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The Facts on CBD Research – What can it do and who can use it legally.

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Working in social media and marketing we all have our ears close to the ground, hoping to find the next big industry before everyone else. Being one of the initial supporters of a new industry can make you an authoritative voice and see your followers and earnings soar.

CBD is an incredibly fast-growing industry with an incredibly wide appeal that attracts everyone from people with a casual interest in lifestyle products to elite athletes. As people’s opinions change across the world and CBD is now seen as the legitimate product that it is, its growth has sky rocketed.

And the industry needs influencers to spread the word. Here’s all you need to know about becoming a CBD influencer and growing your profile online.

The Legality of CBD

The first question that springs to mind when we think about CBD for the first time is “Is it legal?”, and the answer is yes. CBD was made legal in the UK in 1993, once THC levels are below 0.2% and that there’s less than 1mg of THC total in the product, following in the footsteps of Canada and the United States who have developed huge industries since legalisation.

The benefits of CBD have been comprehensively backed up by research that shows its effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory, helps with anxiety and can help with nausea.

The legalisation of CBD has also had knock-on effects on topics that align with the core beliefs of many influencers. Since the laws have changed countries across the world have seen a reduction in drug offences, social injustices have begun to right themselves and people now have access to alternative medicine.

As an influencer you can confidently partner with CBD brands, knowing that not only is your work legal, but it’s also helping make a difference in people’s lives.

legality of cbd

The CBD Business

CBD was already a thriving industry, well on its way to becoming one of the biggest in the UK, but the pandemic has seen that steady growth skyrocketed with estimated sales in 2021 expected to hit £690 million.

Around 10% of adults in the UK used CBD in 2019, that’s over 6.5 million people –  a huge audience for CBD influencers and that rises to 15% when we look at 25-29 year olds, which is no surprise when you hear that the UK CBD industry is one of the largest in Europe.

Thanks to the multiple uses of CBD the user base is quite diverse, which has created huge opportunities for influencers. Everyone from sportspeople to health professionals and lifestyle influencers has grown with the CBD industry, and there are no signs that it’s slowing down anytime soon. A quarter of adults actually choose holistic treatments like CBD over prescription meds.

This continued growth is expected because, in reality, the CBD industry is still very young and as more and more countries embrace CBD sales and awareness will also increase. Educating people on the benefits of CBD (influencers play a key role here) will see the public changing their opinion and opting for natural treatments over pharmaceutical solutions.

Who’s promoting CBD?

CBD works for so many people in an incredibly wide range of situations, so the users are extremely diverse and have hugely popular accounts across the entire spectrum of social media. There are snappy videos on TikTok, amazing photos on Instagram and YouTube is home to some fascinating CBD videos.

Here’s a look at of some of the most well known CBD influencers:

Montel Willams

Instagram – 43k followers | Twitter – 177k followers | Facebook – 181k followers

 

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A post shared by Montel Williams (@montel_williams)

The 90's king of daytime TV was known across the world for the larger than life guests and audience on his talk show, where he tackled every facet of family life and relationships. Starting in ‘91 and ending in ‘08, Williams had garnered quite a following, but this was before the glory days of social media. Being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis made him look for alternative treatments and he’s since become a leading voice in the promotion of CBD. 

Aisling Bea

Instagram – 619k followers | Twitter – 526k followers | Facebook – 272k followers

 

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A post shared by Aisling Bea (@weemissbea)

A rising star in the world of television and comedy, Aisling Bea has received amazing reviews for her TV show ‘This Way Up’. But on her social media platforms, it’s Bea that’s doing the reviewing. She regularly champions natural skincare products, healthy foods, fast fashion alternatives and CBD products – using her platform to spread the good word.

