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The future of CBD is looking promising – simply the attitude has been shifting. In recent years, globally, laws have been reforming – so consumers can simply walk into a high-street store, or go online and purchase CBD products legally. Most importantly, the attitude in health-care is shifting to treat patients with more of a holistic approach. In this blog we will look at the future of cbd.
We’re also getting to the point where CBD is now being infused with everyday essentials. From cosmetics, edibles, beverages – to even pharmaceutical products. The versatility that CBD has is its main asset – as CBD can be virtually infused with any product. Gaining the momentum in popularity CBD was needed in reaching a wider audience.
It’s not just the business aspect of CBD that’s generated considerable interest – but also the consumer market. As the consumer’s mindstate steadily starts to shift in understanding the health benefits associated with CBD – consumers are having a more forthcoming understanding of using CBD as a substitute to traditional methods of treatment such as over the counter medication.
As time passes will see how the CBD market carves out its own sector. With that being said, regulations need to be implemented and enforced, to not only set industry standards – but guidelines for manufactures to abide by. The reason why this is so important is that from the offset CBD has been stigmatised as either being illegal or a drug. Regulations not only act as insurance but proves a level of due diligence has been shown by all parties involved in the CBD production process and distribution.
What’s vital in the development of CBD credibility is that we need to actively filter out and replace the false claims that have been associated with using CBD – with real case studies and reports conducted by credible medical authority bodies. Most importantly, third-party lab testing should be mandatory across the board, to really ensure what’s in the product is reflected on the label. As we have to be mindful, misinformation on labelling may have severe health consequences.
In December 2017 the World Health Organisation concluded that CBD is not harmful. Recent reports suggested CBD could help treat numerous health-related issues, such as
In January 2018, the World Anti Doping Agency removed it from it’s prohibited substances list, leading to professional athletes to be sponsored by CBD brands.
The 2018 Farm Bill has partly legalised CBD & Hemp nationwide in the US, that became a monumental moment changing the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946. Specifically redefining the legal definition of the word ‘hemp’ to include hemp-derived products and cannabinoids like CBD. One more change was included amending the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, clearly stating that the term ‘marijuana’ doesn’t reflect the new definition of hemp, which raised not only national awareness but further research for medical purposes.
The UK shortly followed suit in June 2018 – the former Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced a major review to be conducted, into the medicinal use of cannabis. What ignited the review was the high-profile cases gaining national coverage of Alfie Dingley & Billy Caldwell – to name a few. One of the notable articles came from Ms Caldwell when she travelled with her son Billy Caldwell to Canada, receiving treatment for his severe epilepsy – sadly it was reported Billy was having as much as 100 seizures a day! Ms Caldwell accused the Home Office of ‘neglect’ to her son’s health and quality of life. Opening wide a debate surrounding the legal state of cannabis in the UK. Fast forward to November 2018, the former Home Secretary Sajid Javid stated:
‘From November 1st 2018 – cannabis based products for medicinal use only, will be able to be prescribed in England, Scotland and Wales’.
The Act was essentially introduced by the European Commission in January 2019 stating CBD products and products containing traces of CBD would be considered a Novel Food. The Act’s purpose is to protect us, the general public, from the new ‘novel’ ways of foods being created. However, novel doesn’t just mean new; novel means something that is either considered: unusual, unconventional, or innovative. Novel also implies a timestamp when you first encounter it – then over that time – we become accustomed to the novelty – we then consider it as conventional and ‘normal’. The general guideline the EU set was, if the given food was not generally consumed before 15 May 1997, it would then fall into that category. When the European Commission passed the act, the discussion was opened on how this would have an effect on the CBD industry overall most importantly, would it be negative? How would this effect the future of CBD
An example of a novel food product is baked bread under ultraviolet light-producing large amounts of vitamin D. In similar circumstances, you have CBD, with enthusiasts waving the banner – that CBD shouldn’t fall into the Novel Food Act category. What consequently made it fall into that category was the: method of extraction, the method of production, which then gave it the ‘novel’ title. The reason being, when you use ethanol, solvents, or CO2 to extract CBD – it’s considered a ‘new’ way of extracting a digestible by-product.
