Author: Luke Sholl
CBD continues to receive enormous attention, but what is it about this naturally occurring compound that makes it a favourite among consumers, researchers, and everyone in between? To find out, keep reading as we break down why CBD is so popular.
To understand CBD's rise in renown, we need to learn a little about its backstory—where it comes from, who discovered it, and the catalyst for its mainstream appeal.
CBD is an organic compound found inside Cannabis sativa, or as it's more commonly known, cannabis. Fortunately, the C. sativa family also includes industrial hemp, a subspecies containing naturally high levels of CBD and low concentrations of THC.
However, despite centuries of use, researchers didn't discover hemp's abundance of organic compounds until the 1940s. American chemist Roger Adams was the first person to isolate CBD successfully, and as a result opened the doorway to the fascinating world of cannabinoids. Unfortunately, the discovery of cannabinoids was only one half of the equation. For CBD and other compounds to have practical applications, researchers needed to locate a mechanism of action, and that discovery didn't happen until the early 90s.
The missing link, of course, was the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Researchers determined that each of the cannabinoids inside C. sativa, CBD included, prompted a wide variety of biological changes by interacting with the receptors of the ECS. By harnessing this interaction, researchers could then trigger dozens of potentially beneficial changes to mind and body.
With more of the puzzle pieces in place, it was only a matter of time before interest in CBD would reach mainstream audiences, but not without a bit of help from Charlotte Figi. Undoubtedly, one of the most influential catalysts to CBD's popularity was the release of a 2013 news report on "Charlotte's Web".
Charlotte's Web is a potent CBD extract manufactured by the Stanley Brothers from Colorado, USA. It is named after the late Charlotte Figi, a young girl from Boulder, Colorado who used the oil for severe epileptic seizures. Charlotte's story first made headlines in 2013, after CNN published an in-depth report exploring the ameliorative potential of CBD, especially for seizures and tremors caused by severe forms of epilepsy such as Dravet syndrome.
This report shined a global spotlight not only on Charlotte and other children like her, but also on CBD specifically. Since its broadcast in 2013, countless other reports have further explored CBD, its chemical makeup, effects on the body, and therapeutic potential.
Since Charlotte, and by extension CBD, caught the hearts and minds of people back in 2013, interest has grown into a multimillion-dollar industry with global appeal. Fascinated by its potential, researchers are working tirelessly to discover the full scope of the compound's effects.
From its influence over mood, appetite, and sleep to its lack of toxicity, the "CBD hype" looks set to continue. However, don't just take our word for it. Below, we've outlined several reasons why interest in CBD is here to stay.
Legality is a significant part of why CBD use has become widespread. Unlike THC, CBD is less restricted in many countries. This is because CBD is a non-psychotropic cannabinoid, meaning it doesn't interfere with normal physical or psychological functioning.
In the United States, for example, CBD products with less than 0.3% THC are entirely legal and can be purchased online and shipped all around the country. The same is true in many European countries (except the THC limit is 0.2%). As long as CBD products don’t exceed the limit for THC, they are legal to buy and use.
Every country has a slightly different stance on CBD accessibility. Still, by and large, it's less restricted than THC and other cannabinoids, making it much more appealing for consumers looking to use cannabis and hemp products. It also makes it much easier for manufacturers to distribute and market these products.
The potential health benefits of CBD would take dozens of articles to explain in depth, but to summarise, the impact is vast. The compound's unique interaction with the ECS influences functions throughout the immune, digestive, and central nervous systems. Although CBD has various use cases, its main appeal is its balancing effect on the ECS. By bolstering interactions between various biological systems, CBD can help you feel at your best.
The appeal of a natural wellness supplement, one that won't get you high and could modulate mood, appetite, and sleep, is exceptionally high among those looking to enhance daily well-being. The biggest caveat to CBD's potential benefits is that we still don't fully understand the mechanisms and interactions.
Research has come a long way, but there's much more to learn about dosing, cannabinoid ratios, and how to tailor CBD to meet particular needs. Fortunately, the compound’s legality and lack of toxicity mean consumers are free to experiment and find what works for them.
The value of the global CBD market reached a staggering USD 2.8 billion in 2021, with an estimated value of USD 13.4 billion by 2028.
The United States is seeing an immense increase in CBD food supplements, CBD-rich tinctures, cosmetics, body creams, lotions, and more. In Europe, the demand for CBD is just as great in countries such as the UK, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, and France.
With more companies and products on the market, consumers are more exposed to information about CBD than ever before. In fact, major high-street retailers are starting to stock CBD products as part of their wellness ranges. Although there is yet to be a strong standard to unify these products, with increasing interest in CBD and better regulation, industry standardisation is inevitable.
Comedians, podcasters, actors, music moguls; there's no shortage of celebrity endorsement of CBD. With consumers today interconnected via social media, influencers bring with them significant buying power. Well-known advocates of CBD include Joe Rogan, Michael J Fox, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hanks, and Whoopi Goldberg.
And let's not forget the athletes. Accepted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), CBD has become a staple of many training regimes thanks to its balancing effects—on and off the track, court, or field. In fact, the widespread popularity of CBD throughout the sporting world is why Cibdol created its sponsored athlete programme. With athletes from multiple disciplines using CBD regularly, their support is driving continued interest and research.
Beauty, wellness, even the food and beverage industries; all of these sectors can't get enough of CBD. The appeal of infusing various cosmetics, topicals, and supplements with cannabidiol comes down to three main factors.
First, CBD synergises incredibly well with other compounds and ingredients, making it a straightforward addition to a wide variety of product ranges. Second, its lack of toxicity and limited side effects mean it is generally well-tolerated. But don't take our word for it; this is according to a comprehensive review by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Finally, we have the sheer breadth of CBD's influence. Its primary mechanism of action is via the endocannabinoid system, which is spread throughout the digestive system, immune system, skin, and parts of the brain.
With plenty to gain and virtually nothing to lose, it's easy to see why CBD's popularity across different industries, celebrities, and continents continues to grow. In fact, with all the beneficial factors outlined above, the question should really be, why isn't CBD more popular?
Ready to experience the ever-growing range of CBD products for yourself? Browse the Cibdol store for a complete selection of CBD creams, cosmetics, supplements, oils, capsules, and more! Or, if you want to learn more about cannabinoids, the ECS, or the industries taking advantage of CBD, check out our CBD Encyclopedia.