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Trends in the development of the global cannabidiol market


Over time, a significant share of the market for cannabinoid products will not be occupied by commodity items using extracts of individual cannabinoids, but products that will include hemp raw materials, which have the entire spectrum of therapeutic elements, enhanced by the “ensemble effect”. 

The editors of the specialized electronic publication of Ukrainian cannabis growers were given the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the results of research carried out by one of the leading American consulting companies concerning the dynamics of development and medium-term prospects of the CBD products market. It is very difficult to agree with a number of statements of our foreign colleagues, however, certain market trends manifesting themselves in North America are characteristic both for the EU market and for the “gray” national market based on the use of smuggled cannabinoid products purchased through electronic means of communication. Analyzed carefully, the information below will be useful for national companies planning to work in the use of drug-free cannabinoids due to the fact that the data provided by our American colleagues demonstrates market segmentation, as well as directions of use that need to be given priority attention.


According to analysts from the above-mentioned consulting company, the volume of the cannabidiol (CBD) market in 2019 exceeded $ 2.8 billion and in the period from 2020 to 2026 its Compound Annnual Growth Rate (CAGR) could be about 52. 7%. The growing trend of using herbal cannabidiol for the treatment of diseases such as anxiety, stress, sleep problems, nausea, chronic pain, migraine, neurological conditions and seizures, the treatment of skin diseases, as well as the relief of inflammation is annually complemented by new research showing the possibility of using drug-free cannabinoids for treatment of other serious, including chronic diseases. A similar trend is associated with the therapeutic properties of cannabidiol (the use of a cannabinoid as an antibiotic or analgesic), which gently and without any side effects helps in solving a significant number of patients' problems for the treatment of a wide range of diseases.

Underlying reasons for using the therapeutic properties of cannabidiol

A growing awareness of the therapeutic properties of drug-free cannabinoids, including cannabidiol, associated with an intensive PR campaign carried out in various countries around the world by companies that are forming or already operating in this market. Possibilities of using the therapeutic properties of drug-free cannabinoids both in medical (oils, tinctures, suppositories, transdermal patches, isolates, tablets, capsules,) and in industrial (food, cosmetics, vape oils, pet products) purposes. Substantial financial investments of Canadian, Israeli, British, Dutch companies in research aimed at studying the properties of drug-free cannabinoids, as well as their commercialization. An increase in the number of approved pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food products, dietary supplements or feed additives, and other uses of cannabidiol, combined with an increase in the number of manufacturers of CBD products.

Statistical indicators

One of the fastest growing dynamics in an extremely short historical period is shown by the segment of infusions rich in plant cannabidiol, the volume of which in the United States has grown from $ 0.39 million in 2015 to 389 million in 2019. As you can see from the chart below, a significant market volume for products that contain cannabidiol are CBD oils, oils for vaping, as well as various kinds of cosmetic preparations.

I would like to pay special attention to the exponential growth of various kinds of means aimed at relieving pain, including in the musculoskeletal system of a person (primarily athletes), in most cases solving issues related to joint inflammation. In particular, the studies carried out suggest that about 10% of preparations containing cannabidiol were used to relieve pain and treat inflammation of the joints (arthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.). In addition, the active use of drugs containing cannabidiol is due to the treatment of various kinds of sports injuries or an increase in the performance of athletes in competitions. A separate area of ​​the use of non-drug cannabinoids is the possibility of using drugs made on the basis of their therapeutic properties, used to get rid of various kinds of addictions (alcohol, drug, etc.).

Dividing the market for drugs containing cannabidiol

Based on the ways in which cannabidiol enters the human body, the market is divided into oral, topical, inhalation, transdermal patches, rectal and sublingual. 

At the moment, the largest is the oral market for pharmaceuticals, which in 2019 was already estimated at $ 1.5 billion. This is primarily due to the widespread distribution of oral products - oils, sprays, tinctures, capsules and tablets.

The cannabidiol segment from industrial hemp already occupies the largest market share for CBD products, since the cost and trace amount of controlled substances in the final product make it more cost-effective to use drug-free cannabinoids grown on an industrial scale precisely “on the ground” compared to psychoactive raw materials grown in greenhouses or in the premises. 

Sales system

The market is segmented by distribution channels into online and offline. Offline is further segmented into hospital pharmacies and retail stores. The online segment offers various advantages over the offline segment, such as cheap prices, variety of products sold, ease of return, convenience and privacy. Due to the above benefits, customers largely prefer to purchase CBD products using online sales platforms. 

Bottom Line : The cannabidiol industry in North America (primarily Canada and the US) is expected to grow exponentially and at a much faster rate than other regions of the world. Calculations of individual analytical and consulting companies indicate that this market may exceed $ 54 billion by 2026.

Commentary of experts of the Association "Ukrainian technical hemp"

Several years ago, national experts determined that the cultivation of leaves and inflorescences of a hemp plant used for medicinal purposes "on the ground" would eventually prevail over cultivation in greenhouses or indoors (the dynamics of the Canadian market this year, characterizing the number of hemp crops used for medicinal purposes, confirms this trend). Also, a few years ago, there was a clear trend towards the use of varieties of technical hemp with a therapeutic orientation, "green mass" of which it is more efficient to use for the production of drug-free cannabinoids. Having caught this trend in a number of economically developed countries of the world, the efforts of breeders to create new hybrids of the hemp plant were aimed at developing varieties of technical hemp with a therapeutic orientation. This is also why the registration of therapeutic hemp varieties in Ukraine is fully consistent with the global trends in the hemp market. 

The dynamics of consumer requests for the therapeutic properties of non-drug cannabinoids (including cannabidiol) suggests that the patient, in extreme cases (about 10-12%), prefers to use a pharmacological preparation based on extracts of the therapeutic properties of cannabinoids, including cannabidiol. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the consumer prefers to purchase the cheapest and most effective food product, cosmetic product, biologically active / food supplement with significant therapeutic potential, the formulations of which are based on the leaves and inflorescences of the hemp plant. In the case of regulation of the possibility of growing therapeutic varieties of technical hemp by individuals, the consumer prefers to use the “green mass” of hemp directly from the field and not provide his financial resource for use by any commercial enterprise. 

Based on the above postulates, and also taking into account the actively manifested tendency to use not extracts, but directly the “green mass” of technical hemp of a therapeutic orientation, experts of the information and analytical platform Hemp Consulting argue that a significant share of the market for cannabinoid products will eventually be occupied by non-commodity positions. using extracts of individual cannabinoids, and the products which will include hemp raw materials, which have the entire spectrum of therapeutic elements, enhanced by the "ensemble effect". Therefore, the value of the cannabidiol market in the next five years will undoubtedly increase significantly, but if the component of this particular market segment reaches $ 54 billion, then it will not exceed 10-12% of the total market volume of the global cannabinoid industry.

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