Repeating History: CBD & Manuka Honey

The lessons CBD can learn from Manuka


On the face of it Manuka honey and CBD don’t have many similarities.  Manuka is a type of honey made from a single plant, the Manuka bush  – an expensive honey sold as an alternative medicine with global sales exceeding $940m.  However, the journey that took Manuka honey to the point where it is today both in terms of customer trust, appreciation and understanding is the same journey that CBD finds itself on.

Health benefits

Both Manuka and CBD have had numerous health benefits attached to them, and this is what has created its overall popularity either as a product to treat sore throats, digestion or overall wellbeing (in the case of Manuka) or to help anxiety, sleep and overall balance of the body systems (as is the case with CBD).  These products are part of a larger and faster growing trend towards healthier lifestyles, and one in which Cannabis is at the heart of.

Premium products

Both Manuka and CBD are premium health products. Manuka gets its value from the fact that the bush only flowers for a couple of weeks each year making it hard to produce in large quantities.  CBD on the other hand is a molecule extracted from the Indica dominant strains of Cannabis or Hemp plants, the difference in quality and strengths is dictated by the way the plant is grown, how the CBD is extracted and processed and ultimately how much the brand cares about the consumer.

The Manuka scandal

Manuka has a problem and it is similar to the one facing respectable CBD producers and companies who have to compete with the peddling of fake, substandard or blended products – some of which do not even contain one drop of CBD. With Manuka the numbers do not add up, New Zealand’s leading Manuka association states that the country produces between 1,700 and 3,000 tonnes a year, this is at odds with the UK annual consumption of 1,800 tonnes and a global figure of 10,000 tonnes. The sheer quantity of fake Manuka is frightening and this is something that at this very moment is being seen with the rise of sub-standard CBD appearing on our shelves.

To take this further it seems as though some honey makers are not able to understand that their Manuka is real! Such is the complexity of the unique antibacterial profile and its similarity to other honey. A lot of honey buyers who buy in bulk and blend or package their honey for us are not even sure if what they are buying is real or fake – this is the case with CBD brands starting up who are buying bulk oil or white labelling their products without any real understanding of the plant or of CBD.

What it means for the consumer

As a customer, producer, extractor we all must be discerning. As most CBD brands are created by white-labelled bulk bought CBD – each batch of this CBD is bought separately without consistency throughout. Walking into a health store we have no idea if the product is real, or if it contains the 5, 10 or 20% CBD that it purports to have on the label – we all want to be able to trust, but at the same time the consumer has to be educated on the product to know what they are buying.

What is DAYZED trying to do? / Why does it matter?

DAYZED, put simply, is trying to help this process by weeding out the bad products and promoting and selling the best in class.  In addition to this, just as Manuka has introduced a form of packaging and classification (the UMF value) that customers had to learn before finally accepting the quality of product, we are expecting that CBD and other cannabinoids will have to simplify their product strength rather than the rafts of numbers and values that are currently produced on everything from oil to tea.

It is a long-term objective and we hope to be able to help this process so everyone can enjoy the highest quality CBD products.

It should be simple!

Robin Janaway