The year 2019 was a breakout period for cannabidiol, typically known as CBD.
CBD shops opened at a rapid pace in the UK with millions estimated to have tried products containing CBD for the first time.
The CBD industry, though, remains somewhat in flux due to an ongoing lack of regulation.
Consumers are unaware exactly what they are buying with research showing products commonly do not have the same amount of CBD within them as claimed on their labels.
So what is going to happen in the UK’s burgeoning CBD industry during the year 2020?
Novel Foods application process to begin
One of the key changes coming up for the CBD industry is that the Novel Foods application process is set to begin in the new year.
It was announced by the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI), which is the sector’s regulatory body, earlier this month that the next step is set to get underway.
Indeed, the ACI set a December 20 deadline for acknowledgement of engagement from members of the body in the application process.
The move was taken after work by Dr Sarah Gaunt from Global Regulatory Services and Dr Parveen Bhatarah, who is the regulatory and compliance lead for the ACI.
The pair checked out a number of world-class testing laboratories, carrying out in-depth assessments, before agreeing to the decision.
In time, the ACI is aiming to come up with global standards that will be then be put in place for CBD industry regulation.
How fast is the UK market for CBD growing?
According to recent research that was carried out by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis, the UK’s CBD industry is set to continue expanding at a great pace in the years to come.
The body’s research found that the sector in the UK is already worth in the region of £300 million, but this figure will rise quickly in the coming months.
Indeed, a study released by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis suggested double-digit growth of the industry is going to continue, which is good news for companies involved in the sector.
By the year 2025, it is estimated that the CBD industry in the UK could be worth as much as £1 billion, indicating there is a lot more room to grow.
In order for this to happen, CBD usage is going to have to keep growing. And if the generous estimates are going to prove accurate, new CBD products will continue to emerge.
What is the best target market for CBD in the UK?
Perhaps surprisingly, it is older adults who have been found to be responsible for the growth of CBD usage in the UK.
Centre for Medicinal Cannabis research released a few months ago found that around six million adults have tried CBD in some form so far.
Adults over the age of 55 were found by the study to be the most frequent age group trying CBD. It was claimed that over 30 per cent of CBD users in the UK are aged over 55.
This is important for companies in the CBD industry as they will likely need to make sure they are properly marketing their products to older adults if they are going to be successful.
It appears that sustainability will be at the forefront of the CBD revolution, in keeping with the nature-centric environment that CBD has created. Veganism will also likely play a large role moving forward, with an ever-increasing awareness around animal cruelty and animal testing. Cannacares for example were one of the first CBD companies in the UK to offer a vegan-friendly CBD oil. You can buy Cannacares’ CBD tincture oil online.
However, to find the most success in the CBD sector firms will need to make their products appealing to other demographics who are perhaps yet to try out the products for themselves. Check out Blessed CBD oil as a reference to see how successful brands are in the UK. CBD is an industry that is set to become a 22$ billion industry by 2022.
The average user of CBD oil in the UK was found to be spending around £24 per month on products, indicating how the sector could expand quickly if more adults try out CBD oil.
Awareness of CBD can still improve
Another study found under two thirds (62 per cent) of adults in the UK are aware of CBD-related products, indicating there are millions out there who can still be targeted by product makers.
Just over 15 per cent of UK adults said they had purchased a CBD product, but the lack of regulation within the industry was highlighted as an area of concern.
According to the YouGov poll, the results from which were released in October, 45 per cent of people were not confident that CBD product labels correct accurate information.
And the research also found that almost half (48 per cent) of respondents would be more likely to test out a CBD product for the first time if they were sure they were regulated properly.
This indicates that the recently announced move from the ACI to try and improve regulatory standards in the UK will be welcomed by CBD oil retailers such as CBD Shopy.
It is likely that a kitemark-style standard will ultimately be introduced in order to give customers the reassurance they want that CBD products contain what their labels claim.
More research needed for CBD industry?
Although some chemists do stock CBD oil and other related products, the National Pharmacy Association has called for more research to be carried out to ensure they are safe.
Jasmine Shah from the body told BBC news recently that research into the safety and efficacy of CBD products is currently “limited”.
She added that authoritative guidance should be on offer in order to help customers to make informed decisions when they are shopping for CBD oil and other related products.
No health claims can legally be printed on CBD labels despite the fact many users find products such as CBD oil can be very beneficial for various health issues.
Regulation would help consumers to make sure they are buying good value products, as well as those that contain exactly what they say on the label.
In order for this to happen, more medical research into the benefits of CBD should be carried out in order to give the industry overall a lot more legitimacy.
If the ambitious estimates for the growth of the CBD market in the UK are to be achieved, research and regulation seem certain to be at the heart of the sector’s future success.