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Increased Hand Washing Creates A New Market For CBD

Dry and chapped hands have become a problem for many. One company hopes their CBD topical is the solution.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

At Cornbread Hemp, we have been shipping our Kentucky Proud CBD product nationwide for over a year now. From the start, we have offered two CBD creams: a 200 mg CBD lotion for skin and a 500 mg CBD lotion with menthol for joint and muscle discomfort. From the start, there was a clear distinction in sales.

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Customers seemed to immediately understand the value of our 500 mg mentholated lotion. Even though it costs nearly twice the price of our 200 mg CBD lotion for skin, the sales of the mentholated lotion have been double the lower-priced 200 mg lotion, which is scented with sativa terpenes.

But around mid-March, we started to see an uptick in our skin lotion sales, and that’s a trend that’s continuing today. Why? We think it's because more people are experiencing the condition that our lotion is designed for — dry hands.

Related: CBD Products That Can Help You Keep Calm and Carry on During COVID-19

The hand-washing problem

People are washing their hands like never before in an effort to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Hand washing is the most effective way to prevent spreading the infection, but it can leave your hands dry and chapped. In extreme cases, even cracked and raw.

Millions of Americans suffer from underlying skin conditions that make hand washing unpleasant and even painful. For instance, hand eczema affects 10 percent of the US population, according to the National Eczema Association. That’s 32.8 million Americans, including me.

As someone who has suffered for decades from this condition — washing my hands with a flared up case of hand eczema used to be a painful experience. Washing your hands five times a day, which has become common in the COVID-19 era, could be downright brutal for someone with this condition.

Common medical treatments and everyday moisturizers did little to control my hand eczema. All the dermatologists could give me were steroid creams and tar-based ointments that were expensive, smelled bad, and didn’t work.

Related: I Had A CBD Facial To Help My Skin Disorder. This Is What Happened.

Lotion to the rescue

When we began R&D on Cornbread Hemp’s initial product line, we knew from the start that we wanted to offer CBD lotion instead of the industry-standard CBD salve. The reason was personal. For my skin condition, CBD salves just wouldn’t do. Salves are oil-based and made with bees’ wax; they sit on top of bad skin and collect dirt. For conditions like hand eczema, that’s completely counterproductive. CBD lotion, on the other hand, absorbs quickly and leaves my hands feeling calm and smooth.

When we started over a year ago, the only CBD lotions on the market were made from CBD isolate, which lacks the entourage effect of a full spectrum hemp extract. When Cornbread Hemp rolled out our first products over a year ago, we were among the first CBD companies to offer full spectrum CBD lotions.

Today, our foresight in CBD product development is starting to pay off. These days, full-spectrum CBD lotions are more common because consumers are getting smarter and are learning that full-spectrum is better than THC-free, even in topical applications. 

Marketing challenges 

Like every CBD brand, Cornbread Hemp is butting up against the barrier created by the lack of regulations from the Food and Drug Administration. The absence of FDA regulations is causing two simultaneous problems in the CBD industry.

On one hand, bad acting CBD brands claim that their CBD cures everything from cancer to COVID-19, forcing the FDA to issue appropriate warning letters. On the other hand, CBD brands doing their best to act in good faith are unable to accurately market their CBD products for what they are actually good for because they are afraid of receiving the same FDA warning letters that go to CBD companies who claim that CBD cures COVID-19.

When it comes to CBD topicals like ours, it’s just as frustrating. Because we cannot effectively market our CBD topicals, it took a worldwide pandemic to alter personal behavior before it began to click in people's minds: "Will CBD lotion help with my hands that have been dried out from all this hand washing?" According to our customers, the answer is yes.* 

(*These statement have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.)

Related: Is CBD Really FDA Approved?