Cannabis may be the world’s first cash crop — but not for the reasons you may think. Hemp plants provide strong fibers, which can be used for durable clothes and ropes, while natural extraction of cannabidiol — the naturally-occurring compound found in cannabis — has been used both ceremonially and in the development of modern medicine.
It was so profitable; researchers believe it was one of the first heavily traded commodities when lanes opened between Asia and Europe. There is even evidence that cannabis was grown and cultivated in Ancient Rome.
If history is any indicator of the future, then it should come as no surprise that CBD and cannabis is changing the American economy. With more states open to licensed grows and research suggesting CBD oil could be beneficial with regular use, Cannabis growth leading to CBD production is going to change the American economy.
Here are the reasons why you may want to start paying attention to CBD and cannabis production in the United States today.
Cannabis for CBD is a Booming, Legal Industry
For decades, growing cannabis — either for CBD distilling or other purposes — was an incredibly careful project. Hidden grows would be carefully planned based on location and required time to harvest, with the hopes that it would be undisturbed.
As time has moved forward, those attitudes have changed. Now, states are not only welcoming farms that grow cannabis for CBD distillation, but they are actively working to attract farmers.
To make things easier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is extending “organic” certification for cannabis growth destined to become CBD oil. Just like fruits and vegetables, there is a high bar to meet in order to achieve “organic” status, which includes strict regulations on what fertilizers and pesticides can be used, along with crop rotation regulations. For those who meet this high bar, they have the ability to certify their products are truly “organic,” ensuring CBD users just get the natural purported benefits of the cannabidiol.
On the state level, governments are making it easier for farmers to grow cannabis on their land plots. In Colorado, farmers can apply to start a industrial hemp farm online with a simple form. In 2020 alone, over 120,000 acres of industrial hemp will be cultivated and harvested — much of which will be turned into CBD oil.
Colorado is not the only “cannabis friendly” state to welcome hemp growers. Kentucky also has an easy-to-navigate system. For $200 and a plot of land, applicants can start their own industrial help farm if they pass a background check and agree to the state’s regulations. In 2019, over 40,000 acres of hemp were harvested from the state’s farmers.
Demand for CBD is at an All-Time High
The demand for cannabis and industrial hemp is fueled by the increased demand for cannabidiol — the main beneficial extract from cannabis plants. All of the plants grown across the nation often end up in distilleries or laboratories, in order to be made into medicine or consumer-grade CBD oil.
In the United States, some of the cannabidiol is earmarked to be made into the only CBD-based prescription medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Epidiolex (Cannabidiol) was approved in 2018 for the treatment of two rare forms of pediatric epilepsy. Research from clinically controlled double-blind case studies showed those given the medication experienced fewer seizures compared to the control group.
The remainder is taken to distilleries across the United States to be turned into CBD oil. Because of the explosive research on the cannabinoid system in both humans and dogs offering positive results, the demand for organic, full spectrum CBD oil is at an all-time high.
From veterinarians at the Colorado State University looking into how CBD helps dogs have fewer seizures and increased mobility, to university research teams studying how CBD can potentially reduce anxiety episodes and help hypertension, there’s no shortage of people who want to make CBD oil a regular part of their life.
The Future of CBD and Cannabis in the American Economy
As demand grows and regulations loosen around cannabis and CBD production, this industry is primed to grow even more profitable. With more states welcoming farmers to plant the seeds for success, there is no limit to how much this cash crop could grow.
Although the U.S. FDA has not made a definitive stance on CBD (outside of the Epidiolex case), they have also not banned it entirely either. The government organization is closely watching the research and development of CBD for other conditions, which may open up even more opportunities.
Public opinion could also grow the demand for cannabis and CBD production. A recent study conducted by Pew Research shows two out of three Americans think cannabis should be legalized — including CBD oil. With changing attitudes about the benefits of CBD, the industry as a whole is primed to grow to even bigger opportunities.
No matter how you look at it, cannabis and CBD will be a major player in the American economy for years to come. Understanding this industry now could open the door to financial gains as cannabis and CBD opens for investment for years to come.