Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active ingredient of cannabis but is non-psychoactive in nature. It offers many health benefits, and thus, it has gained popularity among consumers as well as manufacturers over the years. Several countries have implemented laws concerning the use, sale, and possession of cannabis with definite Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD content for the safety of human use.
The legality of cannabis for different applications varies across countries in terms of its possession, distribution, cultivation, production of the end product, and medical conditions. These policies are usually regulated in most countries by their regulatory bodies but may differ among states within the same country.
Health Benefits of CBD-infused beverages
CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid associated with health benefits and includes analgesic properties. THC, an intoxicating agent, is commonly present in marijuana but is present at less than 0.3% in hemp; thus, hemp is the preferred source for obtaining CBD. In recent years, the market for medical cannabis has seen a significant rise in demand, majorly from the CBD oil industry.
Although CBD products provide health benefits, manufacturers still face several regulatory issues. Both the FDA and the European country regulators prohibit manufacturers from selling their products as dietary supplements and are not allowed to claim any health benefits from consuming CBD beverages.
CBD-Infused Beverages Market Overview
According to the market intelligence report published by BIS Research, the CBD-infused beverages market was estimated at $211.9 million in 2019 and is projected to reach $1018.3 million by 2025. The growth can be attributed to factors including rising demand and increasing legalization of cannabis, health benefits associated with CBD-infused beverages, and increasing acceptance of CBD-infused drinks by consumers and legalization in various sports.
Trends influencing the CBD-Infused Beverage Market
- Rising Demand and Increasing Legalization of Cannabis: The consumers are learning about the benefits of cannabis products. The cannabis industry is witnessing growing demand for healthy cannabis products. The countries are relaxing their regulatory scenarios because of consumer demands and health benefits. The U.S. and Canada are among the first nations to have allowed CBD-infused drinks in their markets.
- Health Benefits Associated With CBD-Infused Beverages: Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive cannabis compound that is well-known for its medical purposes. It is commonly used to treat a broad range of diseases or symptoms, including chronic pain, muscle spasms, anxiety, and headache. It has showcased high potential in reducing nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy.
- Legalization of Cannabis in Sports: The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its list of banned substances in 2018. Organizations such as the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, and the USADA follow WADA rules.
- Research and Developments for Development of Healthier Form of Cannabis: The legalization of medical cannabis in different states of the U.S. and Canada, and in European countries has augmented extensive research to evaluate the risks and benefits associated with it.
Challenges Faced by the Industry
One of the biggest challenges faced by the CBD Industry is that when CBD is extracted from the plant, it takes the form of oil, and like any other oil, it is hydrophobic, which means that it cannot be dissolved into water. Due to this, there are a variety of critical obstacles associated with CBD infusion in foods and beverages. Concentrates (CBD oil) are sticky, viscous, and hydrophobic compounds that are difficult to handle and incompatible with water.
When absorbed as edibles, they act by gastrointestinal absorption and display delayed (up to a few hours) onsets of action. The formulation of “medicated” beverages has also been complicated due to the low water solubility of cannabis extracts, which significantly limits deliverable doses.
Moreover, poor water solubility results in low bioavailability, only a small portion of orally administered cannabinoids is absorbed, requiring the consumer to consume much more than would otherwise have been necessary.
In addition, CBD is only legal in sports where the preparation or extract is extracted from hemp and contains less than 0.3% THC, and then it is not considered a controlled drug at the federal level. However, as per U.S., Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is still illegal to distribute CBD in nutritional supplements. Thus, it is illegal for companies to market CBD to treat or cure disorders such as autism, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, or psychological issues, such as anxiety or depression.