Why is CBD Such a Big Deal?
Over the past two years, the CBD industry has exploded. New CBD companies are appearing left and right, releasing new lines of products that promise users all kinds of benefits. No doubt, this is thanks to the legalization of hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill.
So what exactly is hemp, and how does it differ from Marijuana that’s been demonized by federal agencies for decades?
In short, hemp is classified as a variety of Cannabis sativa that has less than 0.3% of the psychoactive chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the compound that makes users high. In the US, cultivating hemp is now legal provided farmers obey strict regulations.
While the topic of CBD remains controversial, we can’t deny its impacts on pop society and the health and wellness market. In this article, we’ll take a look at why CBD has become such a big deal.
Convenience in consumption
One of the reasons why CBD is so popular is because manufacturers have been applying a lot of creativity in their products. There are multiple ways of consuming or applying CBD. While tinctures, capsules, and creams are common, CBD gummies have made an exciting appearance. You probably wouldn’t want to gulp them down though, as it’s advised that novices should only take one gummy at a time.
The different methods of consuming CBD allow users to feel the effects of CBD at different time frames. For example, if someone wants to use CBD to help them sleep, they can take a capsule a couple of hours before bed, or apply a tincture 20-30 minutes before they turn the lights off.
In essence, people can fit CBD around their lifestyles.
Research has shown that CBD acts on our endocannabinoid system (ECS) and has anti-inflammatory properties. This makes CBD the “natural” go-to supplement for treating chronic pain. The beauty industry has exploited these anti-inflammatory properties to good use by releasing serums and creams to treat acne.
Users found that CBD helps them relax and get better sleep. We aren’t sure how much of this is merely a placebo, but studies have shown that CBD affects the brain’s response to serotonin which is a crucial hormone in regulating mood.
The claimed health benefits of CBD is also the reason why CBD is controversial. While CBD has a promising future in pain management and therapy, not much is known about the long-term effects of CBD use.
Researchers believe that more studies need to be done to determine the effective doses needed to treat symptoms. Currently, the only FDA-approved CBD drug is Epidiolex that is used to treat epilepsy.
Impact on farmers
Are we looking at a new frontier that can replace America’s golden era of tobacco? While the US still accounts as the fourth largest tobacco producer, farming has been shrinking for years. The future of tobacco farming in the US looks bleak.
But the legalization of hemp cultivation brings current tobacco farmers some perspective of hope. The hype of CBD may have calmed down substantially since its legalization (a quick look into Google Trends will tell you that), but the market is here to stay and expand.
In fact, in US agriculture, hemp is the fastest growing crop and has seen a 350% growth in acreage planted over the past two years. According to the BDS, the US sales of CBD products will exceed $20 billion by 2024, while experiencing a 24% CAGR across all distribution channels.