Note: Since this was written, Brightfield Group has updated its US CBD market sizes and forecasts through 2025.
2018 US CBD Market Forecast
We are excited to announce that our updated CBD Report is now live! Analyzing this market and watching it grow up has been absolutely fascinating over the past year. Over the past decade I've covered a wide range of consumer markets, from foods and drinks to telecom, gaming and even cannabis. I have never seen anything like the explosion that we're seeing right now in CBD, even with the bizarre legal gray area where CBD now operates. A few years ago almost no one knew what hemp-derived CBD was, it was sold by mostly small brands of tinctures online and through head shops. All of a sudden, CBD is everywhere - it is both a trendy, new ingredient in drinks, face creams and pet treats and an answer to the prayers of so many people suffering from medical conditions ranging from epilepsy to anxiety and chronic pain. It rides the waves of so many global food and health trends, as a substitute for opioids, towards more natural health alternatives and functional ingredients.
What is most notable is that this market has grown almost exclusively based on word-of-mouth, with marketing heavily restricted due to the legal gray area that hemp CBD operates in. But, if Mitch McConnell has his way, the Farm Bill will change that, officially descheduling hemp and paving the way for mass retailers, CPG, ingredients and healthcare companies to enter the space. And that is what will change the game entirely.
CBD is the next healthcare phenomenon. It is so effective for so many conditions, is natural, non-psychoactive and has no known serious side effects. It is the next hot, functional ingredient beauty ingredient, like collagen, shea butter or aloe. It can be grown domestically as a substitute for tobacco and provide a much needed cash crop for American farmers. Even Canadian licensed producers (LPs), with federally legal recreational marijuana markets available and export potential, are betting on hemp CBD, which should highlight the potential of this market.
Our forecasts are amongst the highest and we stand behind them. We have interviewed hundreds of people in the industry, surveyed thousands of consumers, conducted market analysis across literally millions of data points. We are a team of highly conservative analysts and we did not take this lightly - I honestly believe that these are conservative numbers. We have no rose-colored glasses in terms of the bizarre and challenging regulatory framework that surround this industry, it will always be two steps forward, one step back. There are sure to be some problematic regulations and bumps along the way. But there is too much momentum, too much demand and too much potential for this industry not to explode.