The CBD industry is growing rapidly worldwide, with everyone wanting in on the game, trying to get a standing before it becomes saturated. After attending a CBD conference not too long ago, I was amazed by the amount of businesses that called it a ‘gold rush’, representing the Wild West.

But there is a lot of truth to this. The knowledge and interest in the industry is growing exponentially, while there still isn’t much regulation in place, meaning brands are popping up out of no where. So, let’s take a bit of a dive into this.

Is CBD Trending?

Below you can see the Google Trends data for CBD oil in the UK over the past five years, where you can see the high level of growth compared to 2015 where it was pretty much flat. It hit a peak in February 2018 and hasn’t quite reach the same heights

It should however be stated that the recent drop is due to Coronavirus rather than a sign of a dropping interest.

The US shows something very different however, where it has been dropping since last summer:

While CBD oil might have seen its peak, it would be interesting to see whether alternatives start to grow. Below you can see the growth for ‘CBD Gummies

Another factor is the growing popularity in the other cannabinoids outside of CBD and THC, which could pave the way for CBN oil and CBG oil becoming a big seller.

One study showed that approximately 5% of the UK population have tried CBD before, a small minority currently, but an ever growing figure. However, the number of people purchasing CBD products more regularly is around 1.3 million.

How Much Was The CBD Industry Worth In The UK?

In 2019 the CBD market was believed to be £300 million, which is around $375 million, which is double what it was in 2018 (approx. £150 million). This highlights the huge level of growth, however 2020 figures might be hit by the Coronavirus pandemic. Early opinions and data showed that the industry would have been worth £400 million in the UK in 2020, but now they reckon it will be flat with last year due to the difficulties.

How Big Will The CBD Industry Be?

There are various publications stating that market research conducted by the Centre for Medical Cannabis (CMC) shows the industry will reach 1 billion pounds by 2025. These are purely estimates at the moment and will massively depend on legalisation in the UK, the trust being built from brands and the growth of other products to instigate growth.

Biggest Barriers To The CBD Market?

We all want to see the industry grow, but there are a few factors which could be holding it back. The first is the preconceived perception around anything to do with cannabis. It is much harder to convince an older audience who might be set in their ways and have views on the whole industry as something negative. But with cases around the treating of epilepsy becoming public knowledge, people are starting to see the real value of CBD.

The other big factor in play is the lack of regulations. There have been multiple TV shows where the have tested CBD products in labs and the results came back with lower amounts of CBD than suggested (even some with zero CBD), while some had higher amounts of THC, making it technically an illegal product!

At the end of the day, the industry will grow if brands continue to produce great quality products, but as with any industry, it can take a knock when negative media pieces are posted on the back of a poor quality product.

FSA Deadline

The UK Food Standards Agency put a deadline of the 31st March 2021 for CBD brands to submit a valid novel food application for their products. This is because regulation is changing for CBD products, being recognised as a novel food type, which means it doesn’t have a long history of consumption (not used before May 1997) in the EU.

With many brands failing to get this in place, they could see their products removed from stores up and down the country, which will have a huge knock-on effect.

While this all might sound frustrating, this should help to ensure more customers of the quality and safety measures in place. This can be submitted through the European Commission with no fee charged, while you can also read more here about the process for UK businesses.

By Tom Bourlet

Being based in Brighton, I have directly witnessed the CBD industry grow and prosper, albeit witnessing the difficulties around legislation and the lack of transparency. I therefore decided to become a neutral viewpoint offering genuine reviews, advice and guidance.

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