CBD Today and Tomorrow
As we celebrate National CBD Day, we look at how far we’ve come and what’s ahead of us.
In the year 2020, the cannabidiol industry was worth a whopping $2.8 billion. But according to Forbes Magazine, with FDA approval, the cannabidiol industry could grow even faster than it already is, predicting that if the FDA does approve the use of CBD, the overall worth of the industry could be $19.5 billion by 2025. Those are some big numbers, and many people aren’t surprised that this cannabis and hemp derived chemical compound has become an American cash cow. But what is it about CBD that people can’t get enough of, and where is this industry heading, aside from the bank?
Much of the growth in the CBD market had to start by breaking down previous conceptions of cannabis, hemp, THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol), and CBD (or cannabidiol). CBD and THC are both simply chemical compounds. Much of the education pertaining to the way THC and CBD interact with our bodies, comes from the discovery of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) in 1988.
The discovery of the ECS proved that our bodies are cued to receive and respond to cannabinoids; whether they are endocannabinoids, meaning that they are produced by the body, or phytocannabinoids, which means they are produced by plants. Phytocannabinoids in other words, can come from the cannabis or hemp plant. Because we now know that our bodies produce their own cannabinoids, we know that introducing phytocannabinoids to our system is natural and safe.
Through better understanding of our own body, researchers have been able to prove the link between positive results and the consumption of phytocannabinoids. By isolating the chemical compound of CBD, scientists after 1988 began to be able to provide the health benefits of CBD without the added feeling of being high, which comes from THC. This has led to a wide world of sleep-aids, pain killers, and even skincare routines.
Today, CBD that is derived from hemp extract, is federally legal to be sold everywhere in America. This is because of the farm act of 2018, which made hemp and hemp products federally legal. The FDA has not approved the use of CBD however, making the market a mixed bag of high-quality and poorer-quality products.
The FDA has approved one CBD product: a prescription CBD product which treats seizures caused by the following syndromes: Lennox Gastaut syndrome (LGS), Dravet syndrome (DS), or tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). This prescription CBD product is used for anyone over the age of one, illustrating how safe CBD has the potential to be. This is a huge step in FDA approval down the line.
But why hasn’t the FDA approved all CBD when it is derived from hemp? Excellent question! Quite simply: the FDA is waiting on more research and therefore more definitive proof that CBD is not a health risk and rather a benefit. At this time, research and clinical studies are still being conducted in efforts to prove the health benefits and low risk of cannabidiol.
Unfortunately, much like the stigma of THC and cannabis, CBD is fighting the uphill battle of being a once controlled substance. Cannabis, or marijuana, is still classified as a Schedule One drug under the Controlled Substances Act. With further education about CBD and how different it is than THC, more people can utilize the chemical for a natural, healthy treatment for things like seizures, sleep-aids, and anxiety treatments.
The future is never certain, and while Forbes Magazine seems sure that the CBD industry could grow by seven times in only five years, the FDA’s refusal to approve CBD as a safe and effective drug could slow or prevent that growth from happening. Still, there is a lot of money, time, and energy being invested in researching cannabidiol and its health benefits. Those studies and clinical trials over the next few years have the potential to explode the CBD industry and make CBD a more common, safe, and effective drug.
If the FDA approves CBD as safe and effective, you can expect to see it more (yes more!) than you’re seeing it now. The same CBD that is currently in protein bars, can be FDA approved to guarantee the drug will help in tissue regeneration and pain management – two highly-supported conclusions of various research into the effects of CBD. Guarantees like that will be on all FDA approved CBD products, boosting sales exponentially.
Staying informed is the best way to be a safe and knowledgeable consumer of CBD. If you’re interested in introducing CBD to your diet, speak to your doctor first.