In 2020, the world saw a boom in demand for cannabidiol (or CBD) – a chemical derived from the hemp plant. Though being a component of marijuana, CBD doesn’t get you high. People believe that CBD has several health benefits instead. Its effects include relieving anxiety, easing pain, reducing inflammation and some other skin issues, etc. In 2018, the very first drop of cannabidiol led to its debut!
When you first start a CBD business, it helps to learn from big brands in the industry. Some examples are:
06. CBD-infused pet food
There is evidence that CBD-infused drinks will make a splash in the upcoming years. According to a report published by Prohibition Partners, CBD drinks can emerge as a threat to the alcoholic beverage industry, which has dominated for a long time. From what the report shows, the new market stands possibilities to reach four billion USD by 2024.
As we’ve stressed in the main article, there are a lot of unfounded claims made for the effects of CBD, one of which is its immune-boosting potential.
Let’s start with the facts. CBD is not weed and will not get you high. The letters stand for cannabidiol, and it’s one of the chemical compounds found in cannabis plants. The stuff that gets people stoned is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and it’s this that makes smoking cannabis illegal. CBD products produced in the UK however only use the CBD part of cannabis, and often use CBD extracted from hemp – cannabis plants bred to have fewer flowers and a THC content of under 0.3%. Essentially, the virtual absence of THC is what makes CBD products legal.
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Away from the claims and counterclaims regarding the effectiveness of CBD, one thing is undisputed – the market is huge and is only going to get bigger. According to research commissioned by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC), 1.3 million users are spending £300m per year on CBD (larger than the combined size of the UK Vitamin C and D markets). By 2025, the market is expected to be worth just short of £1bn, larger than the entire UK herbal supplement market in 2016. Moreover, sales of CBD are not just being driven by trendy millennials looking for the next big thing but cutting across demographics. The elderly are using it to treat chronic pain associated with various conditions, while younger consumers are more likely to be buying CBD to reduce anxiety and combat insomnia.
If you sell a CBD product, we would caution against marketing it as some sort of anti-corona treatment, which would be unethical and could land you with a lawsuit.
Why CBD is a good business idea
Anyone wanting to enter the UK CBD market really needs to be aware of the regulations that affect CBD and how these might change in 2020. Currently, CBD is an under-regulated sector and research from the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) indicates that this is already having some concerning impacts. The CMC analysed 30 CBD oil products available in the UK and found that 38% had less than 50% of the advertised CBD content, and one product contained no CBD whatsoever. George Glaisher, co-founder of premium CBD brand Aver, therefore echoes the views of many when he notes that “it is quite clear that the CBD market is in need of regulation to both standardise quality and ensure safety for consumers”. Fixing this is difficult though – CBD is currently controlled by the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) but experts argue that the FSA lacks the resources to patrol the CBD market effectively and will need to work with industry bodies like the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI), a CMC initiative that aims to enforce minimum standards for the nascent CBD industry.