Is CBD a game-changer or a gimmick?

18th November 2021

CBD has been hailed by some as the newest star product of the health industry in recent years. The cannabis derivative can now be found in almost anything, leading many to predict the start of a new era of cannabis wellness.

To many, the industry appears to be booming, with CBD products on shelves at pharmacists, health shops and even supermarkets. But, at this year’s instalment of one of the largest cannabis industry conferences in Europe – Cannabis Europa, experts discussed the real potential of the industry to answer the question: is CBD “boom” or “bust”?

Is CBD here to stay or has it peaked?

CBD can indeed be found in everything these days. Businesses and retailers quickly recognised the growing demand for an alternative wellness product that is affordable, trustworthy and convenient. CBD oils and vapes may remain the superstars of the industry, but consumers can now choose from drinks, edibles, cosmetics, and much, much more.

Those refuting the success and the impact of CBD say it is only a fugazi; it’s fake, CBD doesn’t really do anything.

Well, it’s not that simple.

Kingsley Wilson from Chrystal Capital claims that concluding whether CBD is “boom” or “bust” was a tough question to answer as it is still a new industry.

What does it mean?

Mr Wilson added: “We’ve seen lots of learning curves so maybe coming out the bottom of that is where we find ourselves. This is not the end; this is not the beginning of the end, but perhaps the end of the beginning.

“I think what we’re going to see is high-quality management teams perhaps on their second or third business around. Teams that understand the industry and how you build brands and how you put a supply chain together.”

The participants of the panel argued that the CBD market is easy to enter as the barriers are pretty low.

Is that a good thing, though? Essentially, it means that anybody could decide to launch a CBD brand without the necessary knowledge and attention to detail and, most importantly, safety.

CBD isn’t for fun. It has no recreational uses – you don’t get high from it. For most people, it is considered to be wellness and, in some cases, even a health supplement, as Clifton Flack from CiiTech said.

You buy CBD because you anticipate some sort of benefit.

It is a good sign that as experienced (and biased) as he is, Mr Flack declared his opinion that the market and the industry are in a good place.

CBD could very well be a booming industry.

He said: “Is CBD Boom or Bust? I’m going to give you a very biased answer: it’s obviously booming. I think what’s important to understand is yes, there are very low barriers to entry in the industry.

“[With medical cannabis], all you need to do is to have a good idea, promise to build a cultivation facility, and you cohere millions of pounds, and you don’t have to worry about making revenue in the first 2-3 years.

“Whereas in the CBD world, there is no licencing, so to speak, required. The revenue is instant. The barriers to entry are low; anybody can build a brand; anybody can build a website.

“I think cannabis healthcare is a mindset. I don’t believe there is CBD or THC and sorts of different segments of the market. There are different customers and needs.”

Stanton McLean from Artemis Growth Partner agreed that CBD was booming, but he pointed out something that those in the medical cannabis industry struggle with as well: the lack of education.

If I ask you what CBD is and what its benefits are, would you know the right answer?

According to Mr McLean, only a few would. That is a massive problem that everybody in the CBD and medical cannabis industry – whether manufacturers, doctors, or consumers – have to face.

Stanton McLean said: “I think [the industry’s] booming. However, I think there’s a ton of education and awareness that still needs to come in this space.

If I talk to ten people in the street, seven might know what the product is, but only two would know what the effects and benefits are.”

There’s only so much out there about the appropriate use and the benefits of the products.

Is it time to invest money, time and research into CBD? The experts say; indeed it is.

Is there more work left to do? 100 per cent.

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