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After observing a gender bias in how brands market THC and CBD products, Eric Balshin founded the Canadian company Yesterday Wellness to offer plant-based organic CBD products that appeal to women. Yesterday offers a variety of plant-based calming solutions with CBD hemp oil to help increase relaxation, decrease stress and improve joint pain.
For those who don’t know, CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound sourced from hemp plants. In fact, hemp owes much of its hype as a superfood to its high levels of CBD. However, the stigma surrounding marijuana has led to consumer hesitation when it comes to purchasing CBD products.
But, this stigma is misleading. Though marijuana contains CBD, the “high” that people associate with marijuana is actually caused by THC, not CBD – although, many people do experience improved moods with the use of CBD.
Women and CBD products
“When we started, there were two types of consumers,” says Balshin. “There was the male consumer who had a lot of experience with THC, and then there was the female consumer who didn’t have a lot of experience with THC and had a stigma surrounding CBD and THC.
“It’s all about how we get her to come across the line and realize this is a non-THC product. It’s non-psychoactive, it has a lot of self-care benefits for them and it’s something she should try.”
The business idea for Yesterday Wellness began as a way to fill a gap in how brands marketed CBD products. Balshin’s background in marketing and consumer research and his personal relationships with women illuminated the disproportionate number of men involved with CBD and THC, both as consumers and business owners.
“I didn’t feel like there were a lot of brands at the time who knew what [women] wanted and what [they] were after,” says Balshin. “From a personal side, my mom retired about eight years ago and went through a lot of stress and anxiety. I got her to try CBD, and I saw what it could do for her. My sister as well. I had a lot of these strong females in my life who were talking to me about CBD all the time and thought it was helpful.
“Things became pretty clear that this was an opportunity, and that there [was] a group of people that weren’t being properly spoken to … We only hired females from the first day we started because there was a gap, you know, me being a male and going after this specific audience.”
When brands lack gender diversity, marketing tends to cater to men. When speaking to female consumers, these brands often condescend or obscure the facts.
“A lot of brands were trying to hide stuff or slip stuff through, and women want [the brands they use] to be open and honest,” observes Balshin. “What works, what doesn’t? Tell us what your products are going to do, and we’ll try them for ourselves.”
CBD as self-care
Self-care often connotes indulgence or selfishness due to our having a culture that demands constant productivity. It tends to be a double standard for women, especially. Women are frequently boxed into the caretaker role, which carries a lot of responsibility and stress – but society often shames women when they take time to focus on their own health and goals.
After noticing all the hardworking women who needed long-term help with relaxation and stress management, Balshin realized the business potential of CBD oil as a self-care option for women.
“Self-care can come in a lot of different forms,” says Balshin. “You have to find a routine that’s right for you, whether that’s physical activity or some form of supplement. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that self-care is a journey. It takes time. It’s really all about finding these small changes that will make you feel better about yourself, and just sticking with them consistently.”
Yesterday Wellness wants to ensure that the brand-consumer relationship is an ongoing and open conversation.
“I think the biggest thing for us, and from a feedback perspective, [is] sometimes CBD oil doesn’t work for people. It takes a while, and you need to be consistent with it. So we’ve been trying to be really, really clear with our messaging that CBD oil is for everyone, but it takes time. If it doesn’t work for you, let us know and we’ll try to adjust it or give you your money back. We try to be really transparent. That’s what women want to see from the brands they like.”
Instead of manipulating female consumers into buying products, Yesterday Wellness wins over its consumers with tailored marketing and radical transparency. “It’s really about finding consumers who want to be part of the process over a long period of time,” says Balshin. “There’s no pressure here.”
Yesterday Wellness offers a range of CBD products including CBD oils for stress, softgels for sleep and balms for pain relief and recovery on their website with added options for monthly subscriptions and interest-free split payments.
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