“Weed” Marketing for CBD Vape Is Dopey

“Weed” Marketing for CBD Vape Is Dopey

Cannabis-Culture CBD Branding Makes No Sense


“Most have no brand relevancy or purpose and are woefully inept at creating brand experience. Without these pillars of modern brand building, brands (cannabis or not) will fail, and those that pay utmost attention to brand trust and experience will quickly become the leaders. Some already are.

These brands’ “why” is more potent and translatable than their competitors’. Simply slapping pot-centric celebrities like Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg and Bob Marley on brands don’t provide the trust and relevancy than a clear purpose can for a brand.”

Original source: https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/cannabis-brands-need-to-establish-a-purpose-that-doesnt-rely-on-marijuana-puns/

Hemp is Not Ganja.

Hemp and marijuana are not the same. So why are marketers insistent on pretending they are?

OK sure, cannabis and hemp are varieties of the same plant.

But they are far apart as to why people use them. And their respective markets vastly different.

And we are seeing that the recreational marijuana market has been overestimated, while the CBD market seems to have no limits.

Of course there is some overlap, but dumb, cannabis-culture marketing for CBD vape products is confusing and actually hurts the CBD/hemp movement.

Hemp Movement and Weed: An Intertwined History

jack Herer hemp activist

Keep in mind, we all owe a debt of gratitude to the cannabis subculture for the availability of CBD.

The hemp movement was started by pot smokers as a sincere first step toward the goal of legal weed.

Heroes like Jack Herer  (and to a lesser extent celebs like Woody Harrelson) were on the front lines – building widespread acceptance of hemp as a useful agricultural crop – with tremendous health benefits.

They stressed the differences between industrial hemp and marijuana.

And this was before we really knew anything about CBD.

So what was the first thing marketers did once hemp became legal?  They started blurring the lines again by marketing hemp and CBD like it’s weed. 

They started trotting out the names of classic strains of pot for their CBD vape cartridges – Grandaddy Purp, Blue Cheese, Pineapple Express.

The brand names, the colors and packaging all point to the hippie-ish, pot counter culture.

And frankly, from a purely commercial perspective, it simply does not have wide appeal.

CBD Vape and Weed Need Different Approaches

Guy high on weed smiling
Let’s be honest, CBD doesn’t get you baked

I don’t get it. I only had one college class in marketing.

But I’m really not sure who the target demographic is. Pot heads? Gen Xer’s  who don’t smoke weed but want to feel a bit naughty? Like who?

Vaping CBD is not like smoking THC. It should be a wellness tool – used strategically, not recreationally.

Vaping hemp extract has absolutely nothing to do with the stoner lifestyle. Marketing it as such is confusing and it’s one of the many dumb things going on with CBD vaping right now that is not helpful to its future.

People vape CBD to feel normal. – to ease anxiety, depression and pain.  That’s not very sexy from a marketing standpoint.

But that’s why it needs a more thoughtful, creative approach than the Cheech and Chong treatment.

On the other hand, for example, the MMA/athlete angle is brilliant. It’s appealing and it shows the real purpose of vaping CBD.


I believe that hemp(CBD) and cannabis will eventually be viewed distinctly in the public’s mind. They already are by the FDA.

CBD vape brands that get it will be far ahead when that happens.  The brands that continue to blur the differences will be gone like a wisp of vapor.


John Astrab


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