NEW YORK – As the cannabis industry continues growing, associations about the plant’s use are rapidly beginning to change. Additionally, the way people are consuming cannabis is also changing.
While not as grand, cannabis flower sales still account for a large portion of total overall sales for most regions. For instance, Colorado was one of the first regions to fully legalize adult-use cannabis and during the first year of legalization in 2014, the state reported that flower controlled 67% of all cannabis sales. By 2018, Colorado witnessed its flower sales dwindle to 44%.
However, during the same period, the market share of concentrates and extracts closed the gap, accounting for 31% of sales compared to 15% in 2014. And while the cannabis concentrate and extract market is rapidly becoming popular among consumers, other notable products such as tinctures, topicals, and edibles are also gaining a reputation.
Specifically, these products are becoming more popular within the CBD marketplace because consumers are seeking new, innovative health and wellness products and are often part of the anti-pharma trend. As such, CBD-based tinctures dominate the market, driving 25% of sales.
On the other hand, tinctures are slowly losing their market share as more consumer-friendly products enter the marketplace; topicals (17% of the market) and skincare & beauty products (8%) have quickly become popular among mass retailers, pushing them into mainstream markets and into the eyes of consumers. And according to data compiled by Brightfield Group, the U.S. hemp-derived CBD market is expected to reach $23.7 billion through 2023.
2018 Farm Bill:
Hope for Hemp
Many consumers set their sights on CBD after the U.S. passed the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp. To note, CBD is a compound derived from the hemp plant, which falls under the broader cannabis family. Similarly, marijuana is also under the cannabis family, but unlike hemp, marijuana induces psychoactive effects because of its main active compound: THC.
The passage of the Farm Bill also legalized the commercialization of CBD and shortly after, CBD products began to appear throughout retailers across the nation. At first, many people did not understand CBD and its effects, with most typically assuming that CBD had the same effects as THC.
The misconception ultimately led researchers to conduct a plethora of clinical trials to debunk the misinformation regarding CBD. And after these extensive clinical trials, researchers concluded that CBD does not stimulate psychotropic properties, but instead offers highly beneficial therapeutic effects.
Now, CBD is used to alleviate minor conditions such as headaches, but researchers have highlighted that CBD can also be used to treat symptoms associated with chronic medical conditions such as cancer.
Nevertheless, most consumers are generally trying CBD to alleviate minor conditions without going through the hassle of obtaining a prescription. And the growing popularity of these products led to innovative new offerings such as CBD chewing gum, shampoo, coffee, fitness nutrition and deodorant. As such, industry experts believe that these products will continue to be integrated into mainstream marketplaces, tapping deeper into consumer demands.
The growing awareness of cannabidiol or CBD’s health benefits has pushed the market into mainstream retail. CBD is known for its multi-faceted uses such as its ability to alleviate minor conditions like headaches. However, CBD can also be used to treat serious symptoms associated with medical conditions such as cancer, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis. Moreover, researchers have mentioned that CBD helps with quitting smoking and also mitigates the withdrawal symptoms.
Many see legalizing CBD as yet another step to potentially fully legalizing cannabis. According to data compiled by Technavio, the global CBD market is expected to accelerate at a CAGR of 31% during the forecast period from 2018 to 2022.