Earlier this month, a new market research report projected that the cannabis industry will grow 24 percent over the next three years. Non-psychoactive cannabidiol —or CBD as it is more commonly known —is expected to play a major role in developing what is now a multi-billion dollar industry.
Here is the latest in CBD research and what it could mean for the future of cannabis:
Universities offer more in the way of cannabis education
CBD oil transitioned the way people think about marijuana. Because it lacks the psychotropic high of cannabis and it is legal under the Farm Bill, CBD oil is considered to be more of a wellness product than a party favor. It has become more than a niche market for cannabis companies over the last five years.
[Read More: LiveWell’s CBD investments catch the eye of Canopy Growth]
Without the negative stigma typically associated with cannabis, universities and the private sector alike use CBD oil for research purposes and to see how it could affect the future of the cannabis sector.
For example, the Mount Royal University in Alberta, Canada recently announced a partnership with Kwantlen Polytechnic University wherein the two will offer new business courses.
"The idea was, we have a lot of courses connected to business and professional education, so this seemed like really, a natural fit; There is already a demand for the courses,” Brad Mahon, Dean of Continuing Education at Mount Royal, said in a statement. “We expect people who are kind of tire kickers, people who are curious and want to learn a little bit more, and we also expect people who are serious about learning more about this new industry. In many ways, these are business courses."
The Cannabis Education Program includes non-credit courses beginning this coming fall semester.
CBD continues to change how consumers use cannabis
Two years ago, a study on CBD treatments found that transdermal application of CBD oil relieves arthritic pain. More than that, CBD also reduced swelling in joints and improved overall posture.
Transdermal CBD treatments are commonly used for pain relief because they provide a more concentrated dose and better target relief than an edible dose. When applied directly to the skin, the CBD is automatically absorbed directly into the bloodstream, which many people claim offers immediate relief to the applied area. Transdermal application is also an easy method to control dosing.
Read More: Cannabis recalls continue in Calif. following new regulations]
Last Thursday, Portland-based company Synergy Skin Worx announced that a new transdermal CBD skin patch is now available for the recreational market. The patch hit shelves in 176 retail stores last week. Synergy compares their transdermal CBD patch to a nicotine patch. It comes in doses formulated to release over 24-36 hour periods, and consumers can choose from High CBD, THC, or CBD 1:1 patches.
CBD is changing the modern perception of cannabis as a health and wellness product. Transdermal application is just one of many different health-conscious ways consumers can use CBD. But giving consumers more autonomy when it comes to using CBD and other cannabis-related products could be at the core of the industry’s growth. The more research completed, the more the industry can better understand the marijuana plant and develop the kinds of products it needs to sustain growth.