Let’s not forget that CBD brands are also active participants in the cannabis industry—although products vary in compounds, contents, and intended use, the industry is made up of Cannabis and CBD brands alike.
As a brand in the cannabis space, naturally we like to indulge in cannabis consumption just as much as the next person—it helps transcend a good brainstorm sesh, it’s a great addition to a midday walk to keep ideas flowing, and it’s perfect to help us wind down after a long day.
Marketing in Cannabis
The name of the game in today’s digital landscape is creating a brand persona. The most successful brands stand out by giving themselves a three dimensional personality that translates across social media identity, brand voice, products, and even experiences.
As brands fight for the attention of social-media-scrollers, they understand that viewers no longer simply ~consume~ advertising; instead, they want to engage with a brand, preferably through means of social media. This means making content that is relatable and conversational to help establish a dialogue, and hopefully even a relationship, with an audience.
As a result, many cannabis brands are leaning into a narrative that glorifies smoking and other forms of consumption. You know the content we’re talking about, the kind that says, “you deserve a smoke break” at 10 am, or the memes of celebrities holding tightly to their possessions, captioning them as “me and my edibles”, or joints, juuls, weed, etc. Ultimately, this content contributes to a narrative that cannabis use is necessary at every waking moment similarly to the “wine me” culture created by alcohol corporations.
From a marketing standpoint, of course this makes sense. If this were the fitness industry, and we were all boutique fitness studios fighting for the attention of social media users, we’d be glorifying fit lifestyles, insinuating that work outs should be a daily ritual, creating a sense of necessity for our product.
But the thing is, everything in moderation. Much like fitness, cannabis has its time and place.
As cannabis consumers ourselves, and team members of a rising brand in the industry, it feels strange to highlight the fact that cannabis should be used in moderation, and may not always be appropriate depending on the situation, and that maybe we shouldn’t be idealizing or romanticizing its use.
However, as is the truth with anything, moderation is key. As brands with a platform, don’t we have some sense of obligation to amplify that message?
Let’s consider for a moment if we were brands in the alcohol industry—it would be irresponsible of us to push a narrative that says it’s okay to drink at waking hours before work, on a lunch break, and immediately after work, or market the idea that drinking is an acceptable way of coping with anxiety and other emotions.
Of course alcohol and cannabis are completely different, but both are powerful substances that should be consumed responsibly. As cannabis brands, we have a responsibility to ensure that our content is sending the right message, especially to impressionable viewers.
A recent study conducted at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health reported that engagement with cannabis brands and marketing on social media dramatically increased the likelihood of cannabis consumption amongst teens between the ages of 15–19 years old.
We all remember what it’s like to be a teenager (yikes), and may recall that those formative years are some of the most challenging to navigate. Anxiety and depression are extremely common among teenagers, in fact, The National Institute of Mental Health reported that about 3.2 million teens between the ages of 12—17 had at least one major depressive episode in the last 12 months. The thing to keep in mind is that these adolescents might not have access to mental health resources, or they might not be encouraged to prioritize mental health in a safe setting, making them even more susceptible to marketing of substances that can aid anxiety or depression.
It’s important that we destigmatize cannabis at the same rate that we destigmatize mental health, especially among our teen audiences, making it clear one is not a substitute for another. It’s our obligation to market our products consciously, making it clear that cannabis is not a quick fix for depression, anxiety, stress, or a means of coping with emotions.
Moderation & Education
Make no mistake here, we consider ourselves connoisseurs of the plant too and have made it our company’s mission to share its healing properties with our audience.
However, we’re also making it our mission to educate our readers so that they can consume responsibly.
It’s important to remember that health is holistic. CBD and cannabis can be extremely beneficial to our health—we know they can help with relieving muscle soreness, they can do wonders for our skin, they can help alleviate (not eliminate) anxiety, and they can help regulate bodily functions like sleep, appetite, mood, memory, liver function, and muscle formation, among other things.
Increased stress, anxiety and the presence of paranoia can lead to a slew of health issues, even physically. Anxiety alone can lead to gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory issues, and heart disease among other things.
While yes, the plant has a lot to offer our mental and physical health, maintaining overall health is a balancing act. Everyone’s journey with the plant is different, but the message here is that cannabis can be a moving part in maintaining our health, but not the whole picture. It’s best used in conjunction with other measures taken to maintain our natural state, such as talk therapy, physical therapy, meditation, fueling our body with the right nutrients, staying active, and everything else we do to feel our best.
We asked Alexis to share with us a few things that she does to stay grounded and maintain her mental health in addition to using CBD or cannabis:
“I have a small group of people that I know I can rely on to help keep my mental health in check. My sisters, my friends, my mom are always just a phone call away. If its work related I have a group of women in the industry I know I can count on to bounce me back into place. I recently started particpating in monthly group therapy chats with a small group of women lead by Lindsey Mathews Coffee Talk’s. Journaling is another great way to check in with myself and find my baseline. And when I’m really struggling, I head outside to reconnect with nature.”
Here at RB, we’re committed to educating our readers so that they can make an informed decision about whether CBD and cannabis are right for them—and if so, we’re here to offer our guidance on best practices for consumption.
Kat Frey is a Brooklyn based writer, who originally hails from The Wing. Kat has historically worked with women-lead brands, and her writing spans from culture and cannabis, to overall health and wellness. When she’s not busy writing for Rosebud CBD, she spends her time thumbing through The Cut, Man Repeller, and T Magazine, or listening to Las Culturistas. Her favorite form of self care is adding our 350mg tincture to homemade face and hair masks!