contains only trace amounts of other botanical compounds, if any at all. Isolate is easier to work with for many suppliers, and it holds little risk of containing more than 0.3 percent THC.
Full-spectrum CBD oil is the second most common CBD substrate. A full-spectrum extract contains not only CBD, but small amounts of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other botanical compounds. Some researchers hypothesize that the chemical diversity in full-spectrum products may enhance some of the therapeutic properties of CBD.
Branding & Marketing Your CBD Tincture
There are a lot of CBD tinctures out there, so how do you differentiate yours? If you plan on selling a product that everyone and their dog is also selling, then it’s time to get creative with brand identity and niche markets. Here are a few simple tips and tricks for successfully branding and marketing your CBD.
Find Your Target Consumer Base
How well do you know your consumer base? Do you belong to a fitness community that could use a minty CBD tincture that doubles as a cooling topical rub? Are you a practitioner hoping to create a product with superior absorption? In a saturated market, getting specific can be the key to getting ahead.
Product Design & Formulation
What problems does your CBD product solve? Maybe you formulate your tincture with CBD extracted from hemp grown on vetted, sustainable farms. Or, maybe you design a new applicator for precise, easy dosing. How can you develop or formulate your product to either fill a gap or further differentiate yourself from your competitors? After you’ve developed your products, have you thoroughly tested their quality?
Finally, before you build your website and print your packing boxes, make sure to familiarize yourself with the developing rules on CBD from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In the United States, the FDA is the regulatory body that oversees medicine, food, beauty products, and more. At the time of writing, the FDA does not approve of the sale of CBD as a dietary supplement, nor as a food additive, nor a medicine. So, advertisers will need to be careful about how they choose to talk about their CBD products.
Let’s be honest—pharmacy shelves and e-commerce platforms are filled with CBD tinctures, capsules, and more. Don’t lose money creating products no one wants.
Sign up for the online Green Flower CBD Certificate Program to learn more about sourcing, testing, marketing, and selling your CBD.
Get all the details on the program page today.
This article was edited on 01/29/2020 after comment regarding the technical definition of tincture.