In the USA, the CBD market is among the fastest growing of all. In Europe things are finally starting to wake up, although there are major differences between the many nations. What has caused this acceleration in market growth, and what is CBD all about? There has been a lot written about CBD – cannabidiol, one of the compounds found in the cannabis plant – especially its ability to help with chronic pain, with anxiety and depression and with many other ailments. Although not yet medically licensed, there is clearly truth in the claims of thousands of people who use it.
The fact it is derived from cannabis has also leant CBD an air of controversy. However, while it may come from the plant, CBD is not marijuana. CBD – to be legally extracted and sold – must come from the strain of cannabis known as ‘industrial hemp’. This strain contains very low levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). CBD products must contain only trace elements of THC, which is the psychoactive element in cannabis. This is so that users will get the relaxing effect of cannabis, but not the ‘high’ produced by THC. So why is it only now that the CBD market future in Europe is coming to life?
Legalization of Cannabis
The USA has begun to legalize cannabis in many states, with citizens able to have on their person a set amount, and in some places to cultivate a specified number of plants for their own use. CBD is legal across the board, as long as it contains no more than 0.3% THC. The legality of CBD in Europe is a different matter, and it is largely down to their being many countries involved and to cannabis being largely against the law in most countries. Famously, The Netherlands has a law that allows the sale of cannabis in licensed coffee shops. Trips to Amsterdam are commonplace with people wishing to try these out.
In countries such as the UK, France and a few others cannabis is quite strictly clamped down upon. Switzerland, however, has legalized cannabis for medicinal use, and similar laws have been passed in Spain, Portugal and Italy. In these countries, possession of the drug in small quantities may well be overlooked. CBD is a different matter and is legal in most of Europe and sold via licensed retailers both online and on the high street.
The Growth of CBD in Europe
Part of the reason why the European market is now taking off lies in the fact that investors have been following its rapid growth in the USA. Clearly, this is a market that is set to be – and indeed is – extremely lucrative for those who get in at ground level. The sale of vape products in Europe has also rocketed. Some people get CBD by smoking the flowering parts of the hemp plant, similar to the way people may smoke marijuana in rolled cigarettes. But increasingly CBD is available via e-cigarette vaporizer devices, or “dab pens.” These are a safe and convenient method of taking CBD and are inexpensive. Available as refillable or disposable, they use an atomizer and battery to create the vapor that gives the hit the user is looking for.
The figures projected for the CBD market in Europe are colossal. In 2019, more than 130 new companies in the CBD market were subject to investment of almost $130million in total. This is set to increase year on year as the industry becomes established. This is a market to get into if you’re looking to invest, and if you simply enjoy vaping CBD, you can rest assured the choices you have are set to expand beyond your expectations.