CBD Hemp Products Market: Regulatory Momentum and Consumer Demand Drive Explosive Growth
The global CBD hemp products market is experiencing a surge in interest from consumers, pharmaceutical companies, the food sector, and governments. CBD, a non-psychoactive compound derived from the hemp plant, has found applications in pharmaceutical drugs, dietary supplements, food products, and cosmetics. Off-label medicinal use of CBD products, including oils, gums, and supplements, has become increasingly common, with high-concentration extracts available for the treatment of various ailments.
While research continues to support the diverse applications of CBD in areas such as chronic pain management and psychiatric health maintenance, the current regulatory authorization in the US is primarily limited to the epilepsy drug Epidiolex® and certain cosmetics. However, the market is poised for expansion, driven by growing consumer enthusiasm for CBD and its relatively easy availability in traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
Positive Regulatory Developments Pave the Way
Several countries have adapted their regulatory frameworks to recognize CBD as a medicinal product. In the US, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and hemp-based CBD at the federal level. More recently, the US approved its first over-the-counter (OTC) CBD topical, Elixicure, and introduced a bill to allow CBD usage as a dietary supplement. In the UK, laws related to medical cannabis were revisited in 2018, leading to the incorporation of cannabis medical products. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) also reclassified CBD as a “novel food,” aligning regulations across many European countries. Canada, following Uruguay, legalized both recreational and medical cannabis through the Cannabis Act and is introducing a category for cannabis health products (CHPs).
Consumer Acceptance Drives Growth
The increasing awareness among consumers of the potential health benefits of CBD is a significant driver of demand for CBD hemp products. Research indicates that three out of four people in the US, spanning different social classes, would consider using CBD, reflecting the evolving perception of CBD among the public. In Europe, the Twenty21 medical cannabis registry is expected to enroll around 20,000 patients for a study on the efficacy of medical cannabis.
Digital channels have played a pivotal role in CBD sales, with specialty direct-to-consumer e-retailers like Eaze and Leafly distributing most CBD products. Over 65% of global hemp sales in 2020 occurred online, largely influenced by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Mainstream retailers like Sephora and nutrition and supplement store chains such as The Vitamin Shoppe and GNC have also embraced CBD products. Unconventional channel partners such as pet stores and gyms are expected to create new revenue generation opportunities.
Regional Markets and M&A Trends
North America, particularly the US and Canada, has emerged as the largest market for CBD hemp products, with Latin America and Europe following suit. Regulatory restrictions are expected to ease by 2023, particularly in North America and Europe, creating opportunities for entry into the CBD industry.
The Asia Pacific market, led by China and Japan, holds high growth potential due to customer demand for plant-derived and natural health products, innovative organic skincare products, and anti-aging solutions.
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have played a crucial role in the CBD hemp products market, with larger companies acquiring specialized players. In 2019, there were over 3,500 CBD brands in the US, and the top 10 companies held slightly less than 25% of the market share. Leading global companies in this landscape include Canopy Growth Corporation, CuraLeaf Holdings, and Trulieve Cannabis. M&A activity in the cannabis industry is expected to continue, highlighting the industry’s consolidation trend.
Key players in the CBD hemp products market include Canopy Growth Corporation, CuraLeaf Holdings, Trulieve Cannabis, Charlotte’s Web, Elixinol, Medical Marijuana Inc., CV Sciences, Green Roads World, Medterra, Sentia Wellness, Balanced Health Botanicals, CBDfx, Irwin Naturals, and Garden of Life.
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