Rob Gronkowski

Instagram – 4.4m followers | Twitter – 3.1m followers | Facebook – 1.8m followers

 

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A post shared by Rob Gronkowski (@gronk)

An absolute superstar in the US for his Super Bowl-winning touchdowns for the New England Patriots, Rob ‘The Gronk’ Gronkowski is one of the most popular supporters of CBD. Aligning with a CBD brand has shown how relevant and timely Gronkowski is, having also partnered with crypto, training, fitness and hydration brands – all very hot topics at the minute.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

Instagram – 235k followers | Twitter – 2.5m followers | Facebook – 183k followers

 

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A post shared by Dr. Sanjay Gupta (@drsanjaygupta)

Showing that CBD has a diverse audience, even healthcare professionals are getting on board. American neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta not only actively supports the use of CBD but also treats his own patients with it, particularly when it comes to pain management. Appearances on CNN, speeches at Harvard and talks on his TV show have helped raise the profile of CBD.

Micheal J. Fox

Instagram – 235k followers | Twitter – 2.5m followers | Facebook – 183k followers

 

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A post shared by Michael J Fox (@realmikejfox)

Even the star of some of the greatest 80’s movies ever made is a big advocate of CBD. His struggles with Parkinson’s have been well documented and he’s taking to social media to help spread awareness. The Michael J. Fox Foundation even pushes for legislative changes to help more people get access to the medical benefits of CBD and cannabis. 

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What do influencers need to know before partnering with a brand?

Even though the CBD industry is an exciting one that’s growing rapidly, shoppers and influencers need to know what to look out for to identify the best brands and the right products. Supporting a sub-par product not only harms your reputation but it can also create confusion amongst your followers, so make sure you do your homepage before agreeing to partner with any brand.

So how do you know if a company is legitimate and trustworthy? Transparency is key in the CBD industry. As a general rule of thumb if a company has gone to the effort to have their products third party tested and gained accreditation, then they tend to clearly market this. If they don’t, feel free to contact them and ask them.

Things to look out for:

This means that an external lab has tested the product and rated the amount of CBD and THC in whatever you’re buying. This is a really important test that all serious CBD companies use. Most display these results on their site and are available if you ask for them. If the company can’t produce the results then avoid them.

  • Proper Labelling

This might seem like an obvious one, but there are some companies out there who don’t put all their ingredients and levels of CBD and THC on their products. A trustworthy company proudly labels their products, not only is this essential for dosages but it also shows that the company stands by their product and respects their customers.

  • Official Vegan Society

Greenwashing is rampant in marketing these days, everyone from fashion brands to airlines are shouting about how much they care for the environment and are lowering their carbon footprint. A lot of these companies are being called out for not following through on these promises. When you choose a vegan product you help reduce the number of animals needed for production, which has knock-on effects on better land use, less pollution created and of course less animal cruelty.

  • Official Cruelty-Free

Aligning with brands that care about animal cruelty is something that everyone can agree with, there’s no need for any animal to suffer so that humans can have healthy skin. 

Good companies also tend to be communicative and helpful. Have a question about any of their products or brand ethos? Get in touch with them and they should be able to help you out. If they can’t, take that as a sign that they should be avoided.

By following these steps you’re able to filter out the genuine companies run by passionate people and the dreaded get-rich-quick sites that don’t care about their products or their customers.

  • Use this as an indirect way of selling our brands to influencers.
  • Explain what separates a good product from a bad one.
  • Add a cheat sheet/checklist for things to look for when partnering with a brand – third party tested, properly labelled packaging, etc.

What can CBD help with?

An intro into the history of CBD and cannabis, showing that it has been used for an incredibly long time and that it is not a flash-in-the-pan, get-rich-quick scheme. It’s a legitimate product that genuinely helps people.

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

What it is

IBS is an extremely uncomfortable and painful condition that afflicts the digestive system. People with IBS suffer different ailments with many experiencing bloating, stomach cramps, constipation and diarrhoea.

How many people have it

It’s estimated that 10-15% of the population have IBS and struggle with the symptoms on a daily basis. That’s between 767 million and 1.15 billion people.

How CBD can help

CBD is an amazing anti-inflammatory that often has few side effects compared to pharmaceutical medicine. People with IBS often have inflamed and aggravated digestive tracts, so using CBD can reduce the swelling and help alleviate pain.

