CBD is booming. But US farmers struggle to keep up with demand for industrial hemp
Image by Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt | AFP | Getty Images
By Angelica LaVito, CNBC on March 24, 2019
It’s Hollywood’s new favorite beauty product. It’s the superfood du jour. Demand for CBD is so strong that companies are scrambling to infuse their products with it, but the CBD they’re finding isn’t all that great.
Congress legalized industrial hemp in December. With it, they also legalized hemp-derived CBD, short for cannabidiol, a cannabis compound that supposedly delivers the calming effects of marijuana without the high from THC.
Last year, retail sales of CBD consumer products in the U.S. were estimated at between $600 million and $2 billion, according to investment research firm Cowen. The bank conservatively forecasts sales to reach $16 billion by 2025, with health and wellness products leading the way and food, beverage, beauty and vapor to also play a role.
From seed to CBD
The current supply chain — from plants, to extraction, to labs — is riddled with issues. And the nascent industry is trying to work through the kinks at the same time demand is ramping up, leaving producers frustrated and consumers stuck trying to sift good products from bad ones.
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