Cannabidiol (CBD) has received a tremendous amount of focus from the media and medical community in recent years, but that wasn't always the case.
It wasn't that long ago when CBD was largely unknown, even to the most passionate cannabis supporters and consumers.
When Martin Lee co-founded Project CBD in 2011, he did so because there were many people unaware of how dynamic and effective CBD can be.
At the 2016 Cannabis Health Summit Martin pointed out that because CBD does not cause euphoria, it was often overlooked by researchers and members of the medical community.
But that has changed in recent years. CBD and products high in CBD are more popular than ever before, with that level of interest increasing every year.
No euphoria is a desirable trait for many
The fact that CBD lacks the ability to induce euphoria was the biggest factor for why it was not popular for so many decades. Now it's the cannabinoid's biggest selling point.
A recent Gallup poll found that 12% of American adults self identify as being cannabis consumers. That works out to roughly 30 million adults.
Of the remaining 88% of American adults, a good portion of them would likely use a CBD product for wellness purposes if they were educated on its benefits and knew that it didn't cause euphoria.
How big of a portion is unknown at this time, but it will start being demonstrated in future polls in my opinion.
Americans are constantly looking for the next 'wonder drug', and when it comes to CBD, not only is it proving to be exactly what many consumers are looking for, it's also much safer than other substances that are common in American medicine cabinets.
And although we don't want discount the medical properties of THC -- the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis -- CBD is a good step forward.
What's more, people are learning CBD and THC actually work best together -- and you can still avoid 'getting high' if needed.
CBD is creating an economic boom
As Martin Lee pointed out at the 2016 Cannabis Health Summit, the rise in CBD's popularity has been paralleled by the growth of a cottage CBD industry.
Whereas ten years ago CBD products were unheard of, now they are found on dispensary shelves across America.
The economic boom is not just targeting humans either. CBD products for pets are becoming more common as pet owners realize that CBD can provide pets with similar benefits as found with products meant for humans.
CBD is going to be a very big part of the cannabis space going forward, potentially eclipsing the sector of the space dedicated to THC products (even though most be people find a balance of CBD and THC to be most effective).
CBD's ability to help will depend on reform efforts
Lots of scientific studies about CBD's wellness benefits are already out there, but not as much as there needs to be.
A big reason why there isn't even more CBD information out there is because of CBD's status as a Schedule I controlled substance at the federal level.
That classification has dramatically hindered research in the past, and will continue to do so until federal cannabis laws are reformed.
A number of states have passed CBD-specific laws, but are very limited due to patients being unable to cultivate their own CBD-rich plants, or purchase them from a regulated safe access point.
Cannabis reform supporters need to keep pressure on both their federal and state elected officials until everyone that could benefit from using CBD is allowed to do so in an easy and safe manner.
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