Cannabidiol or CBD products have seen a rapid rise in sales worldwide. In part, this is driven by the fact that the regulations and laws have been relaxed, and in part by the results especially in a health and beauty capacity.
In Europe, the market is believed to be worth £480 million. Around £110 million of sales coming from the UK. Other sources such as the Centre for Medical Cannabis (CMC) estimate that in the UK alone, the market could be worth over £1bn by 2025.
The Cannabis Trade Association (CTA), the professional body that works with regulators to improve and make more acceptable cannabis products believe the market consists of:
- 50% oil-based and dietary products.
- 33% vapes.
- 17% edibles and cosmetics.
The CTA predicts that the cosmetics side of CBD will see serious growth, with edibles and drinks also seeing a rise in demand.
The CBD market is broadly a 60/40 split between business to business and business to consumer.
CBD and Digital Transformation
The CBD market is well ahead of many products in terms of embracing the digital transformation. Technology is at the heart of this industry, from growing the plants to extracting the CBD. The latter has always been a time-consuming process. Now using the latest thinking and CO2, the extraction process is faster and more accurate.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is at the heart of production both on a scientific and commercial basis. The power of AI is able to gather a lot of information on buying habits and preferences. AI is also helping to develop more effective products. Once the data is in the system, the possibilities of what can be discovered are almost limitless.
Legalities of CBD in the UK and Europe
Across many parts of Europe, CBD has become legal, providing it is sourced from approved sources and suppliers have gained authorisation to import or produce it. This is slightly different in the UK, where lobby groups are putting pressure on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to gain a ‘free license’ for CBD products to be sold in the UK.
THC products are often banned in most countries, including the UK. However, there are exceptions to the rule, which adds to the confusion around CBD product legal status.
Getting through the loopholes is the job of product suppliers, so consumers simply have to check the labelling to ensure they are buying a CBD product.
Other countries like Ireland walk a path that is hard to clarify. On the one hand, the product is legal but restricted use. That said, using sites that feature the best CBD oils in Ireland are easy to come across and are regularly used by Irish consumers.
Lastly, more so than anything else, the CBD market is one that is in demand. Although yet to be licensed, there can be no doubt that the medical benefits of CBD are breaking through the mainstream, and frankly, people aren’t stupid and prepared to sit on their hands waiting for regulators to give it the nod.
CBD is a huge growth market, and the economic impacts are positive.