Cannabis is one of the fastest growing industries in North America. It’s right up there with wind power and AI. 25 years ago, almost all cannabis was purchased from a black market source. Today, legal marijuana has overtaken sales numbers for video games, and brands such as Oreos and Pringles. And it’s creeping up quickly on cigarette and beer sales.
But, this, you may not know: Hemp products such as CBD oil are growing even faster than marijuana.
We talked to the experts at Florida-based CBD oil makers, Diamond CBD, about where things are heading and what to expect in the realm of CBD oil in the near and far future.
What are some of the factors driving the growth of the CBD oil industry?
There’s a lot going on right now in the world of hemp. There’s a hemp bill on the table which is likely to pass which will completely remove hemp and CBD from the DEA’s list of controlled drugs — as it should be. Also, the FDA recently approved a pharmaceutical drug called Epidiolex for the treatment of some forms of epilepsy. That’s after passing three clinical studies. That effectively ends the debate as to whether or not hemp extracts, and CBD in particular, have medicinal benefits. Also, the United Nations this year undertook a worldwide survey and came to the conclusion that CBD is medicine and recommend further clinical studies.
Also, not just the public, but politicians are coming around. Over the past few years, a number of U.S. states have looked all the evidence and agreed that CBD is medicine, and decided the public should not be denied access to it simply because hemp is cannabis and marijuana is cannabis.
I think people mostly understand now that hemp has real health benefits but is useless as a recreational drug. It wouldn’t get a fly high, as they say. And with marijuana also quickly becoming legal in most states, anyway, there’s no point in continuing to demonize hemp by association.
Overall, I think the word is getting out there that CBD is the real deal as far as a natural alternative to prescription drugs, and even over-the-counter drugs, and it’s not just another new age health fad. I think sales of hemp-derived CBD oil are expected to pass $1 billion pretty quickly — in the next couple years, I believe.
In fact, it’s very likely that someday we’ll find CBD oil in every grocery and convenience store in the country as it makes its way into everything from toothpaste to suppositories. It’s looking like it could end up in medical products such as smoking cessation products, sleep aids, acne creams, and on and on, and hopefully, even over-the-counter pain meds. It’s going to be a very, very long time, if ever, before over-the-counter drugs and cosmetics containing THC find their way onto your local grocery shelves.
Tell us more about this hemp bill.
Yeah, this is probably the first real federal cannabis legislation with a good chance of passing. No, it’s not marijuana, but yes, it’s the right thing for the federal government to do as a first step. It’s saving lives and no one’s getting high off it. Let it go.
Also, forgot to mention on the last question, because the FDA has approved Epidiolex, the DEA must now down-schedule CBD bringing it from a Schedule I controlled substance down to probably, Schedule IV. That might be a mute point if the Farm Bill passes.
The Hemp Bill is actually part of the larger Farm Bill appropriations. If it makes it to the president’s desk it will likely get signed. The bill allows states to regulate their own hemp markets without federal interference. It also enables hemp farmers to purchase crop insurance eliminating much of the risk involved in farming hemp.
What does all this mean for CBD oil consumers?
For one thing, it means that there is an explosion of innovation coming. In such a fast-growing industry a lot of money goes into researcher and product development. Like during the .com boom we saw internet speeds and computers getting faster and faster and easier to use. The same is happening with CBD products right now. A lot of resources are being put into product development. It’s the great race for market share right now. He who has the best products gets the best word-of-mouth from happy customers — which there’s no better advertising. Diamond CBD enjoys great word-of-mouth online because we try to make sure our products are using the latest technology and implementing the results of the latest research.
Also, because it will be easier to grow hemp, the price of bulk CBD-rich hemp extracts used to produce CBD will most likely drop quite a bit. So consumers will enjoy more effective products at lower prices.
Diamond has sold over $10 million in CBD products so far this year, correct? That’s a lot of customers. What are you learning from them?
Yes, I believe that’s correct. We love to hear from our customers to learn what’s working and what can be improved. The most common thing we hear about is the particular conditions for which people are successfully using CBD.
