The end of 2018 saw the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill; this means hemp has been officially removed from the controlled substances list, making it legal to cultivate in the US. In addition, it is now legal to transport hemp-derived products across state lines. Restrictions have been removed on the sale and possession of these products as long as production is in compliance with the law. Essentially, hemp is now considered a mainstream crop, and revisions have been made to existing agricultural law to include hemp.The Bill still has some restrictions, however. For starters, the hemp being cultivated cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC- anything above the limit will be considered marijuana. One must have a license in order to grow hemp as well, and the Bill dictates that violations of these rules are punishable. Also, the state and federal governments will share regulatory power over cultivation, and the USDA Secretary must approve of all state’s plans for growing, licensing, and regulating. So, in essence, hemp is now legal, but it will be a highly regulated crop, not something that anyone can grow freely.
What About CBD?Since CBD is derived from the hemp plant, cannabidiol (CBD) is now legal, however, still heavily regulated. That is to say, not all CBD is considered legal, only that which has been produced in compliance with the 2018 Farm Bill- following federal and state regulations and cultivated by a licensed grower. Therefore, it is important for consumers to research their CBD provider to make sure the products are legitimate.
A Growing Marketplace
With hemp and CBD now being more widely available in the US, it is only a matter of time before big companies start launching their own products. Many beverage
companies, such as Heineken, Molson Coors, and Coca-Cola, have expressed interest in utilizing cannabis for new drinks. Coca-Cola is interested in CBD particularly, and is reportedly in talks with Aurora Cannabis, a Canada-based cannabis producer, to create a CBD-containing wellness beverage.
Other companies are not necessarily creating new products, but are still embracing
CBD’s entrance to the mainstream. Retailer Neiman Marcus now offers beauty
products containing CBD as part of their Trending Beauty initiative, with plans to
expand offerings if successful. Footwear retailer DSW is also now selling various
lotions and balms that contain CBD, and Barney’s has just announced its plans for a cannabis-inspired shop at its Beverly Hills location. CBD is definitely a hot topic for a variety of industries, and it looks like more companies will be quick to hop on the trend as it gains popularity.
New and Exciting Ways to Use CBD
By this point, most people are aware of the fact that CBD oil can be consumed orally through capsules or sublingual drops, or topically through lotions and creams. Now there are even more ways to experience the benefits from hemp: CBD vape pens, bath bombs, coffees, makeup, candy, and even CBD oil designed for pets!
CBD vape pens have become very popular over the past few years, and they may interest a lot of people who are curious about alternative forms of CBD consumption. They can be convenient due to their portability, and many proponents say they can feel the effects quickly due to faster entrance into the bloodstream. There are a variety of styles of vapes, so it is worth doing research to find the type that best suits your needs.
CBD coffee is quickly becoming a go-to beverage in the wellness community. Most people drink coffee daily, so why not get a dose of CBD at the same time? Some companies coat the coffee beans with CBD oil, others drop it into the drink once it’s made, and chef Leighton Knowles of Flower Power Coffee goes so far as to infuse the ground beans before they’ve been brewed. The theory behind the CBD/coffee combination is that it will provide the alertness from caffeine, but without the anxiety-causing side effects.
For a tasty way to consume CBD, there are now plenty of CBD edibles on the market, such as gummies, cookies, and chocolate. You can even experiment with this trend in your own kitchen by adding CBD crystals or oil to different recipes. Some suggest mixing the CBD with the butter or oil in the recipe in order to get it to dissolve and incorporate.
It’s clear that CBD is prospering, but just how much? According to experts, it will
continue to grow in the years ahead, with an expected $2.1 billion in consumer sales by 2020 (a 700% increase from 2016!). Its legal status is partly credited for this estimated explosion, but so is the science to support CBD’s value as a health-promoting product. Wellness is also a growing trend, and the market for health and wellness offerings is at an expected 3.5% growth, which means $815 billion by the
year 2021. Even with the rise of wellness products in general, CBD is doing
exceptionally well in comparison to other supplements. Scientific studies that
support CBD’s benefits have also helped to shift cultural attitudes about cannabis
products in general, making it even more acceptable in the mainstream.
Legality also plays a role in the expected projections- before the Farm Bill, the
The United States imported all of its hemp products from countries like China and
Canada. Since cultivation is now fair game in this country, the US is predicted to
become the leader of the global hemp market by the year 2020. This means it will
account for over 30% of the global market.
2019 and Beyond
Big things are coming this year for the cannabis industry. Going forward, we can expect more and more products on the shelves of many retailers, and more innovations in the way we consume these products. With a legal status and countless testimonials about the positive impact of hemp and CBD oil, it looks like this trend will continue for quite a while. Hemp lovers, rejoice!
Article by Heather Manning