What Industries are using CBD?
Cannabis is revolutionizing the way several ailments are being treated worldwide.
Researchers are increasingly studying chemicals found within cannabis — cannabinoids — to discover new medical applications.
Today, CBD has drawn the attention of several researchers, many of whom are studying its impact on epilepsy, neuropsychiatric disorders, cancer, anxiety, and other conditions.
Recently, the FDA approved the use of CBD to treat two types of epilepsy.
With the influx of medical marijuana prescriptions, the pharmaceutical industry is likely to take a big hit AND IS is increasingly seeking applications in the treatment of pain, anxiety, sleep disorders, and other medical conditions such as fibrotic problems and neuropathic pain through CBD.
As a result, many pharmaceutical companies are attempting to incorporate cannabis into their strategies.
Also recently, British Columbia-based medical marijuana producer Tilray announced a partnership with Sandoz Canada (an arm of Norvaris), the first known affiliation between a marijuana producer and a major pharmaceutical company.
Wellness & beauty
Cannabis applications across the wellness and beauty sector are rapidly emerging. CBD oil in particular is attracting a lot of attention.
One potential wellness application of CBD oil is for athletes and those looking to boost workout results, as some have claimed CBD oil can reduce post-exercise inflammation and promote muscle growth.
It’s also making its way across beauty & makeup, including mascara, face creams, lip balms, and bath bombs. Lord Jones makes CBD gummies and a popular body lotion for “sore muscles, joint pain, and skin conditions.” Beauty and cosmetics retail giant Sephora also now stocks a wide range of CBD products, sometimes referred to as “beauty and bong” items, in its stores.
Thanks to increased legalization, cannabis is becoming more openly integrated into consumer products — especially those focused on wellness & beauty.
The food industry has seen cannabis edibles take off over the last decade.
Consumers in California purchased $180M worth of cannabis-infused food and drinks in 2016, which amounted to 10% of the state’s total marijuana sales. That percentage rose to 18% in February 2018, according to Green Market Report. Cannabis-infused food is now a major culinary trend as well; according to a recent survey from the The National Restaurant Association and the American Culinary Federation, 3 in 4 chefs picked CBD- and cannabis-infused food as a hot trend for 2019.
The edibles market is expanding in states other than California as well. Sales of pot-infused treats increased 121% in Washington state, where recreational marijuana is legal, in 2016. And since Colorado first allowed recreational marijuana use, sales tripled from $17M in Q1’14 to $53M in the Q3’16.
While the Food and Drug Administration does not yet allow the use of CBD in food and drinks, the agency has scheduled its first public hearing on legalizing the practice for May of 2019.
Alcohol consumption is declining globally, with demographics playing a role in changing tastes. A rising number of people are consuming both alcohol and cannabis-based products, which could undermine beverage industry efforts to encourage long-term loyalty, according to a recent study by alcohol industry research firm IWSR and BDS Analytics. In response, beer, wine, and spirits companies are looking to expand their offerings, including through cannabis-based beverages.
UK-based spirits maker Diageo, whose brands include Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Guinness, and Bailey’s, has been holding discussions with at least three Canadian cannabis producers about a possible deal for a pot-infused drink, according to a BNN Bloomberg TV report.
Constellation Brands recently announced a $4B investment in cannabis company Canopy Growth, raising its stake from just below 10% to 38%
Textiles & fashion
With consumers willing to spend 20% more for eco-friendly products, big retailers and niche fashion brands are banking on hemp to increase their bottom line.
While hemp often scores points for its durability and rapid growth without excessive use of water and pesticides, it does not dye as well as cotton, and not everyone appreciates its linen-like and sometimes scratchy feel.
But manufacturers, including Colorado-based EnviroTextiles, are introducing new hemp-based textiles that look like denim or wool. Other companies that make hemp clothing include yoga brand prAna (owned by Columbia Sportswear) and outdoor brand Patagonia. In a sign of growing momentum, denim brand Levi’s recently debuted a fully recyclable cottonized hemp collection.
Biodiesel & energy
Researchers at UConn have found that industrial hemp has properties that make it potentially attractive as a raw material for producing biodiesel (diesel fuel made from renewable plant sources).
The researchers stated plans to build a pilot biodiesel production facility using a $1.8M grant from the Department of Energy. The main use of the facility will be to test new ways to produce biodiesel, and the reactor will be capable of producing up to 200,000 gallons of biodiesel per year.
A market for non-alcoholic cannabis-infused beverages is emerging, featuring a range of juices, waters, seltzers, coffees, teas, and kombucha infused with CBD or THC. CBD is understood to reduce anxiety and inflammation without getting consumers “high.”
As such, CBD beverages in particular could be marketed as health drinks, tapping into today’s intense interest in wellness products. The market for marijuna-infused beverages is estimated to reach $600M in the US by 2022, according to Canaccord Genuity.
Tapping into the cannabis wellness trend, some companies are now marketing cannabis products for pets. “Pot for pets” products, most of which feature very small doses of CBD rather than the psychoactive compound THC, include hemp oil, chews, treats, and topical creams to help manage common pet ailments like arthritis, anxiety, seizures, and pain.
While medical marijuana is legal in more than half of the US, most of the laws that have been passed do not specifically mention veterinary use, which means that the potential legal ramifications for veterinarians looking to prescribe medical marijuana are unclear.
Approximately 25% of US adults have trouble falling or staying asleep most nights, with 68% struggling to sleep once a week, according to a Consumer Reports survey. Cannabis products may soon disrupt the market for sleep aids, worth around $63B according to CB Insights’ Industry Analyst Consensus, emerging as competitors to current offerings such as ZzzQuil and Ambien.
Gravity, maker of the popular weighted blanket that aims to help people get a better night’s rest, recently partnered with CBD product purveyor Mellowment to offer CBD sleep aids that combine CBD with melatonin and chamomile. These sleep aids, marketed under the brand name Mellowment + Gravity, are intended to help people drift off to sleep.
Most professional sports leagues do not permit athletes to use marijuana, but many pro athletes themselves — particularly those in the NFL, which is still battling issues surrounding players’ health, such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) — are not only advocating that these restrictions be loosened, but are also promoting cannabis-related products for pain and anxiety management.
championing the benefits of cannabis products such as edibles and body oils for sports recovery.