Public reaction to the proliferating trade in herbal supplements ranges from enthusiasm through cynicism and amused mockery to outright alarm. To many alternative medicine provides exciting new options whilst others still consider it cranky and faddish.
The pharmaceutical industry angrily dismisses it as unscientific and its claims as unsubstantiated. Others dismiss these concerns as self-interested and unfair. So what should we make of the growing market in alternative remedies?
Probably the most controversial and contentious area of debate is that surrounding the use of marijuana, whether for medical use or for recreational purposes. There is certainly much evidence to suggest that cannabis oils, known as CBDs, have a therapeutic effect for those who endure pain as a consequence of such conditions as multiple sclerosis. Some states are relaxing their laws in response to such findings, others are doubling down on restrictions and prohibitions.
A Tentative Change in Outlook
Recognizing the cautious changes which exist in public perceptions and in legislation, those small business people who seek to engage in an open and honest trade in cannabinoids and CBDs are charged with the responsibility of steering a course between the desire to educate and their obligations before the law. Already in 33 of America’s 50 states the use of cannabis is permitted for medicinal purposes. Mexico, Luxembourg and New Zealand are amongst nation states proposing to do likewise.
It is possible openly to order shatter online today. It comes in a wide range of varieties that those unfamiliar with the substance might find surprising. Trade is open, honest and responsible, with the necessary disclaimers and caveats all in place for everybody to see.
The Law Surrounding Recreational Use
In many jurisdictions the law has gone further and legalized cannabis for recreational as well as for medical use. This is the case in South Africa, as well as in substantial areas of North America. In most of South America and parts of Australia it is illegal but decriminalized, which may appear to be an oxymoron but effectively allows for sensible recreational use. In large swathes of Europe anti-cannabis laws remain in place but are not enforced, save for those who profit from it on a large scale. Russia, China and most of Africa still take a less tolerant approach.
There is scope for SMEs to trade in herbal and other alternative medicines and recreational substances, and increasingly this is being taken up by small, web-based businesses. The format usually involves a gallery of images of the various options on offer and a shopping cart inviting payment by credit or debit card, or sometimes through PayPal. It operates fairly much along the lines of any other online business, save for the fact that sellers protect themselves by fielding all suitable disclaimers and citing restrictions on trade where appropriate.
Herbal remedies have a vital role to play in the modern economy and recognizable brands in both supply and distribution have emerged from within the industry. All indications are that this will continue to flourish.