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First Came 4/20 and 7/10, Now There’s National CBD Day on 8/8

The quasi-legality of cannabidiol (CBD) has not stopped its momentum as the newest health craze and go-to wellness product. Touted for its reported ability to help with pain, sleeplessness, anxiety and depression, CBD is everywhere and in practically everything, from coffee and mocktails to beauty products and supplements.

It’s so ubiquitous and safely ensconced into mainstream commerce that consumers are rushing to buy the non-intoxicating, if still slightly rebellious, cannabis compound. And the CBD market shows no signs of abating. A recent analysis by BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research estimates that U.S. sales for CBD will exceed $20 billion by 2024. And that’s before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has officially sorted out how to regulate CBD post-2018 Farm Bill passage, which legalized hemp (from which CBD is largely derived) after more than 80 years of prohibition.

The Genesis of National CBD Day

Lazarus Naturals’ CBD/hemp farm

To celebrate the incredible growth of a formerly prohibited substance, one CBD company, cbdMD, reached out to National Day Calendar (NDC), a group that aggregates “fun days, food days, days marking milestones and even social media buzz” to pitch a CBD day. Last year, the NDC formerly designated August 8 as National CDB Day.

“The concept for National CBD Day came from cbdMD’s passion as an advocate for the cannabis community,” Danielle Crary, director of engagement for cbdMD tells Freedom Leaf. “We reached out to the NDC team to become the official founders of National CBD Day. During the course of the first National CBD Day in 2018, we noticed all of our competitors promoting the day and that’s when I knew we had a winner.”

More than simply adding yet another offbeat holiday to the national calendar, Crary thinks commemorating CBD on 8/8 can help to further destigmatize the cannabis industry by inviting a broader audience to learn about the plant’s overall benefits.

Critics Question the Need to Celebrate CBD

As cheery and harmless as National CBD Day may seem, the idea hasn’t gone over so well with some industry activists who see it as trivial when cannabis consumers are still be arrested and incarcerated in non-legal states and social equity measures struggle to take hold.

On August 1, the following tweets were posted:

@TheLivAlexander: First, they put millions of people in jail for cannabis. Now, they have a national CBD day. HMMM ok

@MaryyyStardust: Boycotting “National CBD Day” is the ethical thing to do when people (of color) are still sitting in prison — and *still* getting arrested — for non-violent cannabis offenses. We don’t need any more capitalistic “weed holidays” until this shit is figured out.

@margolinmadison: but why is “National CBD” day a thing? Instead of feeding $ into another marketing ploy, how about “National Social Equity Day” where we stop paying lip service to POC & ppl still incarcerated for mj & actually put our $ where our mouth is/donate to real causes, not corporate pot

John Roulac, founder and CEO of organic superfood company Nutiva and now founder and chief hemp officer of Boulder, Colorado-based RE Botanicals, chuckles when asked about National CBD Day. “It’s kind of entertaining,” he tells Freedom Leaf. “There are a lot of national days. I guess I would say if they have National Beer Day and National Popcorn Day, why not National CBD Day?”

The author of four books about hemp and 30-year veteran activist for hemp and ecology awareness, acknowledges the “wild west” nature of the current CBD industry, which continues to grow exponentially despite the lack of federal oversight. “The users of CBD should really be looking for transparency,” he says. “Ask how the CBD grown and processed. Be more diligent because, as someone who’s been in the industry for 20 years, I’ve never seen so many charlatans and BS. It’s unbelievable.”

Five CBD/Hemp Companies You Should Support

Green Lotus Hemp’s product line

With such a dizzying profusion of CBD products in the marketplace, consumers are left to discern good CBD from bad, with little guidance. There are a few things that people can look out for to help them find CBD that’s free from toxins like pesticides and heavy metals and is true to what the label advertises, such as buying CBD made from American-grown hemp and making sure companies like the ones below post easily accessible third-party test results.

  • Bluebird Botanicals, based in Louisville, Colorado, has assistance programs for veterans, low-income and the disabled, and supports and donates to causes like the Global Fund for Women, the American Cancer Society and the Autism Research Institute.
  • Green Lotus Hemp, based in Dallas, is veteran-owned and continues to pay it forward with a 25% discount program for current and former vets.
  • Joy Organics based in Fort Collins, Colorado, is family-run by husband-wife team Joy and Todd Smith and their children. They’ve created the Greater Hope Project to provide meals to child refugees at the Hope Primary School in Uganda.
  • Lazarus Naturals, based in Portland, Oregon, features an assistance program for people with long-term disabilities and low income as well as veterans.
  • Moon Mother Hemp, based in Boulder, Colorado, uses certified USDA locally grown organic hemp. Its products are handmade by co-owner Jessica Bates.

While 8/8 may be not be the next 4/20 or even 7/10, CBD and hemp only promise to become more ubiquitous, and any efforts to educate consumers about this growing trend are welcome.

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