COVID-19 has had a major impact on the global economy with nearly every industry feeling the impact. With so many people sheltering at home, most retail businesses are struggling to stay afloat or closing all together. The CBD industry is one of the few that has continued to grow throughout the lockdowns. So what is CBD and why is it continuing to grow during the pandemic?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a naturally occurring compound found in the hemp plant, which is now legal to cultivate in all 50 American states and across the European Union. There can be a confusion between CBD products and marijuana, because they both come from the same family of plants (cannabis), but CBD products are extracted from hemp with has little to no trace of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the psychoactive component – providing the ‘high’ when smoking weed.
With so many people forced to stay at home due to the coronavirus lockdowns, unable to work or socialize, a recent study revealed that 60% of people in the UK have experienced increased levels of anxiety. One of the primary reasons people use CBD is to help calm their feelings of anxiety.
According to the World Health Organization, depression is the single largest contributor to disability in the world, with anxiety ranking 6th. Anxiety and depression are most often treated with pharmaceutical drugs with a number of negative side effects including: sexual dysfunction, insomnia, headaches, drowsiness, etc. These medicines also tend to be addictive and can sometimes be abused.
CBD is not addictive and does not lead to the negative side effects listed above, but has been successful in studies of people and animals living with anxiety and depression. This is due to the CBD effect on the brain’s receptors of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behavior.
According to a 2019 study, up to 6 million people in the UK have tried CBD at least once. The most common reasons listed for using CBD are its calming and therapeutic effects. The study also demonstrated an increasing percentage of people who support the legalization of cannabis, which may stem from their experience with the benefits of CBD.
Many people in these times are also turning to CBD to combat insomnia. For some, the stress of isolation is compounded by financial stress and general concern for the future. They are getting less exercise, sunlight and stimulation, and more couch time than ever. When the mind is full of thoughts and worries, and the body is aching, sleep can be elusive. Insomnia affects so many other health and quality of life issues, which may also be a major factor in the continued growth of CBD use.
The current crisis may also be a factor in the increasing size of CBD doses. According to a recent study by the Brightfield Group, 15% of users planned to buy a higher dosage product due to the coronavirus and the struggles they are experiencing.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of stress and anxiety due to the pandemic, and you’re considering increasing your dosages, be sure to do your due diligence, consult your physician and stick with trusted brands.