The Role of Blockchain in the Cannabis Industry



Both blockchain and CBD are unfamiliar territories for most of us, but both of them are very much talked about in recent years. The legalization of cannabis as an agricultural crop has paved the way for CBD products such as gummies, candies, and tinctures to gain traction and become mainstream. Everywhere you go now, CBD-infused products ― creams, ointments, even pet supplies ― fill the shelves. Blockchain technology, on the other hand, made its public debut when bitcoin came to light sometime in 2008. Back then, blockchain has always only been linked to bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Eventually, investors have discovered the power of blockchain and how it can impact several industries such as healthcare, financial institutions, transportation, and insurance, among others.

Blockchain, simply put

To put it simply, blockchain is a digital ledger of transactions. Individual records are kept in blocks that are linked together, which will then comprise a chain. These blocks contain information on the persons participating in the transaction, among others, via digital signatures; the blocks are made indistinguishable via unique cryptographic codes called “hash.” Blockchain has the ability to store important information in a public space and will not allow anyone to remove them ― it is decentralized, time-stamped, and transparent. 

CBD and Blockchain

Now, what could be the role of blockchain in the cannabis industry? 

Blockchain’s popularity relies so much on transparency. In recent years, we’ve seen massive data breaches that compromised consumers’ personal data, which is why businesses are more particular with privacy and security now.  With the full chain visible, stored, and recorded from the beginning, blockchain technology aids in building trust between businesses and customers. CBD consumers can gain valuable insights on pricing, quality, and manufacturing processes of the products they purchase as these information are provided in unchangeable transaction records. 

CBD consumers need to make sure that they are buying 100% home-grown hemp-derived and organic products, in the same way that sellers need to prove them. Illegal CBD products could potentially harm consumers, and this is why having insight as to how the CBD product was made can give consumers peace of mind. The use of blockchain technology in CBD business transactions enables breeders, seeders, packagers, and delivery services to be connected and visible to one another, creating a transparent business relationship. 

Governments can also utilize blockchain technology in identifying illegal and unethical sale, manufacture, and consumption of cannabis. Through blockchain, governing bodies can track the supply chain of raw cannabis from seed to sale, and pinpoint where illegal practices are being done.

On the flip side, blockchain remains to have a murky reputation. Perhaps it is the lack of regulation that governs it in general; there are states and jurisdictions that have regulations in place, but it still remains to be largely unregulated. The limitation as to its standardization across different platforms is also an issue, as each platform tends to have its own set of codes, security measures, and language.

Final thoughts

Since the legal cannabis industry is still very young, only time will tell if blockchain and CBD are a match made in heaven. How blockchain’s transparency could benefit CBD sellers and consumers and how governments can track illegal practices in the industry are indeed promising. 

Author profile:

Heather Smith is the Communications Manager at Sunday Scaries. She’s a composed copywriter and content strategist. She’s also a CBD advocate, promoting a healthy lifestyle free of stress and scaries.