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Booming Demand for CBD Is Making Hemp the Cannabis Cash Crop


ILLUSTRATION: GABRIEL ALCALA FOR BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK

Mention legal cannabis, and many people think of the weed stores that have sprung up in Boston, Denver, Seattle, and other major U.S. cities. Inside, infused brownies and vape pens are sold next to branded joints and neatly packaged bags of marijuana presented in a way that wouldn’t be out of place in any American mall. In Canada you can even order pot through the mail, and some of the world’s alcohol giants have set up shop there to develop weed beer.

But the business of getting people high is only part of the cannabis craze. Marijuana is still banned for recreational use across much of the world, and even medical access, while expanding, is restricted in most countries. So players in the $340 billion global cannabis market are turning their attention to weed’s less-regulated cousin, hemp.

Marijuana 101

• THC: Tetrahydrocannabinol is the chemical in marijuana that produces a high.
• CBD: Cannabidiol, a nonintoxicating compound, can be derived from hemp and marijuana.
• Cannabis: Hemp and marijuana are both types of cannabis. Hemp faces fewer restrictions because it’s generally cultivated with lower levels of THC.

Hemp is a strain of cannabis whose fibers have traditionally been used in textiles and rope, and farmers can grow it even in countries with strict drug laws because it has different properties from marijuana. Most important to law enforcement officials, it’s low in THC, the compound that gets you stoned. But businesses are buzzed about its other defining characteristic: a higher concentration of cannibidiol, or CBD, a nonpsychoactive chemical at the center of a wellness trend sweeping the U.S. and expanding worldwide.

CBD is being pitched as an all-natural way to alleviate ailments including pain, inflammation, anxiety, and insomnia. Despite a paucity of science to back up such claims, CBD has become a coveted ingredient in a host of consumer products, from skin lotions to sparkling water to tinctures to dog biscuits. The surge in demand is fueling a global Green Rush, even in countries where a legal market for cannabis products was unthinkable just a few years ago. “We are getting phone calls from big pharma groups in Asia, all parts of the world: ‘Can you get product? Can you supply to us?’ ” says Glenn Davies, chief executive officer of industrial hemp grower CannAcubed Pte. The Singapore-based startup planted its first commercial hemp crop in May in China’s Yunnan province. “It’s all about hemp.”

One of the first plants ever domesticated, cannabis was used for thousands of years for fiber, food, and medicine. Yet for the better part of the last century it’s largely been traded on the black market, banned in many countries alongside cocaine, heroin, and other controlled substances. Much of that bad-boy reputation faded last year when Congress legalized CBD in the U.S.

Researchers estimate the market for CBD in the U.S. alone could be worth almost $24 billion by 2023. In Canada sales of legal cannabis may reach $4.7 billion by that time, up from about $570 million last year, according to BDS Analytics. Annual sales of CBD could potentially be larger than those of marijuana, analysts say, because of the large number of products in which it can be used.

Investors are pouring money into massive CBD extraction facilities and processing plants in the U.S., hoping to be ready when Coca-Cola Co., Procter & Gamble Co., and other consumer giants finally embrace cannabis. Colorado CBD company Mile High Labs has developed technology to remove unrefined hemp extract from the plant, and it recently paid $18.8 million for a 400,000-square-foot former Novartis factory where it will make products such as lotions and tinctures.

American farmers are plowing into the hemp industry in Colorado, Kentucky, Montana, Oregon, and other states. This year, more than 200,000 acres of hemp are licensed to be planted in the U.S., up from roughly 25,000 two years ago. Asia, which has a long history with natural medicines, is also seeing growing interest in cannabis. In 2017, China planted at least 113,000 acres of hemp, according to New Frontier, an industry researcher. Cultivation is also on the rise in Colombia, Greece, Jamaica, and even the southern African nation of Lesotho. “You get the domino effect: The farmer in Bulgaria looking across at peers in Greece and asking questions, putting pressure on the government to make similar steps,” says Shane MacGuill, an analyst at Euromonitor International. “The more it happens, the more quickly we get the spread of cultivation.”

Hemp producers in Asia and other lower-cost regions could ultimately undercut U.S. farmers, especially as the quality of their crop improves and a global market takes shape, with hemp moving freely across borders like any other agricultural commodity. In June, CannAcubed leased two factories in Yunnan, one of only three Chinese provinces that allows the production of hemp; it plans to expand them into CBD research and extraction facilities.

