Many scientists believe CBD could play a role in helping to produce many of the therapeutic effects tied to marijuana.
In marijuana plants, CBD exists alongside THC, the ingredient that’s believed to produce most of cannabis’ commonly known effects, including its characteristic high. When it comes to the CBD industry, researchers generally believe that when taken together in the plant, the two compounds produce their strongest effects. But they also believe that CBD alone could play a key role in everything from relieving pain to curbing inflammation.
Wall Street believes the CBD industry could be worth $16 billion by 2025, depending on how federal regulators decide to police it.
In a February report, Wall Street analysts at the investment bank Cowen highlighted CBD as a massive opportunity for growth. The analysts estimated that the US market for CBD could skyrocket from roughly $1 billion to $2 billion now to $16 billion by 2025.
Survey results included in Cowen’s report found that 7% of respondents said they were using a CBD supplement. The report also estimated that Americans spent up to $2 billion on CBD products last year. Ostensibly, folks are using CBD for everything from pain to anxiety. But again, those benefits have yet to be proven by scientific research.
“This initial response piqued our interest considerably, as it was much higher than we would have expected,” the analysts wrote.
Wall Street’s CBD predictions could depend on how federal regulators decide to police the drug. For example, regulators could ban all CBD products, rule that cookies and creams can contain only a certain amount of the compound, or allow the products to exist legally so long as they’re derived from hemp.
The Food and Drug Administration is holding a hearing on Friday to discuss how cannabis products should be regulated to inform the agency’s work in the growing CBD industry.