What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a non-intoxicating, non-addictive compound found in cannabis plants with numerous health benefits for both humans and pets. Unlike THC, CBD does not produce the psychoactive side effects, giving users a myriad of therapeutic benefits without the high. As an alternative to pharmaceuticals, CBD helps manage chronic pain, reduces anxiety, depression, inflammation, seizures, spasms, and cancer-related symptoms. CBD comes in a variety of products ranging from oils, tinctures, and creams to beverages, skin patches, edibles, and vapes.
CBD On the Rise
With a wide variety of products for consumers to choose from, the CBD industry continues to grow and is expected to increase by $3.52 billion between 2020-2024. Currently, there are over 1000 brands of marijuana-derived and hemp-derived CBD products on the market in the United States, with 60% of sales online and the rest in smoke shops, mass-market retailers, pharmaceutical stores, and specialty retailers. Below is more insight into the growth of popular CBD products and their appeal to cannabidiol users.
From baked goods to infused energy drinks, the market for cannabidiol-infused edibles continues to expand as users find new, delicious ways to consume CBD. In a survey conducted by Consumer Reports, infused foods, drinks, and gummies remain the most popular methods of CBD consumption amongst consumers. Though CBD edibles are not approved by the FDA, these products are sold across the United States, and sales are expected to reach $4.1 billion by 2022. CBD-infused drinks are especially popular and predicted to increase to $1.4 billion by 2023, according to research released by Zenith Global. With a wide variety of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic infused beverages, CBD drinks are predicted to make up 20% of the overall cannabis edible market by 2022.
Consuming CBD through vape pens has become increasingly popular with around 20 million people in the U.S. claiming to vape CBD, according to Consumer Reports. CBD vapes have been on the rise for years, growing 105% between 2017-2018. Many consumers prefer vaping amongst other methods of consumption due to its high level of bioavailability, or the amount that is absorbed into the bloodstream. For this reason, vaping remains one of the most effective CBD consumption methods with 34-46% bioavailability versus only 4-20% through oral consumption. This allows users to get the same results while using less product, thus helping to minimize the amount of CBD oil refills. With a wide variety of pens and oil concentrations to choose from, consumers get the chance to customize their vaping experience to best fit their lifestyle, whether it be reducing anxiety, managing pain, or improving one’s overall mental state.
CBD Oils and Tinctures
For those who dislike vaping and edible consumption methods, CBD oils and tinctures provide a simple, fast-acting solution for consumption. Taken by a dropper placed under the tongue, CBD is absorbed into the user’s body within minutes, much quicker than with other methods such as edibles that may take up to 2 hours. According to Forbes, 44% of users prefer oils and tinctures to other consumption methods, making these products extremely popular amongst CBD users. With that said, the CBD Oil Market is predicted to grow at a rate of 31.9% from 2020 to 2027, as many consumers turn to oils and tinctures instead of OTC and Rx drugs.
CBD Pet Products
CBD products made for domesticated animals such as dogs, cats, and horses remain one of the fastest-growing sectors of the cannabidiol market. According to a study conducted by Nielsen, pet product sales at regulated adult-use cannabis retailers in Colorado, Nevada, Washington, and California make over $9.4 million combined. By 2022, CBD pet product sales are projected to reach $125 million. With treats, tinctures, and oils, CBD provides similar benefits to animals as it does for humans, helping to reduce anxiety, seizures, and joint pain.
The Future of CBD
As the availability of CBD continues to expand, there are still many factors that must be considered. For one, the quality of CBD within the market remains questionable, as 70% of products are mislabeled due to lack of FDA regulations. As of 2020, the FDA has only approved the CBD prescription drug Epidiolex, leaving all other CBD-infused items without consumer standards. In addition, there is a lack of medical testing done on CBD products resulting in unsupported claims about the substance’s benefits. Despite these hurdles, the future of CBD looks promising, as the industry takes steps towards stricter quality standards and increased medical testing to help CBD to expand globally while demand and sales skyrocket. With more retailers entering the market along with the acquisition of smaller cannabidiol retailers, it seems as though CBD is here to stay.