Not everyone is so sanguine. Mark Mees, CEO of Setek Therapeutics in New Zealand, sees cannabis becoming another agricultural commodity, with prices racing downward. And Mees, whose company has a license to grow medical marijuana in the country, says the CBD business has been overhyped. “You get a few hippies and that’s great. One thing that’s missing is old-fashioned business sense,” he says. “We will see a train wreck of small companies that completely underestimated the costs and the complexity of what they’re trying to do.”

Restrictions on medical pot are loosening globally. More than 50 countries, including Australia, Brazil, and Germany, have legalized access to medicinal cannabis, according to Bloomberg Intelligence, making it easier for farmers to plant hemp or marijuana. But dealing with pot can still be tricky. In New Zealand, companies can grow medical weed only for research, though the government is working on a commercialization plan. Cannasouth Ltd. has struggled as New Zealand’s sole publicly traded cannabis company, with its shares falling 24% since its IPO on June 19.

As countries remove restrictions, cannabis prices could fall. That would hurt farmers, but potentially boost the profit margins of companies using cannabis as an ingredient. Worries about an industry bubble surfaced earlier this year in China after investors flocked to companies linked to cannabis. Regulators sought to rein in the enthusiasm, with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange telling companies to warn investors about uncertainties facing their industrial cannabis projects.

Canadian farmers have seen a hemp boom-and-bust cycle before. The crop was legalized for production in 1998, and farmers benefited when hemp seed took off as a health-food product. Business peaked in 2015 as South Korean demand drove the market. But China, becoming a cheaper supplier for Korean buyers, sucked profit away from Canada’s hemp-seed farmers. Still, that hasn’t deterred Canadians from trying to cash in on CBD. This year, hemp acreage in the country is expected to more than double, to about 82,000 acres.

In Asia, CannAcubed’s Davies is also unfazed by the risks. “Everybody is trying to have the same outcome and objective: Get this industry moving,” he says. —With Ashley Robinson

BOTTOM LINE – Fueled by growing demand for CBD as a health-enhancing ingredient in foods and beauty products, sales of the cannabis derivative could hit $24 billion in the U.S. by 2023.

HOW CBD CAN HELP SLEEP !!

We all know just how important sleep is, though we still fall into poor sleep habits. Sometimes lack of sleep may be the result of our intentional choices. Other times there are outside circumstances that make sleep elusive. You don’t want the undesirable side effects often experienced with sleep medication but you need help sleeping. CBD may be JUST the thing you’ve been searching for.

HOW CAN CBD HELP YOU SLEEP?

CBD is used for all kinds of ailments and issues, relaxation being one of them. When you’re feeling calm and relaxed, you’ll find it easier to fall asleep. Additionally, many people have reported sleepiness as a “side effect” of taking CBD. CBD has been shown in studies to have no negative side effects and can be used effectively to aid sleep. When using CBD before bed, it is recommended to take it about an hour before your chosen bedtime.

HOW DO YOU USE CBD FOR SLEEP?

CBD oil is taken in a variety of different ways. Examples of this are tinctures, capsules, e-liquid and gummies. Studies have shown that taking CBD sublingually (absorbed under the tongue) is extremely effective. Using a CBD tincture will allow you to take your CBD doses sublingually. 

  • HOW TO USE A TINCTURE:
  1. Before using, make sure to thoroughly shake the bottle of tincture to evenly mix the ingredients.
  2. Next, fill the dropper by squeezing the top.
  3. Dispense the oil underneath your tongue.
  4. Allow the CBD to be absorbed into your system by holding it under your tongue for approximately 60-90 seconds.

Consistent use for at least two weeks is recommended. This is because it may take some time for the CBD to build up in your system. If after two weeks, you aren’t experiencing the desired effect, double the amount of CBD you ingest for a week. CBD dosing is on a trial and error basis because everyone’s bodies are different and respond differently.

CONCLUSION:

CBD is becoming a big contender in natural medicine. It has been shown to ease a myriad of symptoms, one of which being poor sleep. If you are interested in trying this natural remedy for sleep issues, have a look at our CBD tinctures to find the right blend for you.

WHAT IS CANNABIDIOL (CBD)?

WHAT IS CBD?

What is Cannabidiol (CBD)? And even more importantly, what does it do and is it safe? These are all questions anyone hearing about CBD for the first time is probably asking. I can answer that. The Cannabis plant is an amazing plant that contains over 400 different compounds. Not all of these compounds are found only in the Cannabis plant. There are approximately 60 compounds that are not found in any other plants, these are called cannabinoids. Within this cannabinoid category, not all cannabinoids are equal. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of these powerhouse cannabinoids that stands head and shoulders above the rest. CBD is the keyholder for the large variety of therapeutic and medicinal effects the cannabis plant has to offer. As we learn more about the positive effects on the body that CBD has and why, its importance becomes even more apparent.