For example, anxiety is a big one. A lot of people say it helps reduce stress and take the edge off of a hectic lifestyle, helps them sleep better, etcetera. Our CBD oil vape pens are popular for that. Gummy bears are actually our most popular product.
Another thing we hear from a lot of our customers is that the CBD-infused topical pain products work really well for muscle aches and pains. And, of course, oral formulas seem to help a lot of people with pain issues.
Also, modern consumers are more savvy than we’ve been in the past. They have access to vast amounts of information about CBD and CBD companies. They want to know what’s in their products, how much CBD and other cannabinoids are in them, what the other ingredients are, and they want to see lab results showing that the products they’re buying are safe. We’ve responded by stepping up our labeling and providing lab test results for our products. We’re trying to be transparent as possible. You simply have to be these days, or the public will be trolling you all over the place on social media and product reviews.
Tell us something we don’t know about how CBD oil is made these days.
Well, for one thing, people have this impression that CBD oil comes from the same hemp plants that are used to make clothes and seeds. Those crops are extremely low in CBD. The modern CBD-rich strains of hemp didn’t even exist 25 years ago. In fact, they’re not even relatives of industrial hemp. They look and smell a lot more like marijuana than they do industrial hemp. They’re grown in the same way — in pots or plots, females only, and cultivated to produce abundant resinous buds that are high in CBD and other cannabinoids as well as beneficial terpenes. This is not your mother’s hemp. I believe some dispensaries even sell hemp buds for smoking and vaping. You certainly wouldn’t want to try that with industrial hemp.
Also, it’s important for consumers to know that there are a variety of types of CBD oil products being made and offered. There are full-spectrum products which are truer to the original plant in terms of having the full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes. There are also CBD isolate products which contain only the CBD from the original plant and not the other beneficial compounds. There are also what are called broad-spectrum products which are formulations of particular cannabinoids and terpenes designed to produce particular effects. That’s another area where we’ll be seeing a lot of innovation.
I won’t get into them in detail here, but there are different reasons for using full-spectrum products versus isolates. Just from a product quality standpoint, isolates fare better in vape pens for example because they vaporize cleanly and can be added to any vape mixture. Isolates are also better for producing edibles, since CBD is essentially flavorless, whereas full-spectrum products have a stronger taste and are better in capsules. There are also additional benefits to full-spectrum products and people should do their homework and decide which product is best for them.
What are some of the trends that you see coming in the future in regards to CBD oil products?
Well, for one, the popularity of CBD oil for pets is growing fast. It helps anxious and pained pets just as well as humans. People are realizing that vet bills and pet meds are extremely expensive compared to CBD. We’ve got a line of pet CBD products called MediPets — oils, sprays, and cat and dog treats — that is doing extremely well.
Vaping is on the rise. People are waking up to the fact that smoking, although enjoyable for some, can be deadly, and are switching to vape pens. Dabbing is also picking up in popularity. We’re selling more and more CBD dabs.
Dabbing CBD is popular with marijuana users because CBD has been shown to help protect our brains from the adverse effects of THC such as it’s tendency to induce anxiety in the short-term and even potentially psychosis in the long term. CBD has also been shown to help reduce the short-term memory loss caused by THC. Most hemp CBD products are effectively devoid of THC.
Also, as I mentioned, products are going to become more varied, more effective, and the prices are going to drop somewhat — assuming the Hemp Bill makes it through [congress]— which I’m sure will be a welcome development for consumers.
Diamond CBD is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pot Network Holding and a Top 10 CBD seller in the U.S.. Diamond produces a wide range of hemp CBD products including popular brands such as Relax CBD, Chill CBD, Chong’s Choice, LT Pain Master, MediPets CBD, Biotech topicals, Liquid Gold vape pens and oils, Blue CBD Isolates, and Meds Biotech CBD oils and edibles, among others. Visit them online at http://diamondcbd.com. If you sign up for their newsletter you’ll receive special discounts on select products — especially during the holiday season.