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In 2016, the cover story of our May issue was devoted to CBD and our search for it. Nevada was still an extremely new medical cannabis market at the time and CBD or cannabidiol was scare as hen’s teeth. Cannabidiol is a cannabis compound that has significant medical benefits but does not make people feel “stoned” or “high” and can counteract the psychoactivity of THC. Because CBD-rich cannabis is non-psychoactive, it’s an appealing option for patients looking for relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis, seizures, spasms, and other conditions. Sounds almost to good to be true, right? And a little odd we were just now becoming privy to this magical cannabinoid. As we pointed out in the story more than two years ago, there were many possible reasons for the dearth of CBD. At the time, some of the industry leaders I interviewed believed dispensary owners were driving the demand for high-THC products and, in turn, overlooking CBD. Others suggested patients just weren’t educated enough about CBD-dominant strains to ask for them. While still others contended that there were strain limitations because the state of Nevada requires commercial cultivators to get their product solely from the state’s patient-growers. Fast-forward to today and CBD is plentiful, whether you want to buy it at a Nevada dispensary or wish to go online to procure the healing elixir with a few clicks on your computer. And it’s just not in Nevada where CBD has found a very strong foothold. According to a CBD market analysis by Hemp Business Journal, total CBD sales in the United States will exceed $2.1 billion by 2020, with $450 million of this
figure comprised of hemp-derived CBD sales. That's a 700 percent increase from 2016. Greenwave Advisors believes the CBD market will exceed $3 billion by 2021, as CBD becomes more readily available to the masses. And the most exuberantly positive on the topic is the Brightfield Group, cannabis industry analysts who estimate the hemp-CBD market alone could hit $22 billion by 2022. As CBD started to become more widely available over the last 18 months it also quickly became a staple ingredient in just about anything you could think of from coffee, water, and tea to wine, soda and beer. And that’s just beverages. It also found its way into face masks, bug spray, lotions, lip balms, shampoo and conditioner, body oil and scrub, and bath bombs. And because hemp CBD is not federally illegal you could stumble across it anywhere from farmer’s markets and beauty aisles to cafes and doctors’ offices. An even more interesting point about CBD’s explosive growth is that the market has flourished basically as a result of word-of-mouth by users because there’s been no huge mass market retailers advertising or branding the healing properties of CBD. Nor has there been a big education push on the cannabinoid’s powerful compounds which leads to another point. Because CBD is plant-based it offers a safer alternative to pharmaceuticals making it a more attractive option to many consumers who are looking for a natural path to treating their medical issue or condition. But the main reason for CBD becoming the drug of choice among both cannabis and non-cannabis users is because it offers healing without a high.