Well, it’s the end of the year and time to look at CBD trends for 2024. But first, let’s take a look at what happened in 2023. As more states legalize marijuana, and with the help of the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD is haute, or hot, however you want to spin it.
CBD trends in 2023
The Farm Bill, which reached its five-year expiration date in 2023, was intent on legalizing Delta-8 THC in CBD. To avoid a government shutdown, however, the bill was extended to 2024 and that has not occurred. Yet. Getting CBD cleared by the FDA as dietary supplement also stalled because the FDA wants distinct guidelines to make CBD a dietary supplement, which doesn’t seem to be on the immediate horizon. But hope springs eternal.
“FDA is committed to sound, science-based policy on CBD,” said Owen McMaster, a senior pharmacology/toxicology reviewer with the Division of Pharm/Tox for Infectious Diseases in the Office of Infectious Diseases in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “We look forward to working with Congress on a new way forward – a harm reduction, regulatory approach,” he said in October 2023.
Science, on the other hand was busy. Until President Biden signed The Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act, a federal policy that removed barriers to cannabis research, in December 2022, researching marijuana was challenging in the U.S. Scientists needed approval from multiple agencies, which could sometimes take years.
But now they have carte blanche, and researchers and scientists have found that CBD might help relieve opioid addiction. Animal studies and human research suggest that CBD may help with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer’s disease and pain.
Minor cannabinoids were also under review. So was CBD for fibromyalgia, migraines and nausea. This kind of research could help reshape the discourse on CBD. Rather than being perceived as a novelty, science-backed evidence reframes CBD as a potential way to promote well-being.
CBD trending: 2024
Now that we’re looking ahead to 2024, what is on tap for CBD? With the changes in how people perceive cannabis and how it’s used, Jane Frye, director, client and media services, Basis Technologies says, “The cannabis market is forecast to reach a whopping $50.7 billion in sales in 2028, representing an 88% increase from 2022’s $27 billion.”
Plus, CBD products are expected to be internationally embraced with a rise in use across the globe. As a result, we’ll see an increase in products that contain CBD. That, in turn, means we’ll need to establish product safety protocols with data analytics.
Along with new products, it’s safe to say technology will also advance. Artificial intelligence and automation figure largely in enhanced safety and packaging and labeling. Research and development can produce new strains, better cultivation techniques and the use of data analytics to improve production.
Boosting bioavailability will quite possibly be a focus in 2024. Experimenting is already underway to get more bang for your wellness buck with lower CBD concentrations that work faster. We can also expect to see more products with alternative cannabinoids such as cannabichromene (CBC), cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG). CBN, for instance can help with insomnia. CBG, also available in a full-spectrum CBD oil, can be extracted to serve as a pain reliever and so much more. CBC has antidepressant and anti-inflammatory tendencies similar to CBD. Don’t be surprised to see these alternative cannabinoids find a new focus in products, which could lead to learning more about their therapeutic potential.
Purity has always been a factor. It will become even more so in 2024. Again, due to lack of regulation, any company can slap CBD on a label and there is nothing to guarantee you’re getting the real deal. Extraction methods are being scrutinized and we’ll see new developments. Manufacturers have a target goal of >99.8% purity levels. Stay tuned for more in 2024.
We still hope to see the Food Safety Authority and the Food and Drug Administration combine efforts to test CBD in the United States and Europe for safety. Because of a lack of regulation, producers and manufacturers of CBD either self-regulate or they don’t bother. So Caveat emptor, before you buy, know about CBD: where it comes from, its quality and extraction method.
This is by no means a comprehensive outlook on how 2024 will look in the CBD industry. So much is changing. And it’s changing fast. We’ll just need to stay on top of the changes and nuances as the year progresses.