Area Code 420 (AC 420): What do you attribute your organization’s steady growth to?
Terwilliger: It's a multitude of reasons. Some of the top contributors are strong industry tailwinds, a very experienced and passionate team, and a quality product that is second to none. CBD is everywhere and it's there for a reason. Because of dated law, CBD was essentially banned in the U.S., until the 2014 farm bill, which legalized hemp. Since then people who've tried CBD have found relief and have incorporated it into their daily wellness regime. In early 2016, our founders Andy Papilion and Lincoln Sorenson started The CBDistillery, now the legacy brand of Balanced Health Botanicals, which blew up as a brand through a black Friday sale on Instagram. They then brought on a team filled with experience in cannabis, finance, technology, logistics, and marketing. They also sought out to have the gold standard for quality in the industry. Balanced Health Botanicals was the first company to publicly post its third-party test results. Since that moment we were known as a company for the people, we were transparent and provided our products at fair prices.
AC 420: How well are hemp-derived CBD products catching the public’s eye?
Terwilliger: Hemp-derived CBD is catching the public eye, with national publications writing articles daily on what CBD is. Since the restrictions on industrial hemp cultivation were lifted with the Farm Bill of 2018, there has been a significant upswing in the number of industries incorporating hemp-derived CBD products into their business models. Farmers are converting their fields, yoga studios are offering topical creams, skin care companies are infusing their products, and coffee shops are adding CBD tinctures to their specialty drinks. While this is an exciting time for CBD to be recognized for the true potential it has for wellness, it is important that education and quality standards continue to be at the forefront so consumers know how to select the best products.
AC 420: The CBD market is still relatively new. What significant trends are you beginning to see?
Terwilliger: We are seeing some good and bad trends. The good trends are that companies are getting more transparent with what is in their products. As we did a few years ago, it's now the industry standard to publicly display your third-party test results. We are also starting to see larger and more distinguished testing labs taking hemp and hemp-derived oil into testing. Unfortunately, we are also seeing poor trends in the industry. Brands are adding CBD to everything: toothpaste, shampoo, eyeliner, bath bombs, and more. Those products have basically no, if any, bioavailability. Therefore, consumers can't feel or notice the effects of CBD. Some consumers may try one of these products and think CBD isn't for them, which isn't necessarily the case.
AC 420: What major obstacles has your company had to overcome?
Terwilliger: The CBD industry and the people/businesses that are involved are much different now from when we started. The 2018 Farm Bill was a huge step in the right direction for our industry as it created a sense of empowerment and legitimacy to the space. Upon start up, very much was unknown to consumers, lawmakers, commerce professionals, etc. Due to the grey area surrounding CBD and what it is, we were grouped in the marijuana industry. We faced many obstacles including legitimate business partners, banking options, and public education. Since our business niche was still an unknown territory, outside resources were weary of doing business with a CBD company. In order to overcome these obstacles and become more legitimate in the public’s eye, we made sure to follow not only the most stringent guidelines set forth by the FDA and conduct our business with complete transparency, but we started an educational movement with the CBDMOVEMENT that helps our consumers really understand what CBD is and what to keep an eye out for in their products.
AC 420: What’s your company’s role in the “CBD movement”?
Terwilliger: Balanced Health Botanicals launched the #CBDMOVEMENT, to provide the masses with easy access to hemp-derived CBD products, widespread resources to be more knowledgeable on CBD, the latest industry research, and unfiltered consumer testimonials. The #CBDMOVEMENT is steamrolling change across the nation inspiring consumers to think about alternative methods of healing and to change the mindset of the stigmatized cannabis industry. BHB is on a mission to be the premier education resource and develop the brand as a “one stop shop” for consumers curious about hemp-derived CBD from purchasing product to simply wanting to learn more.
AC 420: Do you have any fears regarding the CBD and related marketplace?
Terwilliger: As new companies continue emerging, saturation in the market with less quality products will always remain a concern. A lot of companies are using gimmick marketing and products to take advantage of CBD as a buzzword. I fear that this will create confusion for consumers who are less educated on hemp-derived CBD. With companies adding CBD to anything like coffee or beauty products, I don’t want proper education or quality of products becoming harder to discern for consumers. The FDA still has strict regulations regarding CBD, so it cannot be sold in foods or drinks or as a dietary supplement. Many companies are choosing to ignore this, and it creates confusion for consumers. That’s why we at Balanced Health Botanicals are dedicated to providing customers with honestly labeled, high quality hemp-derived CBD products, without any gimmicks. We share third-party-tested lab results and oversee every process from seed to shelf, earning over 16k five-star reviews from loyal customers.
AC 420: Do you think you’ve started changing the world?
Terwilliger: I think we've helped fuel a movement. CBD is more than just a molecule that aids in overall health and wellness, it’s the fact that it’s part of the cannabis plant and one of the most essential parts of the plant. Consumers were banned from using any part of the cannabis plant for decades with no real reasoning and now finally have access to it. We are happy to fight day in and day out for those consumers to have the right to use CBD and to get it in their hands at a fair price.
AC 420: What makes you laugh?
Terwilliger: Our team. We have a very lively and funny group of individuals that lead the CBDMOVEMENT. I sometimes feel like we are the television cast of The Office.
Sheldon Baker is CEO of the Baker Dillon Group LLC and has created numerous nutraceutical brand marketing communications and public relations campaigns for many well-known supplement and food industry companies. For interview consideration or brand marketing consulting, contact him at Contact@The420AreaCode.com.