CBD to the Rescue: The Top CBD Brands That Helped Influencers and Consumers Cope With 2020

Taylor Masket
Taylor Masket
Jan 20, 2021

2021 is finally here—let’s all take a moment to breathe a collective sigh of relief. While we hope that most of last year’s events stay in the past, 2020 also sparked the rise of several trends that we expect to continue well into and beyond this year. One such trend that took over was the focus on self-care. It’s no surprise that wellness content skyrocketed in 2020, as influencers (along with the rest of us) looked for ways to cope with such a stressful year. One wellness category that came to the rescue? CBD. 

Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a natural ingredient found in the Cannabis Sativa plant that is becoming widely celebrated for its anxiety-reducing, pain-relieving properties—without the psychoactive “high” of THC. Despite CBD’s increasing popularity and market share, advertising restrictions make marketing hemp-derived products tricky—an obstacle that has led many of today’s top CBD brands to turn to social media influencers to help build brand awareness and reach new consumers. Keep reading to learn more about a few of the most popular CBD brands among influencers in 2020.

Equilibria & Dosist Bring Influencers the Perfect Dose of Calm

Although many consumer brands are beginning to harness the power of CBD in their product lineups, for many consumers, CBD remains relatively uncharted territory, and understanding how to introduce it to one’s routine can feel intimidating. That’s likely why CBD brands that build dosage guidance into their products and services stand out among the competition. Equilibria is one such brand that splashed onto influencers’ radars in 2020. Created by women, for women, the brand offers a range of consumable and topical CBD products in the form of softgels, oils, and creams. Additionally, Equilibria promises “premium CBD with personalized support”—included with every Equilibria purchase is a complimentary consultation with one of the brand’s “Dosage Specialists” to help consumers find the right CBD routine for their bodies and needs. 

In 2020, influencers raved online about how Equilibria’s curated lineup of hemp-powered products made a “huge difference” in managing their anxiety and stress levels—which most admitted were sky-high last year—as well as improving their sleep quality. In fact, some content creators crowned Equilibria the “MVP of 2020” and their “2020 Lifesaver.” In addition to enjoying organic enthusiasm, the social media savvy brand also built out its community of official brand partners in 2020: #EquilibriaPartner and #MyEq drove a respective $335.9k EMV and $330.1k EMV between January and December as two of Equilibria’s top three hashtags. Overall, the brand’s skyrocketing popularity is undeniable: Equilibria garnered $10.4M EMV from 630 influencers across a notable 15.0k posts in 2020, representing respective 1.5k%, 473%, and 2.3k% year-over-year surges.

An advertisement for Equilibria’s Brilliance Box set.

Another brand winning over the digital community by taking the guesswork out of CBD consumption is Dosist. With a mission to empower consumers to “naturally manage their health and happiness through dose-controlled cannabis therapy,” Dosist’s innovative dose-controlled pens deliver a range of targeted CBD and THC formulas in precise doses every time—which helps consumers and influencers like Eva Redpath (@evaredpath on Instagram) “feel safe knowing what I’m going to experience.” Bloggers frequently shouted out the brand in their self-care content last year, many of whom included the pens in their “quarantine survival kits” and shared how they help “reduce anxiety.” In all, Dosist scored mentions from 145 content creators between January and December, collecting $235.2k EMV.

Pure Kana & Charlotte’s Web Support Muscle (and Mental) Recovery

Anxiety isn’t the only thing influencers turned to CBD for in 2020—content creators also enthused about how the ingredient’s anti-inflammatory properties helped provide daily pain relief and speed up muscle recovery. Pure Kana, a brand boasting “CBD you can trust” in the form of topical salves, capsules, and beverage enhancers, found an enthusiastic following in the athlete community. MMA fighters and Pure Kana partners Jon Jones (@jonnybones on Instagram) and Dustin Poirier (@dustinpoirier) ranked among the brand’s top five EMV-drivers from January to December by regularly tagging Pure Kana in their fitness content. Dustin called the brand’s range of topical CBD products “a must” for workout recovery and quipped, “Punch stuff, recover with @purekana CBD, repeat.” In all, Pure Kana’s $4.6M EMV last year reflected an 11% year-over-year growth.

An advertisement for Charlotte’s Web’s Hemp-Infused Balm with CBD.

Additionally, up-and-coming CBD brand Charlotte’s Web, which offers CBD formulas named for specific consumer goals including “Recovery” and “Sleep,” made its way into several wellness bloggers’ daily routines. YouTuber Renée Byrd lauded the brand’s Hemp-Infused Balm with CBD in both her “Apothecary Empties” and “Highly Sensitive Person Survival Kit” videos, sharing that she loves how she can use the product anywhere on her body and “always [keeps] a tin in my bag for general aches and pains.” Influencers detailed how they incorporated the brand’s range of CBD products, from topicals to oils to gummies, into their nightly rituals to help them relax their muscles and minds and get better sleep. Beauty blogger Erin Newberg (@mserinsita on Instagram) even claimed, “true story: CBD saved my existence.” The brand accrued $141.3k EMV from 131 influencers between January and December. 

While we certainly won’t miss 2020, we can rest assured that one of the few positive takeaways from the year—an increasing prioritization of self-care—is not going anywhere any time soon. And just as new anxieties will inevitably arise (but hopefully ones that are way less dreadful, please), we feel confident that you will continue to see market share grow for the CBD brands offering to help us weather the storm. To learn more about today’s top wellness trends, brands, and strategies, download Tribe Dynamics’ Influencer Marketing Playbook for Fitness, Health, and Wellness Brands.