Awareness about the benefits of the marijuana plant might be growing, but not as many people know that many derivative products made out of cannabis have the potential to be just as popular if not more so than the plant itself.
There are a variety of these derivative products out there in the market, but all of them extract certain cannabis-specific compounds. Although there are over 100 various chemicals found in marijuana that have some use, there are really only two that stand out.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the most commonly extracted compounds, and despite having the exact same chemical makeup, just a single atom arranged in a different order makes a world of difference. THC specifically is what makes cannabis users high, while CBD doesn’t.
This means that extracting CBD is the perfect way to encapsulate the benefits of cannabis (especially it’s medical properties) without the downside of getting high.
Already CBD has become one of the most popular ingredients in the wellness and edibles space, used in body lotions, shampoos, ointments, beverages, and snacks. Perhaps the most popular of these are CBD-based oils, which have a number of advantages to their use.
The Benefits of CBD
The main appeal behind CBD comes from a variety of health benefits associated with the compound, some being recognized by various health agencies while others still are disputed.
From a psychiatric perspective, we’ve already seen the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approve the use of CBD in drugs to treat specialty conditions like Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes. Research also has been shown that CBD can be helpful for those suffering with psychosis or schizophrenia, as well as treating addictions, anxiety, and other psychological issues.
But where CBD also shines is in the area of pain relief. CBD helps reduce pain as well as inflammation by interacting with the neurotransmitters in the body that transmit these signals. Treating physical injuries is already a common application of CBD and is growing in popularity among athletes.
CBD can also treat pain as a side-effect from cancer treatments as well as chronic conditions. As more people undergo chemotherapy, surgeries, and deal with conditions like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, finding reliable, side-effect free pain treatments are becoming increasingly hard to find, let alone options that are completely natural and organic.
Even conditions like acne can be treated with the use of topicals, which reduce inflammation and help clear up the skin. These anti-inflammatory properties mean that CBD can also help treat conditions like arthritis as well as type 1 diabetes. While there is still some more research that needs to be done, there’s a growing pile of evidence that suggests the medical applications of CBD are potentially massive.
The Use of Oils and the Potential Market
Now that we’ve looked at the benefits, the next question comes down to what’s the best way to apply CBD. While vapors and edibles can be useful in some regard, CBD-oils that can be applied directly to the skin is perhaps the most attractive method of doing so. Oils are made by extracting the CBD from the plant before diluting it with a carrier oil like hemp seed or coconut oil.
As with the case with all oils, applying it directly onto the body is a faster way of getting CBD into one’s system than other, less direct methods. Direct application in specific areas, such as an injury or inflamed area, is also more efficient through the use of oils. In this way, CBD-oils are both faster as well as more localized in their effects.
Most importantly, there are only a few reported side effects from CBD-oil usage. Many studies have already shown that adults can tolerate a wide range of doses well with no consequences on the central nervous system even among those who take higher doses. The most common side effect reported was a feeling of tiredness, alongside some cases of diarrhea.
As such, it’s not surprising to hear that the CBD-derivative industry will be worth billions in a couple of years. According to Greenwave Advisors, CBD as a market will likely eclipse $3 billion by 2021, with certain estimations guessing that figure could rise to almost $200 billion in the many years and decades after that. While more conservative estimates put the CBD market at $16 billion by 2025, it’s still a highly impressive growth rate either way.
While CBD has previously been extracted from cannabis, growing the plant still remains illegal in many states. While this made it a bit more difficult for companies to find sources, the passing of the US Farm Act earlier this year has now made hemp is now a viable, mainstream alternative to CBD production. As such US companies will now have a fresh supply of CBD to draw from, further helping the supply and popularity of these products explode.
As CBD usage continues to gain popularity thanks to a lack of side effects as well as it’s versatility in treating many different conditions, CBD-oil is going to become increasingly common. This is great news for both patients as well as investors, as the growing market will end up being good news for both.