Will CBD be cannabis’ biggest high?

Jessica Schneider talks about the rampant innovation and growing demand for CBD-infused products. Her vices: wine, chocolate-covered cherries, and murder documentaries, preferably all at once.

The author(s)

  • Jessica Schneider President, US, Innovation
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The cannabidiol market is relatively small today at an estimated $200 million. However, CBD, as the cannabis derivative is called, is expected to explode in the next several years, growing to anywhere from $2 billion to $20 billion.

CBD is an oil based byproduct of the cannabis plant. Unlike its cannabinoid cousin THC, it won’t get you high; however, it offers many other benefits. Preliminary research suggests it can aid in treating a wide variety of health concerns, including sleep disorders, chronic pain and anxiety.

The popularity of and public interest in CBD has spurred significant innovation and product development efforts across an eclectic grouping of product categories. From bath bombs to pet food – everyone wants a piece of the pie. While there is an inevitable learning curve for consumers, since certain forms are still illegal in many states, there is already marked consumer interest in these products.

Initially branded as a fad for stoners and tree huggers, CBD has transitioned quickly into the mainstream. Even Martha Stewart, the queen of American domesticity, has jumped onto the bandwagon with a soon to be launched line of CBD products for Canopy Growth (see our interview with CEO Bruce Linton on page 8). If the U.S. government removes its classification as a Schedule I narcotic, as former Gov. William Weld hopes (see page 5), we should expect a significant increase in research dollars to assess the full range of CBD usage applications, efficacy and more. This regulatory relaxation would also further solidify CBD’s status as a product ingredient with mass market appeal.

This article was originally published in What the Future, a quarterly deep dive into different aspects of consumer and social thought and behavior. Each edition features exclusive new data from world-leading research firm Ipsos. WTF explores how a single industry or behavior fits into the broader culture now and in the coming decades.

Chart: There is high interest in both THC and CBD products across categories

The author(s)

  • Jessica Schneider President, US, Innovation

Consumer & Shopper