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US CBD Market Will Top £16.8b by 2022

As hemp regulations continue to relax in the US, there’s no ceiling in sight for the country’s CBD market.

Experts have been predicting that America’s cannabis industry would hit US $20 billion by 2020 for years now, but CBD’s surging popularity is set to outperform these numbers all on its own. According to analysts at the Brightfield Group, the CBD market could be worth as much as US $22 billion (£16.8 billion) by 2022.

Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is one of over a hundred cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, it does not get you high, but still provides a number of medicinal effects.

CBD’s relaxed legal status and its positive impact on conditions like insomnia, anxiety, and chronic pain have made the substance a boon for stores selling health and wellness products, cosmetics, and natural food products. However, you can find CBD pretty much anywhere these days, from coffee shops offering CBD shots to breweries making CBD-infused beers.

Bethany Gomez, director of research for the Brightfield Group, discussed the market’s wide reach with Rolling Stone:

“What we started tracking this year was an explosion — face mask, bug bites, skin care, topicals. It’s being used for everything you can think of — sports, triathlons. People want to buy it for their grandma, for arthritis. Women get it for PMS and endometriosis — common things that people have been using over the counter medications.”

Although CBD-rich hemp has little to no psychoactive effects, it’s too close a relative to cannabis with a high THC content to avoid legislation completely. Despite the FDA’s recent approval of Epidiolex, UK firm GW Pharma’s CBD epilepsy drug, CBD still exists in a legal gray area for many US states.

The 2018 Farm Bill would provide a clear distinction between “marijuana” — the term still used in the Controlled Substances Act — and hemp, which is defined as a cannabis plant containing less than 0.3 per cent THC. This legislation would open up a new market full of potential for US farmers and spur growth in all segments of the CBD market.

“I’ve been doing market research for years and covered everything,” says Gomez. “This is definitely the craziest market I’ve ever covered.”

 

(Source: Rolling Stone)