Curious about cannabis? You’re not the only one. In particular, products containing cannabidiol (CBD), the compound derived from the cannabis plant, have swelled in popularity across consumer segments in the past few years.

CBD does not contain THC, the active compound in cannabis that creates a ‘high’ effect for users. While there is still some controversy about the safety and effectiveness of CBD as we wait for the FDA approval, the potential health benefits of CBD have made it a household name.

CBD’s potential to help its users manage their anxiety has grabbed the attention of consumers. Early studies by independent researchers have found CBD may help to relieve anxiety by reducing stress levels, decreasing rising heart rate and blood pressure, and helping the brain respond to serotonin differently. CBD can also help to reduce chronic pain by impacting pain receptors and reducing inflammation in the body. While CBD products can be seen on website ads, in stores, and on social media, there is a lot that is still unknown about it.

The cannabis and CBD landscape is rapidly evolving. Here’s what you need to know about the CBD industry:

  • States aren’t waiting. While the FDA continues to investigate CBD’s safety for use in the U.S. food supply, nearly half of the states already allow the sale of hemp and CBD food products, including larger states such as Florida, Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia. And the trend is growing. Other states, including California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts, have introduced legislation to allow hemp and CBD in food products. Will the FDA soon follow suit?
  • Consumption is increasing. The emerging market of CBD users increased their consumption of oils, capsules, and infused food and beverage products by 28% in 2020. Given rising consumer awareness of CBD’s therapeutic potential, last year’s global unrest may have had a hand in boosting use.
  • The market is expanding. The global CBD consumer health market is expected to reach $13.4 billion by 2028 and is projected to expand at a growth rate of 21.2% from 2021 to 2028. This growth is due in part to increased awareness about the potential health benefits of CBD and the legalization of stand-alone CBD use in all 50 states.
  • Everyone is involved. Millennials make up the majority of the cannabis industry, with 56% using products for anxiety and general wellness. However, Gen Z is the fastest growing age group in the marketplace. Additionally, women are buying CBD at a significantly higher rate than men, focusing specifically on CBD wellness products within the industry.

So, what does this all mean? While there are many different CBD products already on the market, from oils, tinctures, and capsules to gummies, candies, and sparkling beverages,  all eyes will be on the FDA as they work to determine “generally recognized as safe” or GRAS, levels for these compounds. If you’re interested in learning more about the cannabis market and understanding its challenges and opportunities, contact us.

This post was co-authored by Julie LePere.

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