The latest wellness trend taking the world by storm is CBD and it shows no signs of stopping. CBD is becoming more widely available and in a variety of forms including food and beverage in addition to more pharmaceutical options such as capsules or skin patches. It is a truly versatile product and according to the Cannabis Trades Association (UK), CBD consumers have doubled from 125,000 to 250,000 in the last year alone. Business mergers and acquisitions are also indicative of the power of cannabis. Recently, UK cosmetic company This Works was acquired by Canadian cannabis powerhouse Canopy Growth.
CBD is used to treat a plethora of health issues and contrary to cannabis use being linked to depression, CBD is proven to aid with both anxiety and depression. CBD is a derivative of the cannabis plant which contains less than 0.2% of THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. This makes CBD a safe as well as legal option as it is legal to buy and consume in the UK. The market is rapidly growing and following in the footsteps of the US market which grossed $10 billion in legal sales in 2018. Generation Z is expected to be a large portion of UK consumers as they are twice as likely to use CBD than other generations.
To better understand how CBD is beneficial to both our physical and mental health, Shiona Redmond, a CBD expert and owner of a luxury CBD brand in London, explains that our body contains an endocannabinoid system that helps to maintain balance. It also participates in controlling the secretion of hormones for our reproductive systems as well as our response to stress. Our bodies already produce its own cannabinoids similar to CBD which is why CBD from cannabis plants has such a positive interaction. The feeling produced is similar to how one would feel after exercise as the cannabinoids in the brain are linked to serotonin levels.
There are many forms of CBD products and use and consumers are not limited to vaping, but can for a sublingual cannabis strip, an oil, or a spray. There are also diverse selections of foods and beverages available. In the UK, the first chain to offer CBD products in Crussh which offers a booster that you can add to drinks. Alternatively, if you do not wish to ingest CBD, more and more cosmetic products are becoming available including skin oils, body balms, bath bombs, and face masks. CBD extracts can be absorbed through the skin and interact with the cannabinoid receptors located on the skin’s surface.
Overall health and wellbeing are the main goals of the CBD industry and further growth in the UK is evident. Milk Makeup, which makes use of CBD in its products, is aimed at younger generations and become available in the UK in January 2019. There are even Generation Z music artists and influencers that are promoting or supporting CBD use versus smoking and alcohol adds that included celebrities in the past. This cultural shift can be credited to one of the main successes of the CBD market. Even Facebook has allowed for topical CBD products to be advertised on their social media platform.
As legislation is changing surrounding CBD and cannabis-based products, so will the advertising that companies use. What is important to note is that CBD products have varying levels of actual CBD in them and this might complicate regulations. Some products contain very small amounts of CBD whereas others can contain more than 90% CBD. The extraction method used, such as cold-pressing, distillation, use of alcohol, solvent, or CO2, is what determines the CBD levels. Carbon dioxide extractions produce the purest forms of CBD with more clear and golden results. Companies that only use low concentrations of CBD are often accused of “greenwashing” or using CBD to appear more environmentally friendly or health conscious. Some companies use hemp seed oil which should not be confounded with CBD oil as it does not contain the beneficial cannabinoids. It is important to thoroughly research products before use which Generation Z is not scared to do.