Generally, CBD is considered an unregulated industry, with the issue of enforcement of the Act not always being followed through as CBD being considered a Novel Food it would have to go through pre-market authorisation. However, the interpretation of Novel Food differs as Germany recently stated: ‘while hemp itself might not qualify as a Novel Food, food products that are cannabinoid derived from hemp should be considered Novel’. Off the back from this statement, Elliot Rolfe, Head of the Cannabis Law division, stated – ‘this is good news for German pharmaceutical companies!’. However, his outlook on CBD companies was, well – let’s just say he wasn’t as enthusiastic stating: ’CBD companies and food businesses selling CBD containing consumable may now have to go through a lengthy marketing authorisation process before continuing to sell their products.’ The concerns that were raised were whether the other nations would follow suit and how would this affect the growth of CBD within the EU.
Hemp is forecasted to grow exponentially internationally, driven by law reform and countless products CBD can be infused with. Looking at emerging markets in the US – CBD is one of the fastest-growing industries. Due to the wide range of health benefits associated and accessibility in purchasing. Consumers are now using CBD as they would with any daily health supplement.
Fun Fact: Puerto Rico’s Department of Agriculture reporting they will dedicate 10,000 acres for commercial hemp cultivation by the end of 2020.
The Hemp Business Journal has estimated that CBD would reach predicted sales of $646 million by 2022. Looking at previous sales data from 2017 – CBD grew by nearly 50%, from $129 million in 2016 to $190 million. Data collected indicates: 60% of the sales generated were through online sales. The prediction is that even though online sales control a large segment of revenue streamed, sales may begin to dip as more high street retailers make CBD readily available for consumers. A bold forecast from Hemp Business Journal that – US Retailers are predicted to increase sales generated from 600% by 2022. Rising from $26 million in 2017 to $184 million.
One of the main contributing factors for the rise in popularity of using CBD is that it’s being heavily promoted by social media influencers pushing CBD content through joint sponsorship. Quite recently, even a Netflix show has picked up a cannabis cooking show, indicating how ‘harmless’ cannabis is and how you can incorporate it in everyday recipes. Even pet owners have jumped on the wave of prescribing to use CBD as a substitute.
We live in a time where we generally want to use natural ingredients to cure our health ailments rather than using synthetic ingredients as we’re living in a digital era where we have information at our fingertips. How many times have you felt ill and gone to Google just to see if you could diagnose yourself? Well quite a few of us have, and in that group, you have a class of people that search for natural health remedies that have medicinal benefits whether you have a cold, headache, or even down to joint pains. You could argue that mother nature has a ‘cure’ for the majority of the pain we experience. At a time, where we’re becoming in tune with the long term adverse effects pharmaceuticals products may be attributed to, you’ll see a greater rise of interest to natural remedies especially seeing the low amount of side effects CBD has compared to over the counter medication. This is very benefical for the future of CBD
The only thing really holding back the CBD industry is the many grey areas that are still prevalent in the industry; even doctors are slightly weary prescribing CBD to patients. This is understandable as in time, we will have more conclusive medical backing research of how CBD can impact a given medical symptom. Also, no conclusive studies have been done on the long-term effects CBD may have if any – this is where further research is crucial for further development of the industry. You really want to eliminate any associated risk to CBD if any.
Fun Fact: Mexico stated that any CBD product below 1% THC can be infused with virtually any product from supplements, topicals to food!
CBD has also been looked at as a way to deal with nicotine withdrawal shifting cigarette consumers to CBD e-pens. Further research is being concluded to get vital stats so hopefully can be used as a part of kicking the habit.
The European market may still be in it’s a premature stage, but nonetheless, CBD companies are setting a stance in making sure when it’s all said and done they will be seen as pioneers in the field – powering through not just supplying products to their consumers but also educating the community of matters surrounding health and wellness. Transparency is also one of the main contributing factors of companies becoming solidified in this space, as review platforms like Trustpilot are playing an integral part in helping with the consumer’s decision process of asking ‘does his product really work?’. With these genuine reviews, it’s playing the key role in unravelling the mess of the counterfeit products that were plaguing the industry which left a bad taste when it came to consumers making follow-up purchases. These poor products are causing adverse effects to the future of CBD.
In recent times CBD companies have understood how lucrative the sector can be if executed right. New investments have been made along the way in the midst of the transition. For instance, investments in the production process and innovative way of extracted CBD getting rid of the impurities without the chemical solvents.
Supercritical CO2 extraction has been said to be the safest method so far found. What makes it exclusive in a sense is that the technology and equipment used to make it is rather expensive so it can only be done by a handful of specialist companies.
