A survey shows that fourteen percent of Americans claim benefit from medicinal CBD use.
Since the Federal Government changed the status of cannabidiol (CBD) with the introduction of the Farm Bill in 2018, it has found much wider recognition. No longer a taboo item, CBD is respected for its potential medicinal use.
As of 2019, fourteen percent of Americans say they have consumed cannbidiol. The Western U.S. has more consumers than the rest of the country, likely due to the legal status of cannabis within several states in that area. Each state has its own laws regarding CBD, but the federal government still regulates it through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol is a component of the cannabis plant called a cannabinoid. It is a non-intoxicating compound found in high concentrations in the cannabis flower. Recent advances in techniques and technology have changed the way cannabis is processed and consumed. Cannabidiol is a trending and rapidly changing industry.
In the U.S., the most common reason people seek cannabidiol is to manage chronic pain, to ease anxiety, and as a sleep aid. Additionally, some studies have found that CBD may reduce inflammation. This is effective for pain relief as well as skin irritation, which has led to the development of several skin care products and bath and body items. Further, an often cited study in The European Journal of Pain proves that topical CBD use also treats arthritis pain and inflammation successfully.
There is a wide variety of merchandise on the market, but people tend to seek these items out for many of the same reasons. Fortunately, some CBD items list the most common uses right on the packaging, which makes it easier for consumers to choose the products that are right for them.
Products are Widely Available
CBD comes in basically as many forms and strengths as you can imagine. There are cannabidiol tinctures, which are alcohol based liquids that are taken orally. These products usually have flavoring and may come in a spray bottle, or with a dropper. There is also CBD oil; this is a cannabidiol solution in an oil carrier. Soft gel pills are also available, as are gummies. In addition to orally consumed CBD, there are topical options, such as creams and salves.
CBD is everywhere it seems. Gas stations and convenience stores even sell CBD beverages! High-end cosmetics stores and department stores carry cannabidiol skin care products. It is so mainstream that Allure, known for their annual Best of Beauty Awards, is recommending cannabidiol skin care products.
There are even CBD chews and tinctures available for pets. (A word of caution: Not all CBD products are equal. Reputable companies provide third-party analysis to prove its safety and efficacy.)
Is CBD Considered Medicine?
Being that CBD is a natural substance with few side effects, some people prefer it to pharmaceuticals. Despite raving anecdotal accounts, however, research needs to catch up. With that said, patients with any of several conditions report finding relief from symptoms with CBD consumption. These conditions include: epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, some neurological disorders, and narcotic or opioid withdrawal.
CBD use is believed to be neuroprotective. This means it may protect the structure and function of nerve cells. As a result, there have been studies into how CBD may support health of patients with Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and even traumatic brain injury. Human clinical trials have found evidence that CBD has effective antipsychotic properties and may be helpful for patients who have schizophrenia. Patients with anxiety have reported relief as a result of using cannabidiol as well.
FDA Approved Drug Made From CBD
In June 2018, the FDA approved the first cannabis-derived drug called Epidiolex for two specific types of epilepsy in children over the age of two. The types of epilepsy it treats are called Dravet syndrome and Lennon-Gastaut syndrome. Both types are rare and do not respond to traditional anti-seizure medications. These conditions appear in early childhood, and can cause developmental delays in speech and motor function.
Epidiolex has “orphan drug designation” from the FDA. This means the approval is under a special program for rare diseases and conditions. By definition, these are typically conditions or rare diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 persons in the United States.
No Signs of Slowing Down
The market for cannabidiol will continue to grow at a rapid pace. Some forecasters suspect the number of purchases at dispensaries will decrease as the market grows and becomes more diverse. Estimates show that it could be a 20 billion dollar market by 2024. This is largely due to the growth in retail, the variety of industries involved, and the number of locations selling cannabidiol. Additionally, BDS Analytics expects the combined cannabidiol and THC markets to be worth a total $45 billion by 2024.