CBD is already a multi-billion-dollar industry heading towards the $20 billion mark within the next few years. Therefore, the answer to this question is possibly ‘everyone!’ While that is hyperbole, a Gallup poll from June 2019 showed that 61% of Americans believe it is best to allow the sale of CBD products over-the-counter.
In the same poll, 45% of Americans believe CBD has some benefits, while only 4% believe it has no health benefits at all. Of course, plenty of doubters think it is snake oil that’s part of a giant Ponzi Scheme or something.
Not All CBD Products Are the Same
If we don’t point out that the CBD industry is far from perfect, we have not performed our duty. As the cannabinoid is not FDA approved, there is little in the way of regulation. As a result, there are companies with dubious reputations peddling low-grade items that bear nothing more than a passing resemblance to cannabidiol.
Then there are CBD products unlikely to provide you with positive effects. We have heard of a North Carolina brand that sells CBD pillows and pillowcases! There are also yoga classes that offer CBD-assisted saunas and guided medication. We are not saying that these CBD products are useless, but there isn’t much in the way of research to back up the claims of such businesses.
The passing of the Farm Bill of 2018 into law means that CBD derived from industrial hemp is now legal in the U.S. However, CBD taken from the marijuana plant remains a federally illegal compound. Also, hemp-derived CBD must contain less than 0.3% THC except in Idaho, where it is unlawful to have ANY THC in any product. CBD remains illegal in the states of Nebraska and North Dakota.
Unfortunately, not all CBD products pass even moderately strict controls. A significant number of these items contain enough THC to result in a failed drug screening. There is also fake CBD oil on the market capable of causing illness.
What is CBD Good For?
It depends on who you ask! The list of potential benefits is lengthy, and more research is needed, but here are a few possible reasons to use a CBD product.
Mood Improvement & Stress Reduction
The compounds found within marijuana, cannabinoids, act similarly to the natural endocannabinoids produced by our body. These cannabinoids attach to special CB receptors in the brain or immune system and block or boost specific signals.
A study by Bergamaschi et al., published in the May 2011 edition of the Neuropsychopharmacology journal, looked at CBD’s effect on anxiety. The team found that CBD helped reduce the anxiety caused by public speaking. The compound has a link with an improvement in mood, which is why it is used to treat depression, stress, and psychological issues such as PTSD.
Pain & Inflammation
The CB2 receptor helps manage inflammation and pain in the immune system. CBD products could impact the way your brain and body respond to the signals they receive. The result is a reduction in pain and inflammation. As a result, the compound is used to treat muscle soreness, chronic pain, and muscle spasms.
Numerous studies link stress and anxiety with sleep issues. By reducing such problems, you increase the likelihood of better-quality sleep, not to mention more of it. Interestingly, microdosing CBD could result in an individual feeling more alert and less tired during the day.
Who is the Main CBD Customer?
Research and analytics groups are busily surveying the primary buyers of CBD products to gain an insight into the likely target market. For example, a slightly higher percentage of females purchase CBD as a whole, with CBD topicals one of the most popular products amongst women.
According to BDS Analytics, who looked at CBD purchases in the first half of 2019, 15% of adults aged 21+ consumed CBD products. Intriguingly, 40% of them had a college degree or a higher level of education! Unsurprisingly, buyers of cannabidiol are more likely to purchase natural, local, and organic produce in general.
Brightfield Group researched CBD buying behavior and used the 5,000 responses it received to create one million data points. The two most significant consumer segments were baby boomers and millennials. The former, aged 56+, used CBD for chronic pain and inflammation. The latter group used CBD products from brands such as Premium Jane to combat depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
It seems as if males aged 18-39, females aged 18-34, and both genders aged 56+ are the most likely CBD consumers at present. This state of affairs will possibly change if the FDA decides to regulate the industry. The industry is already thriving without government approval; one can only imagine the heights it could hit with it! Then again, there is always the danger of Big Pharma barging in, all for the sake of profit.