After 40 years of trading, the American Christian bookseller CBD has been forced to change its name after customers in search of a different kind of balm – the cannabis-derived compound CBD – ended up in the wrong place.
Christian Book Distributors, also known as CBD, was started four decades ago by brothers Ray and Stephen Hendrickson, selling Christian books, Bibles, home-schooling materials, toys and games. But the company has announced that the rising popularity of cannabidiol, the legal cannabis-derived chemical known as CBD, has begun to cause some unfortunate customer errors.
“Across the country, people see signs for ‘CBD sold here’, which creates brand confusion,” said the company in a statement. “In the past, a Google search for ‘CBD’ would place our company at the top of the results page. Now our CBD is nowhere to be found in the search results, only sites for the cannabis product are listed.”
Acknowledging that “this wave of popularity over the ‘other CBD’ is not likely to subside”, Christian Book Distributors is to stop calling itself CBD, dropping “Distributors” from its company name, and operating henceforward under the name Christianbook.
“It just kind of overwhelms our brand,” Ray Hendrickson told the New York Times. “A person may call up and say, ‘Hey, I’m looking for my order’. It’s like, ‘What did you order? ‘Oh, I ordered gummies.’ You don’t have the right company.’”
According to research from the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis, the market for CBD in the UK could be worth almost £1bn a year by 2025. Cannabidiol, which does not get users high, is being hailed as a treatment for a range of diseases, available in everything from bath bombs to truffles.
“I was driving my mom down the road recently,” Hendrickson told the paper. “She saw a sign that said ‘CBD sold here.’ I was like, ‘No, mom. That’s not us.’”