CBD bevies, consumables, psychoactive cannabinoids and more…

Product Diversification

Product diversification? Hasn’t that already happened? Well, yes. We’ve certainly moved past the standard CBD products a long time ago. There’s really little (it would seem) left to the imagination. If it can be infused with CBD, it has been.

But CBD pillows and CBD ice cream aren’t really what we’re talking about here, though there will certainly continue to be innovations of that sort as well. But if the predictions are right, we’re going to see a lot of growth this year in a few main areas, which we delve into forthwith:

Drinks & Edibles

Regulatory issues notwithstanding, CBD-infused drinks and edibles are going to continue to land on store shelves over the next year. This is a huge area of growth currently. Even though tinctures still retain the highest share of the market (with 18% of retail sales), drinks and gummies were the fastest-growing products in 2021 and that is expected to continue.

That doesn’t mean you can bank on finding CBD drinks at your local grocery store, though. Some states have decided to ban CBD-infused drinks and edibles until the FDA has decided to regulate these items.

But in states where these products are allowed, you can expect to see them proliferate.

CBD trends

Minor Cannabinoids

When the Farm Bill passed in 2018, CBD was the hot new cannabinoid exploding on the health and wellness scene. In the last few years, though, the CBD/hemp industry has widened its focus to include other minor cannabinoids.

In the very early days of the CBD industry, a CBG or CBN tincture would have been prohibitively expensive. These minor cannabinoids are found in only tiny quantities in traditional hemp strains and took massive amounts of biomass to extract enough to be effective.

But with new strains of hemp and better extraction techniques, these minor cannabinoids are starting to take up a lot more space in the CBD industry. It’s no longer unusual to find tinctures that include significant amounts of CBG and CBN. You can expect to see more THCV as well this year, as that cannabinoid gains more momentum in the canna-curious hive mind.

Of course, the science on what these cannabinoids actually do is sort of being left in the dust. We still have a lot to learn on that front! Just don’t expect that to hold back the CBD industry.

Hemp-Derived Psyachoactive Cannabinoids 

2021 was the year that saw Delta 8 THC explode on the legal hemp scene. Even with major questions of legality hanging over these products, CBD companies have decided to take the risk and invest heavily in Delta 8 products.

So far, these products have been allowed in most states, though some (like Oregon) have decided to regulate Delta 8 in the same way as cannabis and alcohol. The next year could prove decisive in how hemp-derived psychoactive cannabinoids are regulated in this country.

Frankly, it seems unlikely that Delta 8 and Delta 10 products will continue to be regulated (or unregulated) like CBD. And with some CBD companies recently pushing the envelope with hemp-derived Delta 9 THC (which is just plain THC in common parlance), it seems like either congress or the FDA is going to step in soon and clarify the legality of hemp-derived psychoactive cannabinoids.

But, when it comes to hemp regulation, the FDA has so far been incredibly hands-off. This brings us neatly to our last topic…

FDA Regulation in 2022?

The question of CBD regulation at the federal level is a huge, burning issue for the CBD industry. So far, the FDA has refused to provide a regulatory framework for CBD (citing lack of scientific information). This has left the industry in a no man’s land, struggling to convince banks and investors to take a chance on products that could be outlawed by future regulation.

The industry is heavily pressuring Congress to support legislation that would regulate cannabinoid products. Whether this happens this year is anyone’s guess, but if lobbying efforts are any indication, 2022 could be the year that finally provides the industry with some stability.