‘The Cannabis Industry is booming’
In recent history, it did not seem possible. Global prohibition made cannabis off-limits. It was seen as a drug and nothing more.
Times have changed. Cannabis is not fully legal all over the world, but it is certainly seeing an increase in friendly laws and accessibility. Marijuana (& a wide range of products) being openly sold in dispensaries might have once sounded like a far-fetched stoner’s dream – but it is happening, and not just in Amsterdam. As states across the USA and a growing number of countries throughout the world decriminalize cannabis, it is being increasingly utilized in innovative ways by all kinds of industries.
In the past decade alone, we have seen a major turn in the global attitude towards the plant. While it is still illegal in many places, change is happening. Countries where the plant has been legalized are showing the way forward.
Cannabis has become one of the most innovative and exciting industries in modern times. People have found so many uses for cannabis and it is being utilized in so many ways that we can no longer ignore this growth or write off cannabis as a recreational drug.
From skincare to medicine, to edible, to hemp-based clothes, cannabis seems to have no limit. The possibilities are endless.
The Green Rush
Dubbed ‘The Green Rush’, a new movement of brands, businesses and investors rush to be the first to capitalize on cannabis. Research has suggested that the US legal cannabis industry could be worth as much as $75 billion by the year 2030, so it is easy to see why investors are flocking to capitalize on the cannabis industry.
The legal grey area in some countries can make it hard to navigate and there is still some mystery surrounding why some people can grow while others are jailed for possession. Slow changing laws have created a lot of uncertainty surrounding cannabis.
There are three different kinds of cannabis:
All different species of the same plant – in this time of shifting legalities, it is important to know the difference between these plants. Sativas and Indicas are used for recreational purposes and are farmed for CBD. Ruderalis is cannabis with lower THC quantities and is generally farmed as hemp.
Hemp has been fully legalized in the United States. The States have different laws about cannabis. California was the first state to legalize cannabis for medical use, and many other states followed. The medicinal use of cannabis was widely accepted long before recreational use started to become accepted and legal in some places.
Cannabis For Healthcare
The first wave of legalization happened mainly around medicinal use. Studies could no longer be ignored regarding its medicinal value. Cannabis has proved useful in the treatment of so many things where traditional healthcare has either been lacking or outright failed.
Cannabis, and specifically CBD oil, is being used in the treatment of cancer. Cannabis can alleviate some of the symptoms of cancer. It is used to aid in nausea and pain of chemotherapy patients and can also be used as an appetite stimulator.
The active ingredient in CBD is cannabinoids; cannabinoids work by activating specific receptors throughout the body. They produce pharmacological effects and are capable of influencing the central nervous system.
CBD oil is sometimes used in the treatment of skin cancer and it has seen some success. CBD oil does not contain THC, which is the active ingredient in cannabis that creates a high.
Seizures and epilepsy
There has been some success in treating seizures and epilepsy with cannabis. Cannabinoids can, in some cases, positively impact the brains of patients with epilepsy. The FDA recently approved the use of Epidiolex, a plant-based formulation of CBD, to treat seizures of people with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (two common types of epilepsy)
Anxiety and depression
Many people claim that cannabis helps with anxiety and depression, but research on this topic goes both ways. At this point, it is safe to assume that it can help some people while making the symptoms of others worse. There is a growing market of people purchasing CBD oil to use for anxiety and depression, and also those who are using it to aid in sleep. The claims that cannabis helps with sleep are more strongly backed by science since sleepiness is a long-document side effect of marijuana.
Headaches and nausea
Cannabis has been proven to alleviate pain and to help ease nausea. That is one of the reasons why it is so popular with cancer patients.
Cannabis For Skincare
Cannabis is also revolutionizing the skincare industry. One of the first brands to utilize cannabis was The Body Shop, who released a range of hemp-based skincare products way back when this was still really controversial and unheard of. Some people probably bought in for the shock value, but the products proved to have great results and become a favorite and top-selling item.
Cannabis helps the skin in many ways, and its healing properties have been proven to be beneficial to multiple skin conditions. Cannabis has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that make it capable of reducing puffiness, swelling, and soreness in the skin. These properties make it an all-in-one beauty solution, making it no wonder that it is being utilized more and more in the beauty and skincare industry. Recent studies have shown that cannabis can fight acne and give the skin a more youthful appearance. This is also thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. CBD is the most utilized cannabis export in the beauty industry, but it is not the only one that is useful. Many experts believe that by focusing only on CBD, we are missing out on the full benefits that cannabis has to offer.
There are close to 100 different kinds of cannabinoids in cannabis. CBD is only one of them. We are still only just starting to understand the full impact that all of these chemicals, or cannabinoids, can have. What we do know is that the human body has an endocannabinoid system that is influenced by the different chemicals in cannabis. Some experts think that for this system to reach its full potential, the entire cannabis plant needs to be utilized – not just CBD.
The only problem with this theory is the legality of it. CBD derived from hemp is legal in the USA and many other countries around the world. Hemp-derived CBD has no recreational value and has many medicinal uses. It is therefore the easiest to utilize for all industries wishing to explore cannabis. Contrastly, cannabis-infused products are still illegal throughout most of the USA and the world.
What Is Hemp?
