If there’s one product in the cannabis niche that has captured our attention its CBD, the non-psychoactive compound found in hemp and marijuana. What started as experimentation for ‘alternative medicine’ enthusiasts and potheads quickly grew into a billion-dollar industry and now everywhere you look there’s a new CBD-infused product on sale. There’s even talk of Coca-Cola making their own CBD drink complete with all the health benefits of cannabidiol – presumably without the a amount of sugar.
CBD is favored for its versatility
You can find everything from ice cream to beauty products and food recipes with CBD; and for a lot of these industries, the gradual rise of the alternative medicine community presents a unique challenge to establish oneself as an authority in a broad market. From making topical treatments for athletes, creating skin care products for acne, and making anti-anxiety medication, CBD has been positioned as a cure-all treatment for people who don’t want to get high or impair their judgment. This describes a huge section of the population, some of whom have lifelong conditions like chronic pain; and the knowledge that pharmaceuticals can cause side effects leads many of these people to try CBD.
There have been legal challenges in the rise of CBD
CBD has been growing amidst a legal battle between legislators and the marijuana industry; and in fact the entire CBD market has been growing in what is legally a grey area. As you can expect, cannabis is still subject to a system of state regulations, but due to the non-psychoactive nature of cannabidiol, most state laws allow the purchase and use of CBD for medical and recreational purposes.
A growing interest in cannabis
In a report published in the Business Insider, expert analysts at the investment bank Cowen pointed out CBD as a massive investment opportunity for the next decade. What makes this product so valuable is the extent to which it can be applied in industries such as health care, food, and even tech. For a while now, experts have been predicting that the entire cannabis industry would expand at a highly increasing rate at least until 2022. This article published in the Rolling Stone predicted the CBD market alone will be worth $22 billion by the year 2022.
Until about five years ago, CBD was mostly available in head shops, and a few doctors recommended it for treating pain and anxiety. But all this changed quickly, because by 2017, the industry was worth over half a billion dollars and market analysts were expecting it to grow by 50 times over the next four years.
Bethany Gomez, director of research at Brighton Group describes it as an ‘explosion’, the way we’ve seen a rise in face masks, topicals, and skin care products infused with CBD. One can assume this trend will continue as people introduce more ways to use cannabidiol.
The science behind CBD
Most of what you’ll read online about CBD’s healing benefits have to do with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS); which is part of our complex system of neurons, brain chemistry, and hormones. The ECS is responsible for regulating basic impulses such as pain and mood. What experts believe is that cannabidiol, which interacts with the ECS to cause therapeutic effects such as pain de-sensitivity and proper neurological function, might be useful in managing some of the most common ailments today.
For a while this industry was hindered by federal restrictions, but a lot of that is changing due to lobbying and part of the medical community which is pushing for approval of CBD as a legitimate medicine for some conditions. This isn’t hard to imagine, considering the FDA formally approved a CBD-based drug for treating a rare form of epilepsy.
Large companies are investing in CBD, and that makes it an even more popular investment prospect, however there is much that science doesn’t yet know about CBD – for instance its long term effects on humans, or how using high doses might impact brain function in younger users.
Canopy Growth is one of the companies investing millions of dollars into CBD research with the goal of finding new ways to make everyday products with CBD, and the medical community has been influential here, with publications of research projects that support the use of cannabidiol for different ailments.
There’s every indication that more sections of our demographics will be using CBD on a daily basis, and of course the campaign to push CBD as medicine lays in the fact that it doesn’t make you high. Since it doesn’t appear on drug tests, and it reduces anxiety to boost cognitive function according to some tests, then we can expect it in the workplace as well.