Learn more about: CBD Oil for IBS

Stress

What it is

Most of us have suffered from stress at some point in our lives. It’s a feeling of being overwhelmed and the inability to cope with pressure, both mental and emotional.

How many people have it

77% of people experience stress on such a level that it affects their physical health, with 33% of the population admitting to feeling extreme stress.

How CBD can help

Stress can wreak havoc on our minds, inhibiting neurotransmitters and neural regeneration. CBD can help reinvigorate these parts of our brain and encourages our body to produce more of these which can help reduce our stress.

Also read: Best CBD Products for Stress

Anxiety

What it is

Anxiety is a mental condition that ranges in severity, but many define it as a feeling of unease, worry and/or fear.

How many people have it

Some people are able to maintain a normal lifestyle while suffering from anxiety, but others are crippled by the condition. Close to 20% of Americans have some form of anxiety, with most first noticing symptoms after the age of 21.

How CBD can help

Anxiety can be treated with CBD as it affects the CB1 receptors in the brain which can improve serotonin levels in the brain.

Learn more about: CBD Oil for Anxiety

Pets

What it is

Humans and animals share some common ailments and illnesses, and with the success of CBD on humans, people have been asking if it can help their pets too.

How many people have it

24% of pet owners use CBD products on themselves or their animals. And a huge 90% of people who give their pets CBD would recommend it to their friends too.

How CBD can help

Research shows that a lot of the benefits that humans get from CBD can also be experienced by cats and dogs. Anything from osteoarthritis, treating pain, anxiety and digestive issues.

Also read: CBD Oil for Dogs

Pain

What it is

We experience physical pain in many ways, it can be a direct result of an injury, or it may be a side effect of another condition like osteoporosis.

How many people have it

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20% of people have suffered from chronic pain with 8% experienced high-impact chronic pain. Even if the pain isn’t chronic, most of us will experience it at some point.

How CBD can help

CBD can inhibit pain receptors in the brain. This direct action can lead to people getting some relief from their pain. CBD is sometimes used in place of harsh pharmaceutical drugs that can often come with side effects.

Learn more about: CBD Oil for Pain

Cancer symptoms

What it is

Cancer is a horrific disease that can cause an incredible amount of pain and it also kills. Cancer happens when cells grow uncontrollably and spread in the body.

How many people have it

It’s estimated that 1.3% of people in the world have cancer and it’s one of the single largest killers of people every year.

How CBD can help

While CBD doesn’t help kill cancer, it can help with the side effects of cancer treatments, most notably chemotherapy. Chemo can make cancer patients feel extremely nauseous, so they turn to CBD to interact with serotonin receptors to make them feel better.

Skin issues

What it is

Skin issues range widely from small breakouts to periods of having rough skin to years of acne.

How many people have it

About 1 in 4 people have a skin condition of one form or another, making it one of the most common conditions out there.

How CBD can help

The types of skin issues can present themselves very differently, but CBD also works on multiple aspects here, but mainly focuses on reducing inflammation and redness. It’s also known to regulate oil production and hydrate skin.

CBD and Sports

Sportspeople across the world have recently learned about the benefits of CBD and what it can do for their performance. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) took it off the banned substance list in 2018, but THC is widely restricted and even banned in some sports.

Here’s a look at some of the most popular sports and CBD supporters out there.

Tennis

Why CBD appeals to tennis players

Tennis can be extremely hard on our joints, all those high-speed changes of direction to return volleys and lobs can really take it out on our knees and ankles. And that’s not to mention the cuts from sliding on the court.

CBD can help with the pain from cuts and can also alleviate some of the swellings in joints after a hard day on the court.

How popular is the sport?

87 million people across the world play tennis with China and the United States making up almost a quarter of all players.

What stars back CBD?

Top American tennis player John Isner recently became the first tennis player to sign a deal with a CBD brand, sharing info and products with his 195k followers on Instagram.

