CBD Boutiques Dissociate from Head Shops, Attract Specific Clientele

CBD product sales are up. This year, the FDA approved a CBD oil drug to treat infantile epilepsy. State legislators adapt or write drug bills to address mounting evidence that cannabidiol provides medicinal remedy for a broad spectrum of ailments. Depression, anxiety, arthritis, and even cancer are some of the illnesses affecting millions.

Sufferers of these illnesses lobby, petition, and vote to demand access to CBD, the more research reveals the plant’s benefits. The demand comes from varied demographics. People who need CBD are parents, retirees, and children. Physicians recommend cannabidiol to aide or supplement treatments to a growing number of patients from all walks of life. The average CBD user, then, is just that: Average. As legislation and social perspectives shift, emerging entrepreneurs seek to provide experiences devoid of the “stoner” stereotype.


The FDA recently approved Epidiolex, a cannabis-based drug, to treat epilepsy.

Shifting Clientele

A lot of the stigma stems from (no pun intended) the fact that CBD is a component of cannabis. Media and political profiling pegged the average cannabis user as a smelly, crusty hippie trope. Until recently, local markets’ CBD sales funneled almost entirely through smoke shops and adult stores, thanks to said longstanding stigma. Someone out looking to buy CBD for arthritis does not want to have to buy it from a “head shop,” probably less so a “porn shop.” People taking CBD today are a far cry from the Cheech and Chong imagery typified in cannabis culture.

A New Way to Shop

CBD is still a niche industry, even as it gains popularity. As it does, though, one benefit is that the niche is no longer in the product itself. Instead, businesses can focus on catering to specialized market demographics. In Knoxville, Tennessee, a local CBD shop makes a proprietary oil and fits its aesthetic to serve “an older, female suburbanite with chronic pain,” according to the manager. These shops focus their branding and marketing on “health,” “beauty,” or “wellness.”

Todd Collins’ CBD shop in Oklahoma adopted a minimalist aesthetic, further distancing his store from the stereotype of a head shop.

Shops all over the country project that their stores are invested in their patrons’ wellbeing. Business owners see their stores as hopeful fixtures of their communities, instead of new age, hippie shops. Todd Collins set up his store in Oklahoma with “retail space for skin care, bath, beauty and cosmetics, organic foods, pet products, essential oils and jewelry,” according to News OK. The location’s “kitchen area is already set up to be converted into squeezed vegetable and juice bar — served with and without CDB,” News OK reports.

Besides, It’s Not Weed

Stereotypes aside, commercial CBD used in the majority of available products doesn’t even come from cannabis. CBD is primarily extracted from industrial hemp. THC-heavy CBD products are only for sale where medicinal or recreational cannabis is legal. In most states, CBD legislation refers only to hemp-based extracts. Hemp-derived CBD must contain no more than 0.3% THC.

We know more about CBD and its effects than ever before, and it’s literally changing lives. Laws are enacted or modified to accommodate a fast growing need by an expanding number of people. As more people discover the benefits of CBD in their lives, they will seek out the consumer experiences comfortable for them. We likely can expect to see specialized CBD retailers crop up (okay, that pun was intended) a lot more.

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