What is CBD?
If you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past year, you may not know that CBD is being dubbed as the next big thing in the cannabis industry. An article out of Forbes noted that the CBD market is expected to surpass $20 billion by 2024 in the United States alone. CBD, one of two of the most prevalent cannabinoids in cannabis, is kind of like THC’s little brother. By that, I mean that although CBD won’t get you high, it does have active ingredients that have left many arguing for its medicinal benefits. Further, CBD doesn’t need to come from cannabis plants themselves; many CBD products on the market today are hemp-derived and have less that 0.3% THC. This has caused a lot of confusion about whether CBD should be similarly categorized as cannabis products, or instead be designated as a health and wellness product.
One of the major issues right now is that research on the medicinal properties of CBD are lacking. While studies are active, conclusions on CBD’s effects are still up in the air. This has left many confused consumers, as well as politicians and law-makers.
CBD in the USA
When recreational cannabis became legal in Canada in October of 2018, so too did CBD. However, in Canada CBD must come from a licensed producers. While retailers vary province-to-province, it is widely understood that CBD can only be purchased through verified retailers, and is not legally sold through health and wellness stores.
In the States it is a bit different. With the passing of the Farm Bill in 2018, hemp and its derivatives did become legal federally. However, whether CBD is considered a food or beverage product is still up to consideration (the Food and Drug Administration is still considering the question). This has led some states (including those where recreational cannabis is legal) to ban the sale of CBD drinks and food products.
Just this past week, Washington joined New York and California in banning CBD in food and beverages. This means that individuals looking to drink their CBD in their morning cup of joe are at a loss.
The Future of CBD
While some states have opted to ban CBD in food and drink, the future of CBD still looks bright. Research is direly needed in the cannabis space, especially when it comes to CBD. Some excellent research has been done on the benefits of CBD for a very rare form of childhood epilepsy, as well as to ease chronic pain. Though until more concrete studies come out on the wider uses and benefits of CBD, consumers continue to largely rely on word-of-mouth of the miracles of CBD. As the United States moves closer to full legalization of CBD products, Canada is currently undergoing consultations on whether CBD should be considered a health and wellness product. Once these markets open up and further studies are conclusive on CBD’s medicinal effects, the sky seems to be the limit!