CBD Is Taking the Cannabis Industry Mainstream

Over the subsequent few years, consumers will start discovering their favorite CBD brands, which eventually will make them natural customers of that brand’s THC products.

It’s hard to imagine that just a couple of years ago, nobody outside of the hard-core cannabis community knew about CBD. Today, it’s one of the hottest health products on the market. In 2018, sales of CBD hit nearly $600 million, and they’re projected to grow to $22 billion in only a couple of years more.

CBD, or cannabidiol oil, is that the nonpsychoactive chemical in cannabis plants. CBD won’t get you high, unlike its cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). That’s important because it means CBD has been granted some privileges at the federal level refused thus far to THC.

The most important of these was the passage of the 2018 bill, which decriminalized the agricultural production of hemp, one among the most sources of CBD. Just a couple of months before that, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration approved Epidiolex, the primary CBD-based drug, for the treatment of seizures. That successively led to the Drug Enforcement Administration moving CBD to the Schedule V drug list, making it an equivalent as cough syrup and antidiarrhea medicine, instead of heroin and methamphetamines because it was previously under the Schedule I category.

All these shifts basically make CBD the computer virus of cannabis – meaning, CBD is welcomed in places THC can’t go, just like the Estee Lauder’s Origins makeup line, Amazon’s warehouses and therefore the aisles of Petco. In fact, CBD products are often sold even in states where THC-laden cannabis remains under prohibition. Companies are going to be ready to establish relationships with retailers, build brand awareness with consumers and be able to add THC to their product lineup when it eventually becomes legal at the federal level.

The first step to making a brand is ensuring your product finds its audience. But that’s hard to try to when your product is against the law in some (or all) forms in several parts of the country. Witness the recent controversy over Acreage Holdings’ plan to buy an excellent Bowl ad featuring people that had been helped by cannabis. If you can’t advertise on TV (or in print or online in some places) it’s incredibly challenging to create a brand. People that want to understand more about cannabis need to hunt down dispensaries if they’re even available therein state and educate themselves about different brands.

CBD is finding ways around those problems. Tilray Inc. recently signed a $100 million affect Authentic Brands, whose portfolio includes Juicy Couture, Nine West, and Jones NY, to develop and distribute cannabis products. Initially, which will mean CBD items like foot creams and mints in retail stores and malls across the country. Eventually, it could mean those self-same brands expand into THC products. Companies like Constellation Brands, makers of Corona beer, and tobacco giant Altria also are stepping into the CBD game with billion-dollar investments.

Deals like these are helping CBD producers build the required infrastructure, like sales and distribution networks, which may be exploited for products that contain THC once it’s legal at the federal level. An equivalent is true of production and retail spaces, which may even be inbuilt places where cannabis is against the law, then repurposed once prohibition is lifted.

CBD is also leading the way in breaking down any remaining stigma related to cannabis within the mind of the overall public. As more and more CBD products find their thanks to shelves across the country, mainstream consumers are gaining greater familiarity with CBD and its properties and uses. That growing ease with cannabidiol oil is resulting in a rethinking of cannabis itself. It’s evolving from a rather shady narcotic to a useful lifestyle product and superfood that relieves pain, fights inflammation and lessens the consequences of cancer treatments. Ultimately, because the last of the stigma fades away, more consumers will enter the market and have become experienced users of CBD, it’ll be easy to expand their palate to incorporate a trusted CBD brand’s new THC products.

That’s just the start. There are myriad more subtle ways in which CBD helps to normalize cannabis. because of the 2018 bill, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is now allowed to fund hemp research with government grants. Growers are eligible for federal crop insurance to guard their investments, and in some cases, even to federally subsidized crop insurance. States are offering tax incentives to CBD companies to create or renovate factory spaces. Of these financial relationships are setting the stage for a time when the prohibitions against THC are lifted.

The growth of CBD could also cause the easing of monetary restrictions on cannabis. Immediately cannabis producers can’t work with banks, which suggests much of the business still takes place using cash. But it likely won’t be long before hemp growers and CBD producers can enter and open a checking account – or buy a web ad. Facebook, Instagram, and Google ban cannabis ads on their platforms.

Over the subsequent few years, consumers will start discovering their favorite CBD brands, which eventually will make them natural customers of that brand’s THC products.

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