 

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A post shared by John Isner (@johnrisner)

Why CBD appeals to cyclists

Road cyclists spend long, long days in the saddle, cycling enormous distances for days in a row. To keep going they need to have a good sleep cycle, that’s where CBD comes in.

Mountain bikers are a different breed, regularly hurling themselves down rocky mountain tracks and racing against the clock. Needless to say, when they crash they have some of the worst injuries in all of sport. So introducing CBD into their lifestyle can help manage the pain and get them back out there.

How popular is the sport?

Cycling is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world and regardless of discipline, CBD can help with recovery.

What stars back CBD?

Kyle Jameson is one of mountain biking’s biggest advocates of CBD. When he’s not racing down mountains he’s out building trails, all the time putting stress on his body. CBD helps him keep going.

Rugby

Why CBD appeals to rugby players

Is there any sport out there that’s guaranteed to leave you battered and bruised more than rugby? All those big clashes, hectic rucks and grinding crumbs can leave players looking for help as soon as the final whistle blows. CBD helps manage pain and reduces inflammation, speeding up recovery.

How popular is the sport?

With almost 10 million players across the world, mainly in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, rugby is a sport with huge hotbeds of passionate players and fans.

What stars back CBD?


International rugby stars Dom Day and George Kruis were so impressed with the effects of CBD that they founded their own CBD company. Focusing on CBD products that are easily added to your daily routine, they’ve caught the attention of some other famous rugby players.

England greats Lawrence Dallaglio and Jack Nowell are some of the biggest names in rugby who publicly back CBD. The products help Nowell with his recovery in between games and also helps Dallaglio manage the pain of injuries sustained during his career.

lawrence dallaglio

In addition to these rugby-CBD moguls, Rob Kearney certainly is also one to watch. An indisputable rugby great, Kearney has clocked in over 200 appearances throughout his 15-year career. The sportsman also boasts a remarkable 95 caps, three Rugby World Cups, and four Six Nation Titles. However, Rob Kearney isn’t just a sports star, with multiple awards to his name. He’s also a fairly business-savvy entrepreneur – holding both executive and non-executive director roles across a number of different industries.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Kearney has just launched a partnership with Poko, a CBD skincare brand. Poko offers cruelty-free, vegan-friendly skincare products for everyone, something that Keaney strongly believes in. In addition to this, Kearney hopes that through his involvement with the brand, Poko with see an uptick in male skincare. “I find the stigma around male skincare in particular really needs to improve,” Kearney said, after announcing the partnership. “Poko provides a unisex product to the market, which I love.”

As a skincare and beauty brand, Poko offers a unique solution to a variety of skin conditions. With the addition of CBD, it’s especially effective on inflammation and irritation. This means it could relieve a selection of skin-related concerns – from acne to rosacea. For a fairly new skincare brand, Poko has also accrued a number of awards; the 2021 Beauty Bible Awards for its Correcting Eye Cream, and the Your Healthy Living Awards for the Luxury Facial Oil. This is a promising start for the skincare brand, and one that has no doubt inspired Kearney to strike while the iron is hot, sealing the partnership.

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With Kearney on board, we could see new and exciting things for the CBD skincare brand. Not only could this help inspire men to take better care of their skin, but we could also see new products in the works. After all, with Kearney’s sports background, a CBD-infused SPF surely wouldn’t come amiss, to join Poko’s range of muscle balms and skincare products. Justine O’Hanlon, Poko’s co-founder, also hinted that the collaboration might inspire more product development. “We’re really excited to work with him [Kearney], and bring innovative new products to our range,” she said.

Kearney’s involvement with a CBD skincare brand no doubt sets him apart from his rugby counterparts, who focus predominantly on sports recovery and fitness. Nevertheless, at the Extract, we cannot wait to see the results of this collaboration.

rob kearney poko

Gymnastics

Why CBD appeals to gymnasts

To spectators, gymnastics can look like one of the most graceful and delicate sports in the world, but in reality, the athletes are pushing their bodies to the extreme and that takes a toll. Some take CBD in the lead up to big events to help calm their nerves so they can focus on the task at hand.

