While THC has been federally illegal for some time, CBD from hemp was legal to purchase and consume in all states until recently. CBD doesn’t get you high but it can help stop seizures and other medical conditions. Since there were fewer limits on the CBD market there was a huge potential for growth. In fact, The Hemp Business Journal estimated a 700% increase from 2016 to 2020. Places like Washington D.C. had about 800 different CBD products available, illustrating the growing market. Shortly after the estimated growth was reported, the DEA implemented a rule that made CBD in all its forms federally illegal.
Most CBD comes in the oil form for oral consumption but newer products take on many forms. For example, Axim Biotechnologies has developed a CBD chewing gum. Additionally, there are CBD edibles, crystals, capsules and more available on the market.
CBD products were taking the appeal of the marijuana industry and using it for a larger legal market. CBD can be extracted from medical cannabis or industrial hemp. However, only the latter was considered legal in all fifty states until recently. CBD extracted from medical cannabis has a higher risk of containing intoxicating amounts of THC. As a result, you’ll need a medical marijuana card to obtain CBD extracted from medical cannabis.
The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015 excluded hemp from the Controlled Substance Act. So, at the time, the FDA considered CBD a dietary supplement, acquiring CBD products outside of a dispensary was easy for anyone that can afford it.
Last year the CBD market raked in about 200 million dollars. The Hemp Business Journal estimated the market would reach 2.1 billion by 2020. Others, like Matt Karnes at GreenWave Advisors estimate up to a 3 billion dollar market by 2021.
The CBD market has been expanding since states began legalizing medical marijuana. CBD was becoming a part of the big business model. Companies began importing hemp from countries like China to reduce costs.
Headset research claims companies that imported, “order large vats of CBD oil that are produced from Chinese industrial hemp and cut into their products. This makes it difficult for those who grow and extract CBD locally to compete and consumers aren’t currently educated enough to have a preference for “homegrown” CBD products.”
So, the lack of education on these products was allowing low-quality CBD to make a killing. While companies who were once selling the same product for $1.25 per milligram are now getting a few cents per milligram to survive in the competitive market. Now, they’ll be lucky to make anything with their market limited to medical marijuana patients in states with medical marijuana.
While CBD alone does not provide all the medicinal effects associated with cannabis, it is useful to those who need relief but don’t want to experience the high. Unfortunately for those who need it, legal CBD is becoming harder to acquire when it was just recently exploding in popularity.