The good news about the legal battle that cannabis is still facing is that hemp is in the clear; it is fully legal all throughout the United States. But what is hemp and how is it different from other cannabis?
Hemp is the term used to classify cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC. THC is the active ingredient in cannabis. While this legal definition only came about in 2018, the term hemp has generally been used to describe cannabis that does not cause a high throughout history. Hemp has been used for over 10000 years to create rope, clothing, paper, housing materials, food and more. Many historians believe that it was the first crop to ever be cultivated for use beyond food.
Hemp is now being utilized in an ever-expanding amount of industries. The plant that was one of mankind’s first innovations continues to live up to its legacy in new and exciting ways. Hemp is one of the main exports of the cannabis industry. It is a sustainable product that is being embraced for a huge variety of uses. It is popular in the world of sustainable fashion. New technology has made hemp-based textiles more versatile than ever before.
Hemp is favored over other plant-based textiles because of many beneficial properties:
- Hemp requires little water
- It grows extremely fast and offers huge returns in a short amount of time
- Hemp does not require herbicides and pesticides
Hemp’s wide array of uses are still being explored since it has only recently surged to popularity. It used to be a taboo product that was impossible to utilize in places with marijuana was illegal. Hemp plants have no recreational value and now that this has been realized and bans are being lifted, it is an exciting time in the hemp industry.
With hemp being revolutionized into a more versatile fabric than ever, top clothing brands are utilizing it and simultaneously embracing sustainability. Patagonia is one of the top brands that use hemp alongside other sustainable materials. Since they have been around for a long time too, they get a lot of the attention. Leading the way for many years, has given them the limelight but quickly many brands are getting involved. Some brands use hemp exclusively, such as Recreator and Hoodlamb. Even Levi’s is now expanding into experimenting with hemp-based denim.
One of the main reasons why cannabis and hemp are being embraced is due to its high level of sustainability. Cannabis farming is hard to beat when it comes to sustainability. Cannabis has a lot of properties that other industry favorites are lacking.
- Cannabis grows extremely fast and produces high turnovers in a short amount of time.
- Cannabis plants do not require a lot of water.
- Farming hemp and cannabis requires little to no pesticides
- Cannabis plants do not destroy soil like other plants do. Oppositely, they can nourish the soil that they are grown in.
Of course, different strains of cannabis will grow differently. Cannabis grown for recreational use can be much more labor intensive. On the other hand, hemp farming requires much less work.
Cannabis In Your Food
Cannabis products are also appearing more and more in the food industry, confirming what stoners have always known about how great marijuana can be when combined with food! Cannabis edibles are no longer just a popular tourist attraction in Amsterdam, they are a growing market for reasons beyond getting high. Cannabis-infused food can be consumed for health reasons – hemp and hemp seeds have been especially noted for their health benefits. CBD-infused food can also be used medicinally for those who do not want to smoke cannabis but still want to benefit from its healing properties.
Cannibble is one of the brands leading the way in cannabis-infused food. They create cannabis-infused food and beverages with CBD and hemp oils. They offer a wide range of cannabis-based products including toppings and spices, beverages, sweeteners, and desserts. Cannibble offers CBD infused products, which are healthy and will not get you high, and THC products where the law permits. THC is the active ingredient in cannabis that creates a high, meaning that their THC products are considered recreational and are not globally legal at this point. Cannibble is one of the many brands that believe that this will eventually change and that cannabis will become more legal and accessible in upcoming years.
There are also brands that focus entirely on exporting CBD and hemp oils. CBD and hemp oils have a wide array of uses. They can be added to food or skincare to create personal solutions to the problems that people want cannabis to help them with. CBD oil is also popular for relieving pain, aiding in sleep, and treating anxiety and depression.
BlueBird Botanicals is one of the brands utilizing both hemp and CBD. They specialize in Avant-Garde Hemp extracts and CBD Oil and have won awards for both of these exports. In 2018 they were given the first prize for being the best Hemp Company/Product at the Cannabis Business Awards. BlueBird Botanicals was one of the first pioneers of hemp and CBD oil and they continue to lead the way and set industry standards with their high-quality products.
BlueBird Botanicals has now partnered with farmers in Colorado to focus on growing hemp sustainably with the goal of making sustainable hemp accessible to other brands and businesses. Their growing operation happens inside greenhouses. They create Certificates of Analysis (COA) for their products and track their entire life-cycle. The COA is issued by an independent third-party testing organization that checks for potency, mold, heavy metal residues and possible contamination. This ensures the high quality of their products.
Where brands are embracing sustainability, hemp is just an obvious solution. It is an amazingly sustainable product and we can only hope that more industries will be embracing it in the future. Hemp could be the solution to deforestation, harmful agricultural processes, over-pesticide use, and so much more. Hemp farming really brings new meaning to the term ‘going green’.
While the cannabis industry was once met with skepticism and scoffed at by critics and those who favor the traditional and conventional; cannabis has broken boundaries and proven itself to be useful, sustainable, and medicinal. It is an exciting time for the cannabis industry – there is nowhere to go from here but up. Now that cannabis is being utilized in new and innovative ways, the possibilities seem endless. To further your knowledge in this arena, there are multiple cannabis events around the world where you can meet and greet the brands/ companies up close.