What Is CBD?

A growing product category primed 'to grab lots of attention'

Warning: technical talk to follow!

CHICAGO -- Cannabidiol (CBD) is the nonpsychoactive component of cannabis, meaning it doesn’t affect the user’s mental state, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is psychoactive and produces the “high” associated with marijuana. It has emerged as a wellness ingredient in products such as body oils, lotions, beverages, snacks and candy.

CBD has enjoyed rapid market growth due to its alleged medicinal qualities and the product category is expected to reach $5 billion in sales by 2027. However, there are still plenty of questions regarding its safety and legality. The 2018 Farm Bill removed industrial hemp—defined as any part of the plant Cannabis Sativa L under

0.3 delta-9 THC on a dry weight basis--from the Controlled Substances Act, opening the door to legal growth and development of hemp-derived CBD products. However, legal status to sell those products varies from state to state and remains in a constant state of flux. It's recommended retailers research state and local laws before stocking the products.

Meanwhile, Floyd Landis, founder of Floyd’s of Leadville, Leadville, Colo., a full-spectrum CBD oil manufacturer, says there’s no way to track which CBD products are of the best—and safest—quality. Because of this, he suggests retailers act with caution and get guidance before investing so they know which products are genuine.

“Companies often offer a certificate of viability, but it helps doing your due diligence and contacting a lab if you’re not sure of the company you’re dealing with,” Landis says. “Because [CBD] is a new industry and there’s no oversight at the moment, there’s all kinds of games being played and risks being taken.”

Ryan Ulach, chief strategic officer for Cannadips, a full-spectrum hemp and CBD producer based in Humboldt County, Calif., says consumers are just starting to understand what CBD is. “[CBD] provides a space that overlaps where consumers are using other products, such as alcoholic beverages and cigarettes,” he says. “CBD layers into those spaces and provides the same experience but to a different extent.”

More: What About Marijuana?

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