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This Is Why Some CBD Companies Will Thrive, And Some Will Die

The real secret behind CBD companies' longevity rests in two key strategies.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It is official. There are now more CBD companies in this world than people.

Catherine Falls Commercial | Getty Images

Okay, maybe not really…

Putting hyperbole aside, the CBD industry is extremely oversaturated. Thousands of CBD companies have emerged in the United States in the past few years, trying to take advantage of the industry’s immense popularity. But without being able to distinguish themselves, many of these brands will be very short-lived.

The CBD rush

In 2018, CBD was legalized and a brilliant idea popped into the head of thousands of entrepreneurs: I should start a CBD company! The problem is: There are thousands of CBD companies and most don’t have a single unique value proposition that distinguishes them from the others.

Many of these companies have ditched the CBD idea altogether, finding it to be an unsustainable industry. Because of the immense competition and the limited advertising capabilities, these companies have realized it too much effort to distinguish themselves enough to make a good profit in the CBD industry.

Throughout 2019, the CBD market was so oversaturated that those earning less than $1 million in annual revenues occupied over 97 percent of the market, according to research by the Cannabis firm Brightfield Group.

But many CBD companies still truck on without having a single distinguishing factor between them and the other 65 billion CBD products that exist.

For now.

The inevitable shrinking

The CBD industry will continue to rapidly grow in the upcoming years, but the number of CBD companies will inevitably shrink.

The 2020 CBD report from Brightfield Group revealed that “the U.S. CBD market has experienced a significant extinction event for hundreds of small brands.”

The CBD industry is so interesting because the market will grow so much and so many companies have the potential to grab control. The market leader by sales, Charlotte’s Web, had only a 1.6% share of the market in Q1 of 2020.

As more and more CBD companies become extinct, the companies that survive will begin to establish larger market shares. The question is only who they will be.

Online champions

CBD sales are trending away from physical retail, towards online shopping. This is due in no small part to the coronavirus. Many physical retailers are closed due to government restrictions and those who aren’t still don’t see the same sales as they did prior.

An online presence has become the most vital component of a CBD company’s success. The Brightfield Group’s report revealed that 45 percent of consumers have moved their CBD purchases online as a result of the coronavirus crisis. CBD companies who did not previously focus much of their marketing efforts online are now scrambling to build a digital presence.

Although online has always been a large channel for selling CBD products, it has now become THE channel for selling CBD products. Either CBD companies will develop a successful online strategy or fail.

Since the CBD industry is so new, many companies are unsure of what digital marketing strategies work best. Many become confused by all the complex legal restrictions on advertisements and decide not to even bother.

The power of content marketing

The name of the game when it comes to CBD marketing is content creation. CBD companies are not legally allowed to directly advertise their products, but they can advertise content related to their products. By creating content that their audience loves, CBD brands are able to generate a loyal customer-base.

The goal for a CBD company should be to create the kind of content their target audience craves. The internet is overflowing with content and if your target customer does not find yours interesting, he will click away.

How can you find out what kind of content my audience wants? The internet makes it easier than ever for companies to understand their target audience. By using tools such as social media, companies get a first-hand glance at their customers’ interests and behaviors. After getting to understand the customer, good content creators will be able to identify their problems and offer them solutions in an interesting, non-salesy way.

We live in a world where people consume content in a million different ways. It can be stressful for CBD companies to figure out which of these is best to reach their target audience.

The truth is there is no single answer to which content creation strategy works best for CBD companies. CBD companies have been successful using a variety of different content media to reach their audience. The CEO of Lowell Herb Company, David Elias, said that "It's not about clever marketing tricks, it's about consistency." Here are some examples of content CBD companies can create and how CBD brands have successfully utilized them.


People want to learn about CBD. Most have heard the buzz about it, but few actually understand what it really is and all its benefits. Blogs can be a simple way to answer common questions about CBD while getting your brand name out there.

By creating SEO-optimized blogs, CBD companies can position themselves as the first search result that people click on when asking common questions about CBD.

Charlotte’s Web, the market leader in the CBD industry, is a great example of a company that has successfully utilized blogging. The company’s CBD blog is among the industries most popular. The blog answers common questions about CBD, while subtly mentioning their products.

The company has optimized its SEO so that they appear among the first results on Google for common questions about CBD. The company has done this so well that they are the fourth search result that comes up for “What is CBD?”  


We live in a visual world. Many people don’t have the attention span to read an article or a blog. To reach these people, companies need to add a visual element. A good picture may be just the thing.

When a CBD company uses blogs, it is usually trying to educate the target customer about how it’s CBD product would be beneficial. When a CBD company uses photographs, it is usually trying to elicit emotions from the target customer which makes her want to buy the company’s product.

Recess does a terrific job of using amazing photographs to market its products. The company has a great understanding of their target consumer and provides them with the content they desire. The content keeps Recess’ target audience coming back for more and keeps Recess on the top of their target customers’ minds when they are searching for a CBD product.



Podcasting is a booming industry and CBD companies have recently begun to join the wave. Podcasts are just another tool to reach your audience and deliver to them the content they desire. There is a huge, growing audience who listens to podcasts. According to Statista, forecasts suggest that the number of podcast listeners will surpass 160 million in 2023.

Plus, podcasting is not a widely utilized tool yet in the CBD industry. However, as podcast audiences grow and CBD businesses see the great potential in them, that will no longer be the case. The companies who are first movers in this industry will be the ones who thrive.

Cannafyl’s podcast is one of the most respected in the industry. A large audience tunes into their podcast, The CBD Ed Show, to hear their authoritative opinion about the industry. Cannafyl has utilized this podcast to establish themselves as viable thought leaders in the industry.

Okay, so maybe there’s not more CBD companies than people. But the market IS oversaturated with mediocre companies that don’t differentiate themselves from the pack. Experts indicate that developing a strong online presence and content creation strategy will enable market leaders to emerge in the CBD industry.