CBD products continue to thrive in various industries such as healthcare, cosmetics, hospitality, food, pharmaceuticals, and pet care, among others. Hemp-derived products are expected to saturate huge industries in the years to come; in fact, the CBD market is foreseen to surpass the $20 billion mark by 2024.
This is no surprise at all, as CBD continues to gain popularity ever since the legalization of cannabis as an agricultural crop in the United States. More and more countries are considering the same, so we can all expect the market growth to remain exponential in the next few years.
Producers rely on technology to create leverage in coming up with new and innovative methods. How is technology reshaping the industry now, and what can we expect in the near future?
Genetic engineering has been around for a while now, with food items being bioengineered in different ways; and it is probably just a matter of time before we have genetically-engineered cannabis, as well. CanBreed, an Israel-based company founded in 2017, was able to secure a patent and hold a license to use genetic-editing technology in cannabis products. CanBreed claims that using stable seeds partnered with CRISPR technology, inherent challenges in cannabis farming will be addressed. These challenges include cost, sensitivity to humidity, and genetic instability, to name a few. The company believes that they can help optimize farming by editing specific cannabis genes and traits. CanBreed still has to overcome a lot of hurdles especially in terms of regulation in order to expand, but it is worth noting that such innovation in cannabis farming is now in the works.
CBD bioavailability or the amount of CBD in one’s bloodstream as a result of traditional ways of consuming CBD products is very low. That is because CBD is naturally not soluble in water, but soluble in fat. Humans have more water than fat in our system, so most of the CBD taken in are flushed out of the system together with urine, leaving only around 20% of the CBD consumed. Enter, nanotechnology. Nano CBD is being marketed as “water-soluble.” However, that might be erroneous because CBD’s hydrophobic nature cannot change no matter how small you make its particles. But, it is worth noting that nano CBD are small enough to pass through membranes that normal-sized CBD particles cannot penetrate; so, in theory, nanotechnology can increase CBD bioavailability. Although it needs further research, we might be looking at a future where Nano CBD may be favored over regular CBD.
Every individual’s biochemistry makes us process and react differently to cannabis products, which is why a particular product might be effective for one person, but not for the other. For some, finding the right product and dosage can be daunting and may lead them to think that CBD is not the right fit for them at all. This is why companies have started to develop ways on how to personalize CBD products for consumers. Saliva swab tests can analyze a person’s DNA and determine what would be the best strain, dosage, and product for them. A person’s saliva contains vital information such as likelihood to develop certain illnesses, sleep quality, sensitivity to pain, and metabolism, to name a few. This technology promises narrowed down options and better results for cannabis consumers; and this could potentially help the cannabis industry reach new market level heights.
These technological advancements in the CBD industry are indeed promising, which only goes to show that the cannabis industry is here to stay and thrive.