CBD: A Medical Marvel
CBD is one of two major cannabinoids that naturally occur in cannabis. It has a long history of being used medicinally, but it fell out of favor due to legal issues.
Today, it’s making a comeback. Medical cannabis relies on CBD for its therapeutic properties, and the personal anecdotes of patients are being increasingly backed by science. There are currently over 300 actives and completed clinical trials concerning CBD, and it’s proven to help with a range of health issues, from simple to complex:
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the first prescription CBD drug, Epidiolex, for its efficacy in reducing epilepsy seizures.
CBD is Going Global
It’s no wonder that over 20 countries have established medical cannabis markets, with more following suit. But there’s a catch—it can be legal to buy CBD-based products, but not cannabis. Ever-changing laws further complicate the legal status of CBD worldwide.
Canada is still one of only two countries to legalize cannabis on a federal level. It also has the resources to become a research leader, and expand product offerings based on changing consumer needs. Meanwhile, cannabis is still highly restricted in the United States, yet 33 states allow medical cannabis and/or the purchase of CBD products.
Many potential patients and consumers are wary to try cannabis, because they’re worried about getting “high”. With CBD-based products, that risk is significantly reduced, and it’s opening up all sorts of doors.
What Do Consumers Want?
Many consumers are drawn to CBD-based products for its therapeutic applications. In a survey of 4,000 Americans, here’s how many found CBD quite effective for different uses:
Consumers are also starting to explore CBD-based products for more than medication, such as sports recovery, and skincare and beauty. This new wellness segment is creating opportunities for alternative delivery formats—in the same survey, consumers reported using edibles, tinctures, vapes, and topicals to consume CBD the most.
It’s clear that CBD’s multiple applications will propel the market forward. Based on one estimate by Cowen & Co., CBD retail sales could shoot up from a baseline of $600 million to $16 billion by 2025. The most growth will be seen in the health and wellness category, like nutraceuticals (worth $6.4B) and topicals (worth $4B).