Over the past few years, we’ve seen a shift towards consumers turning to the power of plants to boost immunity and wellbeing, reaping their functional benefits, says Savannah Scott, creative researcher at strategic foresight consultancy, The Future Laboratory. As a result, CBD has become associated with the health and wellness sector, as an alternative and natural aid to concerns surrounding stress, productivity, and inflammation. We speak to the expert on how CBD has helped us during COVID, the fascinating studies going into the benefits of the substance and what the future of CBD looks like.
How has CBD become more popular during these stressful COVID 19 times? As a result of the pandemic, our relationship between naturally derived ingredients and mental health is becoming clearer and we’re finding that our emotions are intrinsically linked to what we consume.
With self-care rituals and health becoming a priority during Covid-19, we saw consumers take their wellbeing into their own hands, seeking out brands and products that provided positive benefits from their use. According to research by Euromonitor, sales of legal recreational cannabis could grow by 376% over the next five years, outpacing medical cannabis and CBD categories. Recreational cannabis is expected to account for 67% of legal cannabis sales globally by 2025 and we’re already seeing the innovation in this sector through CBD being incorporated into markets such as beauty, homeware and food & drink.
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The demand for accessibility to CDB has increased, with pop-up shops becoming available on platforms such as Deliveroo, showcasing how consumers are seeking stress relief at home, as the line between work and leisure time became increasingly blurred. The traditional flower format of recreational cannabis is predicted to decline rapidly, with branded topicals, tinctures and edibles set to take over the market as the fastest-growing categories, probably owing to their wellbeing connotations.
What is the future of CBD? We’re seeing an exploration into the psychoactive effects of plants and botanicals, including CBD and THC and how these combinations can improve health & wellbeing in sectors such as food and drink and beauty. Some brands like Amass are looking into how CBD could become a replacement for alcohol, whilst CBD brand Charlotte’s Web is experimenting with offering its hemp-infused topical formulas in extreme locations to target high-intensity outdoor athletes.