About CBD MLM
One MLM product category that did not exist a decade ago, and which is experiencing a boom today is the product category of CBD.
CBD (Cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid processed from CBDA (Cannabidiolic acid) which is the precursor molecule produced by the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD only comes from the decarboxylation (the loss of a carbon atom) of CBDA and CBDA is only produced by the Cannabis sativa species and no other plant and in no other plant kingdom.
It is important to note here that at this time (2019) there are CBD companies which claim to be able to process CBD from plants other than Cannabis sativa, ostensibly to avoid the legal issues and stigma which still exist in some locations. At this time there is no credible scientific evidence that any other plant can produce CBDA or CBD, nor is there any evidence that either of these compounds can be produced from processing any other plant material except for Cannabis sativa. It is our recommendation that consumers purchasing products claiming to contain CBD that has been extracted or processed from any other plant source other than Cannabis sativa should assume that the makers of these products are buying CBD isolate (the purified form of Cannabidiol containing only the isolated molecule) on the wholesale market and are misrepresenting this as a special invention or technique to produce CBD not from Cannabis sativa–until such time credible, peer reviewed, studies are conducted to prove the existence of these novel producers of CBD.
We recommend https://www.projectcbd.org/cbd-101/cbd-myths-busted as a starting point for credible scientific information about CBD and cannabis botany.
Many companies and retail stores now offer CBD supplements on their shelves, including mainstream chains like Kroger and Bed Bath & Beyond. CBD MLM companies compete in this retail market with their own products–and these vary in quality just like other offerings. The higher price points and predatory sales techniques being the most prominent feature defining the CBD MLM products.
Here are some facts about CBD MLM products:
- CBD MLM products are either made from CBD isolate (the stripped down isolated Cannabidiol molecule) or they are a hemp extract which meets the federal guidelines of less than 0.3% THC. CBD MLM products are extracted or made from isolate from industrial hemp. Just like any other CBD retail product sold outside of legal licensed dispensaries in legal cannabis states, this product can vary in quality and MLM products are by no means better than any other retail product regardless of the claims made by MLM companies. MLM companies purchase their isolates and extracts from the same wholesale market as brands sold at Kroger or any mainstream traditional retail store.
- The primary difference between the CBD MLM product and the CBD products sold in mainstream retail stores has to do with the price points (with MLM CBD priced much higher than products sold at retail) and the seriousness with which a store like Kroger takes in regards to compliance with the FDA when selling these products. For example: Kroger will not set up store displays claiming that the CBD product on their shelves will cure the customer’s cancer. On the other hand, it’s a fairly regular event on social media to find independent consultants selling the CBD MLM product to make the claim that the CBD MLM product cures a myriad of diseases, including cancer. Ironically, all CBD MLM companies have compliance policies regarding claims that can be made–but this compliance doesn’t play out as intended in the wild. One of the downsides of MLM or network marketing is that the sales force is the customer and not qualified in the same way a retailer is in regards to professional sales technique.
- Compliance with the FDA in regards to CBD products is one defining feature of a legitimate, quality, retail consumer CBD product. Compliance which is enthusiastic ( example: “We don’t recommend our product for any medical condition–please see a licensed physician to discuss CBD and cannabis as part of your health needs and NEVER discontinue any prescribed medication to use our products.”) tends to define the products sold in mainstream retail settings like Kroger or Bed Bath & Beyond. While reticent or forced compliance (example: “Well, we have to tell you this isn’t for medical uses because the big pharma FDA forces us to.”) tends to define the typical interaction one will experience with the CBD MLM product when total non-compliance (cures your cancer, autism, etc.) is not being used.
Regarding Medical Use of CBD:
EpidiolexLink https://www.epidiolex.com/ (FDA approved, prescription-only Cannabidiol (CBD)) is available in the United States and any licensed physician may write a prescription for this drug which can be dispensed at any licensed pharmacy. The drug was approved by the FDA for a rare type of seizure syndrome–but like other prescription drugs licensed physicians may write prescriptions for this drug for use on an off-label basis for other conditions.
Because this is a new drug only approved in the past two years it is too expensive for many patients who would benefit from it ($32,000 per year) and many insurance policies do not cover it. Due to this situation, some physicians specializing in cannabinoid medicine will recommend and direct patients to a licensed, legal dispensary or grower in a legal cannabis state to obtain cannabinoid products and raw plant material which has been tested under state regulations. At no time will a licensed healthcare provider represent or recommend brands to patients–a violation of medical ethics–in particular healthcare providers will not recommend MLM products to patients. Providers that violate these ethics should be reported to licensing boards immediately.
Whether the patient is prescribed Epidiolex, or obtaining cannabis products via physician recommendation through a legal, licensed dispensary, the patient should be under supervision of a physician in regards to any and all medications being used with CBD or replaced by CBD.
Suffice to say that no one should use a mainstream retail or MLM CBD product to replace any prescription medication or to cure or treat any disease or condition.
Thinking rationally about using CBD supplements:
Legalized cannabis and hemp are one of the most exciting societal changes taking place in the 21st century. It’s understandable why many people want to try these products! If you want to enjoy these newly legal products you can do this safely, sanely, and without breaking your budget.
It’s important to keep in mind that these retail consumer products are for leisure, relaxation, and well-being–not to cure and treat disease. Products which are enthusiastic about compliance with the FDA, quality products made with USA-grown cannabis hemp, and provide clear third-party test results not only for level of CBD but also extensive testing for contamination, along with a sensible price-point are a good choice as a supplement. CBD products are great for consumers who may not enjoy the psychoactive effects of THC and other cannabinoids–but would like to experience a sober form of relaxation.
Simply said: MLM CBD product companies are more expensive and may or may not be the same or lesser quality than any other retail CBD product. And unfortunately, CBD MLM products always come with an aggressive customer sales force making predatory disease curing claims on social media–and when they aren’t doing that, they’re having a less than enthusiastic attitude about FDA compliance. Don’t support this business model.