Cannabidiol (CBD) is probably one of the most popular topics in the West at the moment. The hemp extract has garnered intense interest, especially in Europe and the U.S., with more people aware of the cannabinoid and its perceived medical benefits. Said to have potent and versatile medicinal properties, CBD has been found effective against a wide variety of medical conditions ranging from high blood pressure and anxiety to chronic pain and even cancer.
But as is expected of a sector that has seen massive growth over such a short period, there has been limited research and public education on the product. A recent survey of EU countries uncovered interesting aspects of the public’s opinion about CBD.
The survey was carried out by New Frontier Data across 17 countries in the European Union and it was aimed at examining the rates of awareness and use of CBD among consumers. 56% (more than half) of those surveyed said they had heard about CBD. This could be attributed to increased media coverage of CBD, especially anecdotal stories of people who benefited from CBD use.
25% incorrectly believed that consuming CBD would leave you ‘high’, while 28% weren’t sure whether or not CBD produced a high. Granted, quite a lot of people have a hard time differentiating cannabidiol (CBD) and THC, which is the cannabinoid responsible for the ‘psychotropic’ high that cannabis is famous for.
16% reported that they had used CBD products at some point. 58% of those who had used CBD products had done so within the previous six months, and 14% had first used CBD in the month preceding the survey. 74% of those who used CBD products said they enjoyed an improved quality of life.
The figures paint a clear picture for sellers and policymakers. 56% of the population is a big number, and the fact that it hasn’t been converted to sales is one to think about. For instance, the UK has had trouble with quality control. Tests by the Center for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) indicated that the sector had serious quality control issues such as incorrect labeling and contaminated products.
The global hemp arena is dominated by two major players; the U.S. and Europe. The European hemp sector was valued at $318 million in 2018, and according to Brightfield Group, it will grow more than 400% by 2024. If consumers are properly educated on CBD and THC and product quality is guaranteed, the industry could be expected to grow even faster.
This is a challenge that industry advocates believe CBD companies like Canopy Rivers Inc. (TSX: RIV) (OTC: CNPOF) and IONIC Brands Corp. (CSE: IONC) (OTC: IONKF) will take head on since consumer education is vital to driving growth in the industry.
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