With the meteoritic rise of cannabidiol (CBD) to one of America's favorite wellness products and a promising medication for conditions ranging from anxiety to intractable epilepsy, what's next for marijuana's most famous non-intoxicating compound? Civilized reached out to 10 cannabis industry insiders to get their take on where this popular cannabinoid will go.
I believe that CBD becomes more of a supplement like antioxidants/vitamins.
"In the future, I believe that CBD becomes more of a supplement like antioxidants/vitamins and mainstream consumer products start utilizing CBD within their ingredients, allowing the market to reach the masses," DOPE Media Co-founder and Chief Branding Officer David Tran said. "It's going to be exciting when I can drink a Gatorade CBD after a long run!"
It is only a matter of time until states, at a minimum step in and create legislation and engage in enforcement.
"This is an area of explosive growth that seems certain to see a backlash from regulators," said The Initiative founder Amy Margolis. "With so many medical claims being made, no tracking of hemp production, product sourcing and rampant, unchecked sales, it is only a matter of time until states, at a minimum step in and create legislation and engage in enforcement."
The CBD flower market is a trend and will give way to the more concentrated forms.
"CBD has a number of known properties beneficial to the human condition, and research is just beginning," Aster Farms President Sam Ludwig told Civilized. "There are two markets for CBD: as a supplement, mild pain reliever and relaxant, and in larger doses, as a truly beneficial remedy for a variety of serious illnesses. There is no doubt it will be dominant supplement for years to come. CBD-heavy flower can be a very effective relaxant for both mind and body. However, people looking for CBD only will find the cleanest and most focused relief in the form of tinctures and capsules. We think the CBD flower market is a trend and will give way to the more concentrated forms. Like an Omega-3 for the body and mind."
CBD will still snag a good portion of untapped market share.
"There is plenty of room for growth here," believes Confident Cannabis VP of Growth & Marketing Brad Bogus. "CBD is sort of stuck in between prohibition era policies and federal acceptance. We just saw the first cannabis derived FDA approved medication make its way onto the market, which is a CBD medication. Where it goes from here in the world of Big Pharma is hard to say, but the direction will be up, in some velocity. Seniors are more keen to try a CBD product over a THC product, so even on the regular non-pharmaceutical market, CBD will still snag a good portion of untapped market share. International trade of source material is another big advantage of the CBD market, to help it grow."
With so many choices for consumers, some of these companies won't be able to compete.
"It is certainly growing," said Goldleaf Founder Charles McElroy. "Because CBD products boast no intoxicating effects and lots of medical potential, many people are getting involved all over the country, especially in states where cannabis is still illicit. It's a good way to get your foot in the door in a growing industry until the laws catch up with the zeitgeist, so we're seeing a huge influx in new companies surrounding CBD products. While I know it to be a wonderful product, currently there's a race to grab market share in a space quickly becoming oversaturated. Since there are only a few places in the states that provide high-quality CBD extracts, many new companies source from the same supplier, so the only real difference is branding and other ancillary innovations, like packaging, shipping, etc. I'm excited to see the innovation continue and new products arise, but with so many choices for consumers, some of these companies won't be able to compete."
We see the market for CBD-only enriched products, whether cannabis or hemp derived, continuing to thrive.
"CBD has received a lot of attention in the press for its anti-inflammatory effects and anxiety and pain reducing properties," Oregrown Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer Chrissy Hadar told Civilized. "We see the market for CBD-only enriched products, whether cannabis or hemp derived, continuing to thrive and be used in a variety of applications, like it's often recommended by physicians as daily supplement to assisting those undergoing chemo. At the same time, we look forward to further research and legalization of other key medicinal cannabinoids such as CBN and CBG."
CBD is the fad health supplement of the moment.
"CBD is the fad health supplement of the moment, however I believe it will have more staying power than açai berry or turmeric powder as it helps regulate a core part of the body—the endocannabinoid system—that researchers suggest may be compromised in large swaths of the population," East Fork Cultivars CEO Mason Walker said.
I'm hopeful that we see wider adoption.
"I'm biased on this because I love CBD, so I'm hopeful that we see wider adoption, especially recreationally," Cannador CEO Zane Witzel told Civilized. "During my most recent visit to Colorado, I was surprised to see less CBD flower available there than in the Pacific Northwest—that tells me it's fairly market specific from a recreational perspective. For the time being, I think it finds its home among medical users and pets."
Unless the FDA or DEA regulate this, it will only continue to grow.
"The CBD market is for everyone," said AlpinStash Founder Danny Sloat. "This is proving to be a very useful cannabinoid which benefits everyone, from pets to children to adults. Unless the FDA or DEA regulate this, it will only continue to grow and mature to the benefit of all of us."
Education is needed to make sure that novice consumers have enough information.
"I believe the CBD market will only continue to grow in popularity, but that needs to come along with education," Cannabis Educator & Consultant Emma Chasen told Civilized. "People don't yet understand the difference between hemp-derived and cannabis-derived CBD. Hemp-derived CBD products are accessible nationwide, but they may not be as effective as cannabis-derived CBD products due to lack of testing standards and lack of additional supportive compounds within the formula. Cannabis-derived CBD products usually contain a higher concentration of other compounds that help to support and amplify the medical efficacy of CBD. Plus, cannabis-derived CBD products have to be tested for pesticides and potency, so consumers know that what they are consuming has accurate dosage guidelines and clean inputs. If you have experimented with hemp-derived CBD products and have not experienced ideal results, trying a cannabis-derived CBD product, if you are able, may produce a much better result. Consumer and industry education is needed to make sure that novice consumers have enough information to feel empowered and comfortable to experiment with cannabis. It's frustrating to think that a novice consumer may not want to try CBD again because they had a bad experience with a hemp-derived product they found online."