Jun 22, 2019

Buzz-less weed craze

Close-up of Lazarus Naturals products advertising bottles of Cannabidiol or CBD

Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Gummy candies, soft drinks, dog treats, body lotions — these days, everything under the sun is available with CBD, or cannabidoil, an ingredient derived from a non-psychotropic part of the marijuana plant.

The big picture: While everyone from Kim Kardashian to Gwyneth Paltrow relishes the supposedly relaxing qualities of CBD, the FDA is still evaluating the therapeutic claims of the industry.

The numbers that matter: In 2018, the U.S. cannabinoid market, including high-THC products with small amounts of CBD, totaled about $10.5 billion, according to a report by Arcview, a cannabis research and investment group.

  • By 2024, the market is projected to grow to $44.8 billion.
  • That tops U.S. legal spending on cannabis (medical and recreational), which Arcview says was $9.8 billion in 2018 and could reach $30 billion in 2024.
  • Caveat: These markets are difficult to track accurately, so the numbers should be treated as estimates.

What we're hearing: “Over time, there is a sense by some people in the industry that [CBD] is a bigger opportunity than marijuana and THC around the globe,” Chris Walsh, president and founding editor of MJBizDaily, tells Axios.

  • Buzzy categories include beauty products like skin care and pet products, Walsh says.
  • Big pharma and large convenience chains are driving a lot of the market’s growth.
  • But a current lack of oversight and regulation means that low-quality (or even scammy) products can discourage consumers who have bad experiences.

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