The coronavirus pandemic has had a strong upwards influence on the demand for legal cannabis and CBD products. A driving factor in this has been people attempting to combat anxiety, stress, and sleep issues–all issues that these products are adept at addressing. Thanks to this, and despite strict constraints on plant cultivation, the UK is now the second-largest market in the world.
Despite strict constraints on plant cultivation, the UK is now the second-largest market in the world: driven by the pandemic, the market around CBD products–supposed to improve well-being–it is now booming in the UK.
Relaxing effects, fight against stress, CBD products are fashionable despite questions about its effectiveness and a long-standing lack of regulation. CBD (cannabidiol), which is most often sold in the form of extracts or oil, is one of the non-psychotropic active ingredients of cannabis, unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
CBD is also known for a delivering a wide range of additional benefits, while also generating much public debate. Keep up to date with the latest research and opinions by downloading our free companion Hemp.im cannabis news app.
Opinions About CBD Products Are Changing
“There was a real change in the opinion,” says Joe Oliver, co-founder and boss of LDN CBD, interviewed by the AFP. Like a myriad of companies, his CBD product brand embarked on the adventure in 2018 in London, and now plans a campaign of participatory financing.
“From the testimonials and feedback we’re getting, it mostly benefits people who are dealing with traumatic experiences, chronic illnesses or high-stress environments,” such as doctors, police, firefighters or veterans, according to Oliver. CBD can be found in well-known businesses in the U.K. such as pharmacy chain Boots or natural products chain Holland & Barrett.
The CBD products industry is expected to generate sales of 690 million pounds in the UK in 2021, according to the industry association ACI (Association for the Cannabinoid Industry). And they could reach 1 billion pounds (1.3 billion francs) in 2025 according to British consulting firm Savills.
CBD Products on the Stock Market
The “wellness” market is more important than therapeutic cannabis available on prescription for certain pathologies. And recreational cannabis is not authorized.
For CBD products, intended for the general public, the United Kingdom has “become the second-largest market in the world,” says Steve Moore, co-founder of the ICA in a report published in May, referring to “the quiet revolution” of cannabis.
In a sign of the market’s opening, companies specializing in CBD products, medical cannabis, or cannabis oil products can be listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). If the United Kingdom is at the forefront in Europe, it is thanks to a “fascination” for the United States,” the largest market in the world, and “an important market these last years,” explains Steve Moore to the AFP.
Pandemic Has Increased Demand for CBD Products
More recently, “the pandemic has increased demand with stress, sleep problems, anxiety,” explains Steve Moore. The United Kingdom has recently introduced a regulatory framework to reassure customers about the quality of CBD products. Until now, some oils sold on the market had no trace of CBD or instead contained THC.
There is still no clear evidence that CBD works for all the health problems it is supposed to address, except for certain types of epilepsy.
The food safety agency, the Food Standards Agency (FSA), considers CBD a “novel food,” following a 2019 EU ruling, and has a say in the marketing of the products. However, it acknowledges on its website that there are unknowns about the effects.
“There is no clear evidence yet that CBD products work for all the health problems they are supposed to address, apart from some types of epilepsy,” Sagnik Bhattacharyya, a professor of psychiatry at King’s College London, tells AFP. And the communication and the publicity around the products are consequently very supervised. Another challenge is that growing plants remains an obstacle course.
Destruction of the flowers
If it is possible to grow hemp or cannabis, the law requires the destruction of the flowers or buds, the noblest parts that also house the psychoactive substance. For CBD product manufacturers, the only choice is to import the oil from the United States and Europe.
“It’s hard to understand, especially in a post-Brexit era, why it’s legal to import CBD and forbidden to produce it,” points out Louise Motala, manager of Bridge Farm, a farm in Lincolnshire (eastern England), which has a license to grow cannabis but therefore can’t use it as much as it would like.
“I’ve seen thousands of people’s lives change. I remember when any type of cannabis was completely banned.” Joe Oliver, co-founder, and owner of LDN CBD
Despite these challenges, professionals like Oliver are amazed at how far a plant that has not always had good press has come in just a few years: “I have seen thousands of people’s lives change. I remember when any type of cannabis was completely banned.
DISCLAIMER: This article was written by a third party contributor and does not reflect the opinion of Hemp.im, its management, staff or its associates. Please review our disclaimer for more information.
This article may include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words “believe,” “project,” “estimate,” “become,” “plan,” “will,” and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks as well as uncertainties, including those discussed in the following cautionary statements and elsewhere in this article and on this site. Although the Company may believe that its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, the actual results that the Company may achieve may differ materially from any forward-looking statements, which reflect the opinions of the management of the Company only as of the date hereof. Additionally, please make sure to read these important disclosures.
First published in LeMatin.ch a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
Although we made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translations, some parts may be incorrect. Hemp.im assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions or ambiguities in the translations provided on this website. Any person or entity relying on translated content does so at their own risk. Hemp.im is not responsible for losses caused by such reliance on the accuracy or reliability of translated information. If you wish to report an error or inaccuracy in the translation, we encourage you to contact us.