Only a few years ago, the average person responded to the three-letter acronym “CBD” with either skepticism or total incomprehension. Nowadays, though, CBD—short for cannabidiol—is a household term, and most people have accepted it as part of the natural wellness pharmacopeia.
Why is CBD suddenly so popular? There are a few different reasons, which we’ll explore in this guide.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in hemp. Unlike THC, CBD does not get you high, but it has a whole host of benefits that scientists believe may make this cannabinoid effective against a wide range of conditions. CBD has a mildly relaxing effect, and it only rarely causes side effects.
Is CBD popular?
Yes, CBD has now attained a remarkable degree of popularity. The United States CBD industry is projected to reach $1.8 billion in product sales in 2022, and some estimates suggest that as many as 33% of Americans have tried CBD. Compared to 2019, when only 14% of Americans reported their intention to use CBD, it’s clear that public acceptance of CBD has risen dramatically over a short timeframe.
When did CBD become mainstream?
CBD started becoming mainstream with the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, which reintroduced hemp agriculture in the United States. The 2018 Farm Bill further legitimized CBD by thoroughly separating it from the legal definition of the Schedule I drug “marijuana.”
Since then, cannabis reform has swept the nation state-by-state, bringing along with it an increased awareness of the general benefits offered by Cannabis sativa—including the plant’s non-intoxicating components. Combined with increasing distrust in the conventional medical system and the healthcare desperation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, CBD has cemented itself as a safe, effective alternative to many conventional prescription medications.
Does CBD do anything?
Yes, CBD is far from a placebo even if it lacks the sensory-altering high of THC. This cannabinoid has been intensively researched for its potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, for instance, and the FDA has even approved the CBD-based drug Epidiolex for epilepsy and certain other conditions.
More recently, scientists at Oregon State University found that CBDa, the chemical precursor of CBD, shows significant promise as a potential treatment for COVID-19, and by extension, other coronaviruses as well. This discovery propelled CBD even further into the mainstream, and it also furthered the legitimacy of additional non-intoxicating hemp compounds like cannabigerol (CBG).
What are the benefits of CBD?
Many of the individuals who have used CBD for inflammation-related conditions like arthritis have reported incredible results. Also, as early as 2014, reports began circulating that CBD should be looked at closely as a potential anti-epilepsy drug for children—leading to the development of Epidiolex.
In addition to apparently being useful for specific conditions, CBD also has a generally relaxing effect that users commonly turn to for help with anxiety or insomnia. Additionally, CBD is commonly used for mood-related conditions like depression and bipolar disorder, and some users have come to view CBD as a general panacea—a substance that may be useful for practically every medical condition.
The future of CBD
The history of CBD has been touch-and-go at some points. In 2017, for instance, the FDA released a “final rule” seemingly banning CBD that threw private investors and everyday users alike into a frenzy.
The growth of the CBD market has also been hindered by an enduring lack of federal cannabis reform. While the ongoing prohibition of THC in the United States does not affect CBD directly, it certainly throws shade on a substance that would otherwise be met with more acceptance.
CBD appears to have moved past these minor setbacks, however, and is hurtling toward a future of ever-growing popularity. Even cannabis-skeptical individuals now include CBD in their daily routines, and hemp has almost entirely shed its stigma—even if the same can’t yet be said for intoxicating forms of cannabis.
Overall, expect CBD to continually gain popularity until it reaches the natural cap of individuals who can be helped by its benefits. Given that so many people still don’t even know about all the good CBD could do in their lives, however, the growth of the CBD industry seems assured for at least the near future.
CBD’s popularity—Final thoughts
More than any other factor, the good work of reputable CBD companies has propelled the popularity of this cannabinoid to previously unimaginable heights. While there are certainly a few bad apples out there, most CBD companies want to do good by bringing the benefits of this cannabinoid to everyone who needs it, and it’s these individual companies that have built the one-on-one relationships that make the CBD industry thrive.
Thankfully, the small-business CBD model doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Commercially, the pharmaceutical CBD drug Epidiolex has been something of a flop, drawing far fewer consumers away from mom-and-pop CBD companies than investors would have liked. It seems consumer sentiment remains firmly planted in favor of the CBD companies that have improved—and in some cases, saved—their lives. Experience this cannabinoid’s true power by buying CBD online today.