CBD and hemp industry professionals headed to Vegas Valentine’s day weekend for another premier marketing event, USA CBD Expo.
Although much smaller than MJBizCon or similar industry events, USA CBD Expo – which took place from February 13th to 15th in none other than Sin City, was bustling and full of energy as people mingled and learned more about each other’s businesses. Worries about the coronavirus that has shuttered other large events around the world seemed non-existent here.
A lot of the big names like Medterra and Ignite were there. Mostly domestic brands. There were little, if any, foreign companies, no big vape producers, and no large extraction companies.
For me, it was a great time to see what kind of products are trending right now, and which ones have withstood the test of time. Basically these days, if CBD can be infused into something, it will be. The hemp industry as a whole (flowers, extracts, infused products, etc.) is growing to levels unimagined just a decade ago. It’s expected that by 2025, the industry will be worth nearly $27 billion dollars.
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What is CBD?
CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is the most abundant, non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis and hemp plants. It’s legal, although whether it’s derived from hemp or cannabis remains problematic. All “legal” hemp products, including smokable buds, must have less than 0.3% CBD, which can be difficult to achieve sometimes, especially if the CBD was extracted from THC-containing cannabis.
CBD has numerous health benefits. It can be used to provide relief from mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, it’s frequently used to manage chronic pain in lieu of addictive opiates, and it’s been a successful treatment for certain forms of epilepsy. It’s actually so effective at treating the latter, that there is an FDA-approved, CBD-based medication called Epidiolex that is used to treat to rare forms of epilepsy: Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
A CBD Mattress?
At USA CBD Expo, you could find everything from classic CBD oil, to beverages and topicals, and even a CBD-infused mattress! In case you’re curious (because I definitely was), the way this works is that the mattress is coated with microcapsules that contain CBD isolate. The microcapsules burse when you get into the bed, which spreads the CBD throughout the bed fabric and is then absorbed into the skin.
I have to say, I’m not entirely sure about the longevity of this particular item, but it does bring up some interesting questions about where the market is heading, what kind of products can successfully be infused with CBD, and what it can realistically be used to treat.
Back to the Basics
One of the most common products that I saw there was, of course, CBD oil. There’s nothing better than the basics sometimes, and you really can do so much with high-quality CBD oil. It can be a base ingredient for a variety of homemade products since it can be added to virtually anything. People use CBD oil to find relief from various ailments including anxiety, pain, sleep issues, and so much more.
It seems evident though, that consumers are becoming increasingly aware of what’s going into their bodies. Most of the booths made sure to emphasize if their product was sourced from organic hemp, free from additives, environmentally sustainable, etc. Today’s “cannabis” user is much more sophisticated than those of generations past, and they’re looking for isolated cannabinoids, terpenes, and products that have health roots, so to speak.
Topicals, Beverages, and More
Another growing trend in the CBD industry is topicals. Although it’s been hinted at for a while that CBD can be great for sensitive skin, I think the full-effects are only now being realized. I, for one, have been using CBD skincare products for a couple of years now and would never go back to anything else.
Also popular: coffee and tea. Not that these two beverages aren’t extremely popular on their own, but they’re becoming household items in the word of CBD-infused products as well. When used in the correct doses, CBD can either help boost energy or act as a sleep aid – higher doses promote sleep while lower doses promote energy. So mixing it with tea or coffee makes a lot of sense depending on what time of day it is. Personally, I love coffee. I also love green tea. So both of these products are on my short list.
Getting to the basics once more, there were also a handful of hemp flower companies. Not as many as I expected honestly but quite a few none the less. All had very high quality flowers, both CBD and CBG (cannabigerol) strains were on display to be looked at, smelled, and purchased at a discounted price.
Summing it all Up
Overall, USA CBD Expo was close-knit but informative. Seeing all the booths really helps to solidify in my mind how mainstream CBD has become. There was even a USPS (United States Postal Service) booth, offering a variety shipping services for the industry. If that doesn’t say conventional, I don’t know what does.
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