Near the Himalayas, local farmers have opted to not grow tobacco or corn, but now instead cultivating up to 24 tons of hemp. Landowners have said that since changing what they grow on their land, they have doubled how much revenue they generate, making up to $400,000 per harvest (a harvest be 5 – 6 months generally). Chinese entrepreneurs are convinced they can turn China into a cannabis superpower. China already has a rich cannabis history, infrastructure in place and the know-how with scientists and researchers on deck. China is set to have a CBD wave but focussing on educating the masses before introducing CBD to their mainstream market.
Fun Fact: China produces half of the world’s industrial hemp, which is mainly used for textiles and paper.
China has one of the strictest laws when it comes to hemp and cannabis, anyone that is caught selling THC products risks spending there whole life in prison or even the death penalty in extreme cases. What China has opted to do, however, is to implement strict regulations to adhere by when it comes down to CBD production. Cameras are installed in the facilities and are regularly checked by local authorities to check every step of the process, ensuring the production line is run under the recommended guidelines.
Fun Fact: Pure CBD extract made in China has reported fetching between $8k to $10k per kg depending on the market, of course.
CBD and equally, the cannabis industry, is going through remarkable changes. CBD was once considered a niche sector, however, was seeing overwhelming demand and with that growing interest, especially in Europe from cannabis-based companies previously more involved in the recreational medicinal side of the market.
There are some similarities between the vape ‘boom’ and the development of CBD. Obviously, there are clear differences in regulatory regime-wise, but a lot of the way the market is growing is very similar. It’s definitely considered a controversial sector depending on what part of the world you’re operating in and the laws that surround CBD. With that being said, a lot of regulatory hurdles to get over within different markets.
The fact we have all these CBD companies that have flooded the market is, of course, a good thing when it comes to marketing and making CBD more and more apparent to consumers. But with so much choice – comes confusion. So education has to be prioritised so that when new CBD products come onto the market, consumers are clearly aware of what that specific product is targeting and getting rid of the narrative – CBD can cure-all. We need to set realistic expectations to customers; otherwise, we’re simply leading consumers into being disappointed once trying the given product.
Some of the methods used to transition the tobacco industry into vaping can be used with the CBD sector. However, the approach has to be slightly tailored to address all the numerous health ailments its been known to treat, rather than vaping specifically targeting nicotine craving.
When it comes to the investment of the amount of money and projected figures that are being reported on being invested into the industry, it’s important to stay up to date with the current situation. It is of utmost importance for investors to first have an insightful understanding of what’s currently happening at ground level, rather than what people are saying might be happening in the next decade or so. It is especially pressing in these uncertain times that we encounter now.
For instance, ‘what measures are CBD companies taking in adapting their initial plan and strategy to maneuver in the current fragile state of the market?’
Investors or equally entrepreneurs are advised to have a look at as much raw credible data as possible of what’s happening on the ground level. For instance, how are regulations progressing? How are regulations holding back the CBD industry? What methods can be implemented to enforce regulations across the board, ensuring industry guidelines and standards are uniform across the board.
The fact that we have all this misinformation about CBD circulating on ‘reported’ medical claims that have no credibility doesn’t help the cause. Hence why eliminating the CBD myths and bringing forefront real credible studies that have been conducted by authorised medical bodies is very important. The fact that CBD has gathered so much interest by business owners has led to some figures surrounding CBD being blown out of proportion in regards to how big the market is and how fast it’s really going.
To really have an accurate forecast trajectory of CBD in various markets mentioned, you would really need to have a real insight of how regulations are progressing in the given country and what’s holding them back. This grey area once investigated – can give you more of a realistic value size of CBD in the given market.
However, there are services out there where CBD products are tracked alongside market surveys aimed at consumers who purchased the products. Showing not only if the product worked for them but how satisfied they were with the results and the magic question “if they would repurchase again” answered. The more data retrieved from ground level, the more manufacturers can enhance and improve products for consumers. CBD, in turn, better represents the industry of health and wellness to new or curious users who want to try a natural alternative to traditional over the counter medication.
You could possibly see readjustments in the investments and evaluations made to the majority of companies after this global viral infection. Perhaps trimming off the fat, so to speak, with companies that are not really here for the long run with the motion of starting to bring the industry forward with strategy and ingenuity!
As the CBD sector gets bigger and more CBD companies and services involved, we personally recommend attending CBD expo – as its prime opportunity to meet collectively key figures and influencers from the industry, such as Alphagreen, or equally networking if you’re thinking of getting into this space. Equally impactful are virtual events that are now becoming more and more prevalent. Saying that, Alphagreen announced that they will be partnering up with Prohibition Partners Live to sponsor the global online event – with topics not only discussing CBD but also psychedelics as well as other interesting topics surrounding health & wellness!