The CBD industry has grown so rapidly in recent years that it is impossible to say whether the industry has reached a critical mass stage or will simply continue its exponential expansion for the foreseeable future. One thing is certain, however: the experience for CBD shoppers has changed so much that 2020 may go under as the year the CBD industry finally grew up.
If this is your first time trying CBD, you couldn’t possibly have picked a better year to do it. Here are some of the biggest changes that have happened in the CBD industry in 2020.
CBD products are stronger
One of the most important factors that make this a great time to try CBD is the fact that today’s CBD products are, on average, far more effective than they were a few years ago. Today, companies like Crescent Canna release CBD oil drops with potencies as high as 9,000 mg per bottle. In the early days of the CBD industry, products with strengths in this area weren’t all that rare. In fact, it would have been almost impossible to make a CBD product with this strength and sell it at a price that consumers could afford.
Why is that? This is because the financial foundations of the CBD industry have been completely transformed by a mature supply chain.
CBD products are less expensive
On a dollar-per-milligram basis, CBD has never been more affordable than it is now – and that’s because there has never been a better supply chain for CBD product manufacturers than it is now. CBD has been the hottest supplement in the world for a few years now, but it’s a natural plant extract that can’t be synthesized in a laboratory. Hemp is also a notoriously difficult plant to grow when trying to maximize its CBD levels.
Before CBD products could reach the low prices consumers enjoy today, a few things had to happen – and before those things happened, the U.S. was nowhere near the amount of hemp and hemp distillate it needed to meet demand.
- Farmers had to recognize the potential of industrial hemp as a cash harvest and decide to start growing it. Since growing hemp is a difficult and expensive proposition because of its CBD content, it took some farmers several growing seasons to fully increase their production. The 2018 U.S. Agriculture Act, which legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp in the United States, also helped more farmers grow the crop.
- More hemp processing companies had to appear. There was a lot of hemp biomass in the U.S. by 2019, but there weren’t enough companies with the equipment and skills to distill the hemp and extract its essential oils. This began to change in 2020 when more hemp processing companies showed up and started processing the excess biomass. The immediate availability of hemp distillate is no longer a problem for CBD brands. CBD brands no longer have to overpay for raw hemp oil or finished hemp products, and that means consumers no longer have to overpay for CBD products. CBD brands that are still charging the prices they charged in 2018-19 are doing so artificially. There is no longer any need to pay high prices for CBD products.
CBD products have a wider variety
Manufacturers of finished CBD products mainly use CBD in two different forms: liquid oil-based hemp distillate and powdered CBD powder isolate. CBD isolate is soluble in oil or propylene glycol, so you can add it to a huge variety of products – and that’s exactly what CBD brands have done. These are just a few of the products you can buy with CBD today, and this list barely scratches the surface.
- Oral CBD products like oils, capsules, and gums
- Current CBD products like gels, lotions, plasters and rollers
- CBD cosmetic products like lip balms and under eye creams
- Inhalable CBD products like vape juices and smokable hemp flowers
The reason for all of this diversity is that very few of the potential benefits of CBD have been proven through scientific research. Many studies have produced results suggesting that CBD could be useful for a variety of purposes, but most of these studies were preliminary in nature, using either animals or small groups of human volunteers as subjects. Before anyone can definitely say that CBD has any particular benefit, that claim needs to be supported by a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Many such studies are likely to be conducted in the near future.
However, by the time these studies take place, consumers are ready to try CBD for almost anything – and different forms of CBD reach the body in different ways. For example, a CBD pain roller can absorb through the skin to target a specific muscle or joint. People looking to try CBD for insomnia or anxiety may prefer oral CBD products. Those who want to try CBD as soon as possible may prefer to inhale it. Today there is a perfect CBD product for almost everyone.
CBD products are more consistent in quality
The best part about being a CBD consumer in 2020 is that you can be more confident in the quality of the product than ever. In the past, some CBD brands simply imported CBD isolates and oils from China, put their labels on the products, and sold them without really knowing what was in them. This led to a deluge of CBD products on the American market that did not have the stated amount of CBD on their labels.
Such problems are much rarer today than they used to be. This is partly because CBD companies routinely send their products to third-party laboratories for testing, and partly because CBD made from American-grown hemp is much easier to source today than it was a few years ago. When you buy CBD today, you can expect a product that contains the amount of CBD indicated on the label and does not contain unwanted contaminants such as pesticides and heavy metals.
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