Cannabidiol (CBD) has come a long way in just a few years. Last year, Congress passed the Farm Bill, effectively legalizing the industrial use of hemp and its extracts, CBD one of them. The market for CBD exploded soon after, and it’s expected to hit at least $20 billion by 2026.
Bryce Johnson, a senior at Coastal Carolina University is one of the sellers vying for supremacy in the budding CBD market. He and his partner, Joshua Hayes started Apollo Hemp, and they sell CBD gumballs.
“It’s one of the most effective ways to take CBD, sublingually, you’re taking it and absorbing it through your gums, underneath your tongue,” he says.
Cannabidiol has become extremely popular over the years, mostly due to its potent medicinal properties. The hemp extract is effective against a plethora of medical conditions, including insomnia, anxiety, high blood pressure, and chronic pain.
Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Epidiolex, a CBD-based drug to help manage seizures in rare pediatric epilepsies.
“I got pretty inspired by my grandpa actually,” he explains. “He was a veteran and he had some back pain, everyday issues a lot of people have as they’re getting older, and the prescription medications he was getting, the opioids, they really weren’t helping him. They were kind of making things worse for him, and they’re synthetic. They’re designed to keep people coming back and buying more.”
Pharmaceuticals are known for their side effects, especially opioids, and since cannabidiol is just as, if not more effective than opioids without the side effects, there has been interest in CBD as an alternative medication.
Johnson’s search for alternative medicine for his grandfather led him to CBD.
His partner, Joshua Hayes, hasn’t had an easy go of it either. In 2013, he was in a horrific car crash that left him with a brain injury. “I broke both my legs, all my ribs. They said I’d never walk, talk or communicate ever again.”
He rejected the opioids his doctors prescribed, choosing instead to use CBD, and he says it changed his life. Now, having achieved the impossible, he can walk and talk.
“He was able to regain some sort of life again. He was able to get to where he’s independent, he has a job, he’s working together with me and we’re making sales. He’s doing things he never in a million years would’ve gotten to had it not been for this plant,” says Johnson.
Their gumballs are selling in ten stores across the southeast, including AJ’s Coastal Bliss District and Mountain Man Honey and Goods in Conway. They hope to expand to Alabama and Florida soon.
It is generally agreed that testimonies such as those of Hayes and his business partner are what keep cannabidiol industry players like Willow Biosciences Inc. (CSE: WLLW) (OTCQB: CANSF) and VIVO Cannabis Inc. (TSX.V: VIVO) (OTCQX: VVCIF) working hard to create more products so that a lot more people can benefit from CBD and other cannabinoids.
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