It's hard to believe, but that delicious watermelon flavored CBD gummy you just bought was once a mound of hemp. And through the magic of extraction technology, that pile of hemp was turned into CBD oil. Then it took a few more stops along the way before it reached its final delicious form.
Before the plant becomes a tasty treat it travels through a lengthy supply chain. The journey from farm to shelf is a long one, but with the right CBD supply chain, it's possible to have a smooth trip.
Here, we discuss each step in the CBD supply chain, and how stakeholders interact with one another to create a thriving industry.
The definition of a supply chain is simple — a system that moves a product from the raw material to the end-user. A supply chain itself is anything but! And the CBD supply chain is no different.
The CBD supply chain is an interconnected process that starts with the manufacturing of the hemp, goes through extraction, and ends with the CBD sales.
Some CBD companies own and have oversight over multiple parts of the supply chain — for example, some CBD retailers may also be the CBD manufacturer and wholesaler.
Though, typically there are many stakeholders involved in the biz including hemp farmers, processors, CBD wholesalers, CBD distributors, and CBD retailers.
The federally-legal CBD on the shelves starts out as hemp. And as an agricultural product, hemp requires extensive growing, harvesting, and processing.
The first step is planting hemp seeds or plant starts. Hemp seed companies specialize in selling seeds to farmers — seeds of many different hemp varieties. These different varieties will impact the cannabinoid, flavonoid, and terpene makeup in the hemp plant.
After planting seeds, it's all about letting nature take its course until the plant is ready to harvest.
But along the way, you have farmers ensuring the hemp plants are getting all of their nutrients. Farming also involves integrated pest management strategy, irrigation supplies, and cultivation technologies — not to mention all the employees necessary to maintain the farm.
The purer the hemp, the purer the CBD. The overall quality of the finished product is affected by the level of care and attention farmers put into the growing process.
Things that impact hemp quality:
High-quality, organic growing practices produce organic hemp that can then be turned into a top-tier CBD oil. (Ahem, like ours!)
Next, the harvested hemp is ready to be turned into byproducts, like CBD. To make CBD, the hemp is processed to draw out the CBD as a highly-concentrated oil.
This is typically done by a company specializing in extraction. This middleman then sells the oil in bulk to different CBD manufacturing companies.
You can read all about Pure Craft’s chosen CBD extraction in our article: What Is CO2 Extraction & Why’s It A Good Thing For My CBD?
CBD manufacturing companies are responsible for creating the different types of CBD products — from CBD oils, CBD water solubles, CBD gummies, CBD softgels, CBD topicals, CBD vapes, and more. It’s during the manufacturing phase that other ingredients may be combined with the CBD extract to craft all these formulations.
CBD products should be manufactured in GMP compliant facilities to ensure tight quality control.
While many retailers outsource the manufacturing, at Pure Craft, we’re fiercely passionate about our CBD gummies and handcraft them in-house.
Lab testing is a must before the CBD oil ever gets packaged for sale. No matter what, CBD should be tested to ensure purity and a quality product.
At Pure Craft, we test each batch of CBD oil on-premises. We also get it tested by an independent third-party lab for complete transparency. CBD retailers who get third-party lab testing done will have a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for their products, so you can check the results yourself.
The CBD wholesale manufacturer may connect with different brands who want to put their own brand labels on the CBD products.
CBD wholesale distributors will work with these different businesses and their needs to provide them with products that will eventually face customers.
CBD retailers offer products from the manufacturer directly to consumers. Sometimes the wholesale CBD manufacturer may also be the one selling directly to the consumer.
Of course, retail sales involves the retail store (brick-and-mortar or online), including all employees and related costs.
All these steps lead to the final step: A consumer buying a CBD product. Hey, that’s you (we hope!).
It’s worth mentioning that among and between each stage of development are other supply chain participants. These are the folks who are doing things like shipping, packaging, and warehousing. Necessary stuff to keep the whole system flowing!
The CBD supply chain is complex. Many stakeholders are involved in the chain and each contributes to the final CBD product.
The best CBD oil starts with high quality hemp — and it takes a dedicated team of farmers, processors, and manufacturers to convert hemp seed → hemp biomass → CBD extract → finished CBD products.
Reputable CBD companies will be transparent about the source of their hemp and the quality and compliance standards they follow (farming standards, GMP compliance, and lab testing).
If all these supply chain stakeholders are the links, you — the consumer — are the clasp that keeps it all together in a continuous cycle. So go enjoy your CBD goods! And maybe ponder what it took to get it into your hands.
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