Is CBD Essential?

During our global pandemic emergency, businesses have faced the painful decision of having to close, either due to lack of business or to protect the health of their employees and customers, or because of a government mandate for shuttering “non-essential” businesses.

But what one person thinks of as non-essential, others think otherwise. States continue to allow grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations and clinics to remain open, while most are allowing restaurants to remain open for curbside pickup and delivery only. Pharmacies of course, remain available as well. But what about CBD shops? State and local rules on whether CBD is considered “essential” during the pandemic is hit-and-miss. Nonetheless, consumers have come to rely on CBD to treat everything from ordinary pain to stress and anxiety.

Many specialty retailers selling hemp and CBD products in their brick-and-mortar stores have been told that their shops are non-essential, a designation that makes little sense as states where marijuana is legally available have declared marijuana dispensaries to be essential. The majority of companies in the legal cannabis business are allowed to remain open because of this designation, and of course those cannabis dispensaries which also happen to sell CBD are allowed to continue selling CBD. There is still some inconsistency in marijuana-legal states though, as cannabis shops remain open and shops that sell CBD but not cannabis are sometimes forced to close. State-licensed marijuana dispensaries in California and Colorado are allowed to continue operations, for example. In Ohio, businesses selling CBD are not essential (but medical marijuana is seen as essential).

Unfortunately across the country the rules for CBD stores are inconsistent. In Florida, many CBD stores have been forced to close (but not all of them) because of permit issues. And while hemp production has been declared essential by the federal government, retail sales of hemp-derived CBD is not universally accepted as essential, and it depends on the state or municipality.

Consumers need to have continued access to CBD during this time of increased stress and anxiety. As is the case with many different types of consumer items, those who rely on CBD for stress, pain and anxiety are increasingly looking towards Internet-based retailers to fill the need. Many consumers have resorted to home delivery and Internet-based ordering for everything from toilet paper to CBD, and online CBD vendors have certainly noticed a major surge in their businesses, and consumers need to take care to find a reliable vendor. NugRepublic.com is an example of an ethical online retailer with a trustworthy reputation.

Unfortunately this surge in online retail sales has also given rise to opportunistic vendors, and consumers need to ensure that they are purchasing their CBD from an established and reliable vendor. Consumers looking to buy CBD online should follow a few simple rules before making that purchase:

  1. Is the online vendor brand new? How long have they been in business? Look for one with a reputation and good online reviews before buying.
  2. Look at the URL. Does it seem relevant? A common trick is to purchase an expired domain which still has traffic, and use it to take advantage of a new demand. URLs with foreign extensions, irrelevant monikers or random clusters of letters are less likely to be reliable.
  3. Look for a retailer with a good cross-section of CBD products, including CBD vape oils, tinctures, and edibles. Do some research before buying and decide what type of product is best for you, and whether a full-spectrum product or isolate might be best for your given situation.