The CBD industry has grown so rapidly over the past few years that it’s impossible to tell whether the industry has begun to reach a stage of critical mass or will simply continue its rate of exponential expansion for the foreseeable future. One thing, however, is certain: The experience for CBD buyers has changed so much that 2020 could end up going down as the year in which the CBD industry finally came of age.
If you’re about to try CBD for the first time, you couldn’t possibly have picked a better year to do so. Here are a few of the biggest changes that have taken place in the CBD industry in 2020.
CBD Products Are More Potent
One of the most important factors making this such a great time to try CBD is the fact that today’s CBD products are, on average, far more potent than they were just a few years ago. These days, companies like Crescent Canna are releasing CBD oil drops with potencies as high as 9,000 mg per bottle. In the early days of the CBD industry, products with strengths in that range weren’t just rare. In fact, it would have been almost impossible to produce a CBD product with that strength and sell it at a price consumers could afford.
Why is that? It’s because the financial underpinnings of the CBD industry have been completely transformed by a maturing supply chain.
CBD Products Are Less Expensive
On a dollars-per milligram basis, CBD has never been more affordable than it is right now – and that’s because there has never been a better supply chain for CBD product manufacturers than there is now. CBD has been the world’s hottest supplement for several years now, but it’s a natural plant extract that can’t be synthesized in a lab. Hemp is also a notoriously difficult plant to grow if you’re trying to maximize its CBD content.
Before CBD products could reach the low prices that consumers enjoy today, several things had to happen – and before those things happened, there was nowhere near the amount of hemp and hemp distillate in the United States necessary to meet demand.
- Farmers had to recognize the potential of industrial hemp as a cash crop and decide to begin growing it. Because growing hemp for its CBD content is a difficult and expensive proposition, it took some farmers multiple growing seasons to fully ramp up their production. The 2018 U.S. farm bill – which legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp throughout the United States – also helped to get more farmers growing the crop.
- More hemp processing companies needed to appear. By 2019, there was plenty of hemp biomass to go around in the United States, but there weren’t enough companies with the necessary equipment and skills to distill the hemp and extract its essential oils. That began to change in 2020 as more hemp processing companies appeared and started processing the excess biomass. Ready availability of hemp distillate isn’t a concern anymore for CBD brands. CBD brands no longer need to overpay for raw hemp oil or finished hemp goods, and that means consumers no longer need to overpay for CBD products. CBD brands still charging the prices they charged in 2018-19 are doing so artificially; there’s no need to pay high prices for CBD products anymore.
CBD Products Have Greater Variety
Manufacturers of finished CBD goods primarily use CBD in two different forms: liquid oil-based hemp distillate and powdered CBD isolate. CBD isolate is soluble in oil or propylene glycol, so you can add it to an enormous variety of products – and CBD brands have done exactly that. These are just a few of the products that you can buy with CBD today, and this list barely scratches the surface.
- Oral CBD products such as oils, capsules and gummies
- Topical CBD products such as gels, lotions, patches and rollers
- Cosmetic CBD products such as lip balms and undereye creams
- Inhalable CBD products such as vape juices and smokable hemp flowers
The reason for all of this variety is that very few of CBD’s potential benefits have been proven through scientific research. Many studies have produced results suggesting that CBD could be useful for a wide variety of purposes, but most of those studies have been preliminary in nature, with either animals or small groups of human volunteers as subjects. Before anyone can definitively say that CBD has a particular benefit, that claim needs to be backed up by a double-blind placebo-controlled study. Many such studies will likely be conducted in the near future.
Until those studies happen, though, consumers are willing to try CBD for just about anything – and different forms of CBD reach the body in different ways. A CBD pain roller, for example, can absorb through the skin to target a specific muscle or joint. People who want to try CBD for insomnia or anxiety may prefer oral CBD products. Those who want to try CBD in a way that’s as fast acting as possible may prefer to inhale it. Today, there’s a perfect CBD product for just about anyone.
CBD Products Are More Consistent in Quality
The best part about being a consumer of CBD in 2020 is that you can be more confident than ever in the quality of the product. In the past, some CBD brands simply imported CBD isolates and oils from China, put their labels on the products and sold them without really knowing what was in them. That led to a glut of CBD products on the American marketplace that didn’t actually have the amount of CBD stated on their labels.
Problems like that are much rarer today than they once were. That’s partially because CBD companies routinely send their products to third-party labs for testing and partially because CBD from American-grown hemp is much easier to acquire today than it was a couple of years ago. When you buy CBD today, you can expect a product that does contain the amount of CBD claimed on the label and doesn’t contain unwanted contaminants like pesticides and heavy metals.