If one were to pay attention only to market reports and legal disclaimers for CBD, they might see a bad picture – especially in light of recent FDA warnings and even what appears to be falling hemp CBD demand. However, consumers are buying CBD products, in all forms, and in record numbers.
According to New Lead Data research, it’s true that hemp-based CBD is falling in demand – about 30 percent within the last two months. “Large volumes of biomass” are still waiting to be sold and inventories are growing, while cash sales are dropping. Even some companies like Charlotte’s Web Holdings claim regulators are intentionally harming the CBD industry by complicating laws.
On the other hand, we’re also seeing FDA-approved CBD drugs skyrocket in sales, including GW Pharma’s Epidiolex, who reported $296 million for last year. In fact, mass-market sales are predicted to spike in 2020, lower demand for hemp or not, and are predicted to reach $4 billion within three years.
There was even a scare of a CBD stock “bear” market last month, but the latest stocks update suggests major companies are recovering and jumping back up in price.
CBD is Growing So Fast, It’s Moving Other Markets
One source called CBD a “disruptive market”, one that’s changing the entire face of retail. While vegan and plant-based products were also booming, market researchers suggested that legal cannabis and CBD were so big “we have not seen this kind of disruption in our industry – ever.”
The mainstream acceptance of CBD oil is opening new markets, as more states legalize it and get passed stringent regulations to legally sell and distribute the federally legal drug.
Another source states the CBD is going to grow as much as 25 percent by 2026 and has already directly impacted related industries like cosmetics, groceries, pharmaceuticals, and the like.
CBD companies are also branching out into new territory and breaking ground in other respects. Forbes magazine featured a story about an African-American university in Louisiana, Southern University and A&M College, which is launching its own CBD product line. The historically-black university has stood since the 1800s and is calling its product brand ALAFIA. They specialize in CBD oils and other products that are accessible and affordable.
But even that news can’t trump the idea of CBD dairy – a new concept and a daring one at that.
CBD Milk – Does it Do a Body Good?
CBD milk is actually a controversial product launch because the FDA is currently trying to reiterate their rulings – that CBD cannot be sold in any dietary form. By that logic, Dietary cannabidiol-infused milk is an illegal product, one that is neither a pharmaceutical or recreational product.
The implied directive by the FDA and other groups hasn’t phased the emerging CBD dairy industry, however. Ben and Jerry’s wants a piece of the market, restaurants in major cities sell CBD dairy beverages, and other companies are now following suit.
The consumer demand for CBD-infused drinks is simply so high that companies have decided to bet on sales, not wait for government clearance.
Michael Dykes, president of the International Dairy Foods Association, says “They are going to find a way. There is such a tremendous consumer demand…they won’t wait for the FDA.”
The FDA is the agency stalled on the issue since they have yet to develop clear framework on how CBD should be regulated and marketed as a dietary supplement. Other companies reaching out to CBD dairy include Mondelez (Triscuits and Oreos), Bolthouse Farms, and Food Hemp.
The Latest Bipartisan Bill
Therefore, hearing reports about CBD warnings, decreased demand, or even cases of banning the products in select states and counties, can’t be taken too seriously. The industry is thriving, even though there appear to be warring and divided factions. In fact, the latest bipartisan bill from Congress is urging the FDA to allow CBD dietary products to be marketing openly, with regulation and government supervision.
Some say this could be a boon for the industry, leading to even more profit. If anything, it shows the impatience that Democrats and Republicans alike have for the FDA’s blatant reluctance to cooperate with the emerging industry.
According to one theory, the FDA is stalling on purpose, because of an FDCA (United States Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act) which prohibits dietary supplements “that were first studied as a pharmaceutical drug.” If CBD is already the main ingredient in the Epidiolex drug, they cannot call it a dietary supplement, or so some claim.
Regardless of whether the FDA’s hands are tied, or “bribed” by competing pharmaceutical companies, is anyone’s guess. What people do know is that the unwillingness to set full legalization and regulations is hurting the industry – and only encouraging unwarranted police action on innocent consumers and sellers. Police now have the right to harass innocent people for trafficking a legal product, as one case in Miami showed.
While some do see Congress’ actions as a way of pressing the FDA to take swifter action, some speculate that the tactic won’t work. It’s quite likely the bill will not pass because of various legal concerns, but serve as yet another prompt to get the government agency moving.
Is the FDA’s Criticism of CBD Disingenuous?
The FDA has been using the same argument when shutting down discussion – that CBD could be dangerous and has no apparent medicinal value besides the treatment of epilepsy.
Most mainstream publications follow their lead, suggesting CBD oil studies are outdated or inconclusive. However, this go-to answer is losing credibility, even as tests from 2017 and onward are shared online.
- CBD was shown to reduce anxiety and withdrawal symptoms
- Possibly treat headaches
- Help relieve pain in cancer patients
- Shown powerful evidence of antipsychotic effects, from a King’s College study
While government agencies and news publications have been hesitant to say CBD products work as (illegally) advertised, and have even suggested the drug may cause drowsiness – as if that’s a major side effect compared to other OTC medications – the evidence speaks for itself.
All major studies suggested there is great potential waiting to be studied, but the FDA refuses to support further trials, at least until the suggested waiting period happens. In the words of Scott Gottlieb and other FDA officials, it could take years to sort things out.
The cannabidiol industry hopes that Congress’ bill can push the FDA into taking action, but with the coronavirus making headlines, the agency might well have its hands full for the time being.
One thing’s for sure, lack of marketing, fear-mongering, and multiple warnings, have not tempered the public’s enthusiasm for CBD-infused products. For all scientific purposes, this is a promising drug with medicinal and dietary value that is just on the verge of mainstream acceptance. How much longer can non-CBD industries and agencies hold out, given the market explosions already taking place and changing the health of consumers everywhere?
WHO DID WHAT
CBD sales are booming and set to increase, despite fluctuating stock and hemp demand. Dairy companies now appear to be bracing themselves for a battle with the FDA, which is trying to ban or limit the consumption of infused dietary food and drinks.
WHAT WENT DOWN
Congress is siding with the CBD industry, trying to goad the FDA into taking specific action – to allow CBD dietary supplements to be marketed and sold without interference.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR NEXT
If the new congressional bill passes, what compromises must be made on both sides? How will the FDA protect GW Pharmacy’s investment in CBD if they open the gates to legal dietary marketing of a prescription drug? Will 2020 feature more updates from the FDA who is supposedly expediting the process?
Written by Rwcustomwriting@gmail.com