CBD 101: THE 411 ON CBD

The biochemistry of Cannabis is very complex and intricate. And as much as we already know, there is much more to learn. That having been said, we have a lot of useful information already about the amazing healing properties of CBD. 

There are several important points about CBD that I want to share with you. The following are the most important things to know about CBD.

 

  • CBD IS NOT PSYCHOACTIVE

 

There are a lot of misconceptions and even more incorrect information being passed around regarding CBD. The first and most important thing to be noted, is that CBD is NOT psychoactive. This means that you will NOT feel that high or “stoned” effect associated with ingesting Marijuana. Cannabidiol is inert, unlike its Cannabinoid counterpart THC. While THC is known for inducing a powerful euphoric feeling when ingested, CBD does not incite those feelings. This is a very important property to be knowledgeable on from both a medical and legal perspective.

 

  • CANNABIDIOL (CBD) IS LEGAL

 

THC has been made legal in some form or another in many states. This is not the case in all states however. Because THC can be found to be illegal, CBD products containing NO THC are legal in all 50 states. It’s non-THC status allows it to “skirt the system” so to speak. Marijuana without THC is called hemp. The rules governing hemp are much different and less restrictive than the restrictive laws placed on THC.

 

  • HEMP AND MARIJUANA ARE THE MAIN SOURCES OF CBD

 

Whether a product is derived from CBD or Marijuana is dependant on the legal status of Marijuana. If THC is legal for medicinal or recreational purposes in a certain state, THC can be included in CBD products. If marijuana is illegal in a particular state, THC levels in the product determines if it is illegal or not. In most places the limit is very low. Typically the cap for THC present in CBD in states without legal marijuana laws is under 1%. In these cases, hemp-derived CBD is really the only option. Though CBD without THC is very effective, it has been found that CBD that includes THC and is derived from Marijuana is more powerful and effective. CBD derived from Marijuana plants is very  popular in marijuana legal states for this reason.

WHAT DOES CBD ACTUALLY DO?

So far, we’ve covered what CBD is and where is is derived from. But now, Let’s take a few minutes to learn what CBD does and how it works within your body.

Our body has a complex network of neurons spread out throughout our bodies called the Endocannabinoid system. This system is made up of tons of receptors. These receptors bind to the cannabinoids and their chemical reactions create a series of responses inside our bodies. The endocannabinoid system is present in all of our major body systems. This is why CBD and other cannabinoids seem to function so well for us. Because our bodies are essentially hard wired for the use of cannabinoids. Researchers continue to find more and more ways that cannabinoids and more specifically CBD can help us.

MAIN USES FOR CBD THERAPEUTICALLY

To date, there are numerous studies showing how beneficial CBD is for a myriad of afflictions and more crop up. 

CBD has been shown to seriously benefit and in some instances stop Epileptic Seizures.  It also has been used to treat serious Neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and MS to name a few. It has been discovered that CBD can protect nerve cells from degenerative conditions, such as these.

CBD is also widely used in pain management. It is quickly becoming a welcome alternative to addictive and detrimental pain medications, specifically in place of opioids. It also has become a widely used treatment for inflammation as well. THC also has anti-inflammatory properties but CBD itself binds with the receptors from the endocannabinoid system and the reaction is a reduction of nerve inflammation.

Mood disorders are also treated using CBD. In particular, people suffering from PTSD have found relief from their symptoms when using CBD. It also helps in treating other mood issues such as anxiety and depression. 

CBD has also been known to fight cancer, Though this may seem too good to be true, Cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown to have powerful anti-tumor effects in pre-clinical trials. In one study in 2015, it was found that CBD slows the progress of many cancers including lung, colon, prostate and breast cancers. 

MOST POPULAR WAYS TO CONSUME CBD

There are numerous ways to consume CBD. The most popular is CBD oils. These are oils derived from either the hemp or marijuana plants and are typically ingested by vaping it using a cartridge and e-cigarette battery. Another way to ingest CBD is to allow it to absorb through the skin using lotions, gels or salves. Topically administering CBD allows the Cannabidiol to absorb directly into the area in need of relief. Still another way people consume CBD is by ingesting edibles or gummies infused with the Cannabidiol or as a tincture which is absorbed sublingually. This means it is absorbed by dripping it under the tongue. 

CONCLUSION 

Now you have a basic grasp on what Cannabidiol (CBD) is. You also know how it is used and consumed and what main health issues it is used to treat.  With this information, you are much more prepared to make a decision surrounding if CBD is right for you.