How popular is the sport?

The International Gymnast Federation believes that they’re 30 million people participating in gymnastics in one form or another.

What stars back CBD?

At the moment, there are no high profile gymnasts that are partnered with a CBD brand. Many observers in the media would love for the likes of Simone Biles to incorporate CBD into her workouts, but at the moment there’s a gap in the market.

Football

Why CBD appeals to footballers

Footballers often have packed schedules, from training sessions to travel for games and then the matches themselves. It’s easy to pick up some bumps and niggles along the way that could jeopardise the big match on the weekend. But CBD can help by reducing inflammation in the body, helping them perform at their top potential.

Some footballers regularly use nicotine pouches that help with resting heart rate and VO2 max, but these come with serious drawbacks like addiction and preventing a good night sleep. Swapping to a CBD pouch swaps these negative side effects for positive effects like a sense of calm and peaceful nights sleep.

How popular is the sport?

Football is the most popular sport in the world with 250 million players and 4 billion fans. From Sunday league to the World Cup, everyone seems to love football.

What stars back CBD?

Without a doubt, the biggest footballer who backs CBD is USWNT superstar Megan Rapinoe. Rapinoe is vocal on lots of important issues and she’s shining a light on sportspeople using CBD with her 2.3 million followers on Instagram.

Weightlifting

Why CBD appeals to weightlifters

Weightlifters are some of the most powerful and explosive athletes out there and while some competitive weightlifters take CBD to relax in the lead up to events, it’s also commonly used in hand creams to nourish hands that have been put through punishing workouts. 

How popular is the sport?

It’s estimated that just under 10% of the public in the US engage in some form of weightlifting, whether it’s part of the overall workout or done at a high level.

What stars back CBD?

The world’s strongest man Eddie Hall has been a vocal supporter of CBD recently. He swears by it to help him sleep which aids his recovery and performance.

Running

Why CBD appeals to runners

Repetitive actions like running can take it out of your ankles, especially if you run on roads the whole time. CBD helps reduce swelling and goes a long way to helping runners keep running.

How popular is the sport?

Running is so popular because it’s such an accessible sport. 10% of Americans have added running into their lifestyle.

What stars back CBD?

New York based runner Sabrina Wieser seems to be living the dream life in the Big Apple. Regularly running the city streets and hanging out with her dog, CBD keeps her relaxed allowing her to keep living her life.

Golf

Why CBD appeals to golf players

Golf is a game of nerves. The winner is often the one who can focus on the task at hand and remain calm when the pressure builds. CBD can help lower players anxiety and help increase the chances of shooting under par.

How popular is the sport?

Research shows that there are roughly 25 million golf players in the world.

What stars back CBD?

San Diego’s Charley Hoffman has been adding a few drops of CBD oil to his morning coffee to keep him calm and comfortable while out on the course.

MMA

Why CBD appeals to mixed martial artists

Mixed martial artists can literally take a beating during their training and fights. Eyes swell, legs bruise and faces cut, so fighters have been taking CBD to reduce swelling and help them sleep and recover quicker.

How popular is the sport?

MMA is one of the least popular sports on our list in terms of participation, it is a very popular spectator sport, with the UFC having sold over one million pay per views.

What stars back CBD?

The UFC’s CBD poster boy is undoubtedly the enigmatic Nate Diaz. The Californian fighter is well known for his love of cannabis and CBD, views he shares with his 5.1 million followers on Instagram.

 

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A post shared by Nate Diaz (@natediaz209)

The CBD industry is still in its early days and is projected to go from strength to strength, so partnering with a CBD brand now means that you can grow with the industry and become a leading voice for the industry on social media.

Now you’ve got all the info you need to find a CBD brand that aligns with your profile and who you should be targeting. Get in touch with our team and you’ll see your followers grow in no time.

Cian Byrne

Cian is an experienced writer with a passion for the outdoors and travel. When he’s not off adventuring on his bike or exploring somewhere new, he’s usually at home editing photos from his trips or treating himself to yet another flat white at his local coffee shop.

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