CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a compound extracted from the hemp plant. CBD is known to help a wide variety of health issues such as anxiety, stress, chronic pain, insomnia, inflammation, diabetes, epilepsy, and more. Unlike THC, which is a psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis plants, CBD is not psychoactive and will not cause you to feel high. The popularity of CBD has skyrocketed and what started as an alternative health treatment has become a worldwide craze and one of the fastest-growing industries.
Here’s everything you need to know about CBD, the growing trends, and government regulation.
How fast is the CBD industry growing?
The demand for CBD for health and wellness purposes is growing due to its healing properties. In 2020, the global market for CBD was valued at USD 2.8 billion and was expected to expand at a compound annual growth (CAGR) of 21.2% from 2021 to 2028. According to the Global CBD Market 2021-2025, the CBD industry is expected to grow by $29.91 billion during 2021-2025 progressing at a compound annual growth of 26.93% during this period. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused lockdowns all over the world, affecting every industry and consumer behaviours. The CBD market declined by 6.1% from 2019 to 2020. According to the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI), the UK is the second-largest consumer of cannabinoids after the US and spends more on cannabis extracts than vitamins B and C combined. In 2019, the Centre for Medical Cannabis in the UK estimated the CBD market to generate £526 million in annual sales by 2021. In 2020, UK’s largest marketplace for CBD products, Alphagreen.io, suggested that more than £150 million were spent on CBD products in the UK alone in the first four months of 2020 and was expected to reach £690 million by the end of 2021. Chief Executive Officer at CBD investment firm Greencare Capital plc, Richard Tonthat believes that the CBD market in the UK is growing due to the pandemic and many consumers sought to experiment with CBD products to help treat pain, sleep, and stress. CBD has also benefited from the trend towards supplements and plant-based diets.
What are the most popular CBD products in the UK?
CBD products are available in three forms: full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate. Full-spectrum CBD is the type of CBD that has all the components of cannabis plants including up to 0.3 per cent THC. CBD products with this amount of THC is considered federally legal. Broad-spectrum CBD has all the components of cannabis plants except THC, while CBD Isolate only has pure CBD with no other components from cannabis plants. CBD products are also available in a range of products including CBD oils and tinctures, which are CBD-infused liquids applied sublingually. CBD topicals are directly applied to the skin or affected area, while CBD vape juices are taken by inhalation or with a vaporizer. CBD edibles and capsules are an alternative that is taken through ingestion. CBD topicals, oils and tinctures usually take effect within 15 minutes after taking and applying them. Vaping CBD is the fastest way to consume CBD as it goes directly to your lungs. CBD capsules and edibles usually take effect within 45 to 1 hour as they need to pass through your digestive system. Some of the most popular brands that sell CBD products in the UK are Zen Bears, a local manufacturer of CBD gummy bears and FourFiveCBD who was founded by professional rugby players George Kruis and Dom Day.
What the Industry entrepreneurs say about CBD trends 2022
According to Rebecca Hughes, Head of Sales and Operations of Orange County CBD, the pandemic had a positive impact on the CBD market. It has become the people’s way of dealing with issues such as insomnia, anxiety, relaxation, and others. But not everyone feels this way. Tim Clarke, Managing Director of Cannaray, a CBD company in London, suggests that not all sectors are positively affected by this market growth, including groceries and pharmacies. He also said that once CBD is regulated, this will open new avenues of growth for companies. Mike Sills, CEO of Sunday Scaries, also a CBD company, believes that CBD has become a huge business and is expected to be bigger and more diverse as more companies continue to introduce products that contain cannabinoids found in hemp plants. Some companies still have problems selling CBD products. Once CBD products are FDA-approved all over the world, the growing market will not only benefit CBD companies but also hemp farmers, labs that conduct extraction, and isolation of CBD.
Education and quality assurances give more confidence to customers
As cannabis becomes more popular, the cannabis industry is becoming more professional. Studying the methods, plant science and chemistry of cannabis will ensure which products are safe, consistent, and high-quality. Additionally, public education about the various forms of CBD and their usage will help customers feel more confident and safe to buy CBD products. Numerous CBD studies have been conducted but these studies were mostly done on animals as cannabis are not legal in all places and achieving the most efficient production of cannabis requires intensive research under controlled conditions. Many CBD companies also self-regulate and some of them provide misleading information regarding their CBD products. Education on CBD will force these companies to improve their quality assurance and compliance efforts.
How do the UK regulations affect the growth of the industry?
Aside from public education on cannabis, companies also have to deal with government regulation. Testing labs have been helping cannabis growers to meet the requirements, but the problem is, there are different rules in different places. In the UK, CBD products sold are not for medical use but are considered as food supplements or cosmetics. Also, selling CBD products processed outside the UK is legal in the UK as long as they do not contain THC. THC is illegal in the UK and the maximum legal limit is 1 mg per container. Additionally, CBD companies in the UK must have submitted a Novel Food Application testing which includes chemical analysis, stability testing, microbiological testing, toxicological evaluation, and ADME evaluation by March 31 of 2021. CBD products that were not validated were not and will not be allowed to remain in the market. CBD is highly unregulated and many CBD products contain no CBD at all while some contain high amounts of THC, heavy metals which can be dangerous to your body. As the growing market of CBD is increasing, this regulation on CBD will lead to better quality products.