It used to be the case that if you mentioned cannabis to anyone, they would be just as likely to turn their nose up at you than be interested in what you had to say. These days, the mention of this drug is met with more positivity. Part of that is due to a greater understanding of it—cannabis isn't a drug, it is a genus of plant from which narcotic derivatives such as marijuana can be sourced—and the rest is due to more recent developments surrounding the legalization, as well as the popularization, of CBD products.
CBD (cannabidiol) is another derivative of the cannabis plant genus, specifically the hemp plant. Over the last few years, many CBD products have hit the market and have become almost instantly popular. Furthermore, the trajectory of hemp and CBD product sales suggest that this particular form of cannabis is going to be as popular for years to come. To understand why CBD has become so popular, we have to look at multiple factors.
1. Easier Application
Since hitting the market, manufacturers have spent a lot of time ensuring that access to their CBD products is easy. Historically, the traditional form to (illegally) consume similar compounds would be through smoking. Whilst it is still within any adults right to smoke or not, any health professional will state that such a habit can lead to multiple respiratory health problems in the future, such as COPD and aggravated asthma.
By focusing on making the application of CBD easier, more people will feel inclined to give it a try. Tinctures, balms, CBD oils, CBD edibles and CBD creams are all methods of application that are considered to be preferable to smoking, and thus have dominated the market so far. You're just as likely to find stress relief CBD oil as you are CBD infused lip balm in the beauty section of any store in which CBD products are being sold.
2. Better Positive Effects
As with medical marijuana before it, there has been much made of the benefits that the use of CBD has, health and wellness-wise. Whilst the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is yet to go so far as equating CBD with better health outcomes, it is generally accepted that using CBD wellness products can lead to less discomfort for people with chronic conditions and having problems with pain management. Though it will not be a cure for any health issue (for that, you must have correct and health professional mandated chronic disease management), the management of side effects are a welcome positive.
Furthermore, CBD use has reportedly led to a reduction in the effects of an over-active mind, providing a more tranquil environment to find peace in.
3. Less Negative Effects
The stigma around cannabis usage stems from the intoxication induced by the compound THC, which is mainly found in marijuana. THC, which stands for tetrahydrocannabinol is what is responsible for the psychoactive effects of smoking the drug. Due to the presence of it in the cannabis plant, from which CBD is also derived from, the two have been conflated.
It's easiest to consider it like this: THC comes from the marijuana type of cannabis plant and is illegal to consume. CBD comes from hemp, a cousin of marijuana but not the same plant. CBD products are not to contain more than 0.3% of THC as mandated by the 2018 Farm Bill which allowed the sale of hemp and CBD in certain states.
The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp and hemp seeds from the DEA schedule of controlled substances, as well as separated it from the legal definition of marijuana. This distinction by the federal government rendered hemp, and thus CBD from hemp, as legal to sell.
5. Better Distribution
As a result of the 2018 ruling, since the following year, CBD products entered the mainstream and were available in a variety of different ways. The main form of purchasing remains online, in part due to the effects of Covid-19 on the retail sector, as well as for ease of distribution.