BLOG: Hemp-Derived CBD in 2018: Six Predictions

Posted by Alex Corren on

Hemp-Derived CBD in 2018: Six Predictions

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There’s no doubt that 2017 was an incredible year for hemp and CBD.

We saw more domestic cultivation than ever before, more retailers deciding to carry products, and more mainstream support for this amazing extract.

This positive momentum will most likely continue through 2018. Pandora’s box has been opened and there’s no going back. We humans grew up alongside hemp, and we’re now beginning to become reacquainted with its many powerful uses. Be it as food, plastic, clothing, or supplements, it won’t be long until hemp is in everyone’s home again.

Here are six predictions of what will happen with hemp-derived CBD in 2018...

More, Larger Retailers

Before 2017, you could really only get CBD products from small, independent natural food stores or specialty stores like smoke shops and head shops. In 2017, that all changed. Larger retailers with several locations began introducing CBD products to their customers and immediately experienced the benefits. Across the country, people have been requesting these products and retailers have been wise to listen.

The big retailer news from 2017 was when Lucky’s Market decided to introduce a full-spectrum hemp extract category in their stores nationally. This was, and still is, the largest and most public food store to take CBD products onto the shelf with dozens of locations east of the Rocky Mountains. They’ve head great success so far, and other retailers that have been hesitant to carry CBD products are certainly watching Lucky’s Market to see what happens. We may not see giants like Amazon or Whole Foods (now the same company) adopt CBD products this year, but there is still plenty of room to grow before they join the movement.

Banking & Payment Solutions

It’s no secret that banking has been difficult for everyone involved in the cannabis industry, both in hemp and marijuana. In 2018 we’re likely to see more options for banking and merchant processing for e-commerce stores. This will coincide with legislation more clearly defining how hemp is different than marijuana. Until now, hemp CBD companies have been grouped in with the marijuana industry, and have been forced to use payment processing solutions that are less than ideal. With more legitimate business overcoming shady make-money-quick companies, options for more legitimate payment solutions will likely emerge. It makes no sense to have quality US-based hemp companies cut-off at the knees without a way to accept payments, resulting in them creating off-shore banking solutions just to get by. Hopefully, mainstream payment options like PayPal, Stripe, and Square will ease-up their stance with increased adoption of these products.

Increased Cultivation

More hemp acreage was cultivated in the US in 2017 than in all the years since before World War II combined. States that began pilot programs experienced great success and have decided to expand. Other states that were holding off on pilot programs saw this success and now are going to be growing hemp of their own. The United States used to be one of the top producers of hemp in the world, and it looks like we’re on track to regain that glorious title.

When it comes down to it, rural America has been in a downward spiral for a number of years. Destructive, soil-depleting Chemical agriculture has dominated traditional farming and has had a significant negative impact on the environment. Hemp is bringing young people back to farming and is providing current farmers with a means to make more money than any other crop while remediating lands poisoned by Big-Ag. CBD-rich hemp grown for extraction continues to be the most profitable reason to grow the plant. Because of this, any state that plans to grow hemp and test its economic potential has to support the CBD industry - or they’d be shooting themselves in the foot before trying to run a race.

Product Innovation

2017 saw the beginning of mainstream awareness for hemp-derived CBD. With that wave of awareness came countless brands with overlapping products all competing for a share of the market. There is a lot of room for the industry to grow and many companies will succeed. However, this increased competition will certainly drive product innovation. There can only be so many tinctures, creams, and vapes before people start looking elsewhere.

A strong point for us has always been that we have innovative products pushing the limits of how people use CBD. Our capsules include cold-pressed hemp-juice powder, and our drink blends contain several different beneficial herbs that support the body in a variety of ways. In 2018 we’re likely to see more brands push the limits of product innovation and use CBD in ways that haven’t been done before- like we’ve been doing. Traditional oil-based CBD products will continue to be successful, but exciting new products will certainly come hand-in-hand with increased adoption.

Further Mainstream Awareness

More and more people are hearing about hemp-derived CBD every day. Although many advertising mediums are prohibited for CBD brands, the benefits that these products provide have been spreading like wildfire via word-of-mouth. People can’t wait to share their positive experiences with their friends and family. Awareness of CBD will also naturally increase with the support of more retail stores, cultivation, and scientific studies.

Also, in 2017 the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) officially removed CBD from the list of banned substances. This is a huge deal for athletes all over the world looking for the edge when recovering from the demands of grueling training regimens and competition. This new ruling will go into effect before the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in South Korea happening in February. Athletes and other public figures will continue to play a huge role in raising awareness of this incredible plant extract.

Governmental Support

The Cannabis plant is complicated. However, in 2018 we’re likely to see increased distinction and recognition between marijuana (>0.3%THC) and hemp (<0.3%THC). Although this cannabinoid threshold is relatively arbitrary, it’s what we have to work with. The good thing is that it will allow hemp-derived CBD to gain support from unlikely individuals. Hemp is good for the earth, individual health, and the rural economy, and has bipartisan support because of this. Even if federal-level institutions don’t move on hemp this year, plenty of others in Congress and local governments will open up in support of hemp and CBD. More and more people are realizing that it’s time to let the old stigmas of the plant die and to support the new hemp industry. There are definitely certain politicians with backward stances on this matter (*cough-Jeff Sessions-cough*), but likely there are more politicians want to be on the right side of history and support the hemp industry.

Well, there you have it. Six predictions for hemp-derived CBD in 2018.

Hopefully this list proves to be conservative and that we see unprecedented progress in the coming months. I’ll be working hard to get our innovative products out to the public, and I know that many others will be doing the same.

It’ll be important for all of us hempsters to stick together. The battles are certainly not over and there will be hiccups along the way. Hemp has the ability to cause more positive disruption than any other plant known to man.

Let’s keep this momentum going!

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