To say that the popularity of CBD oil in Europe has ballooned exponentially in recent times is almost completely unnecessary. The evidence of its popularity presents itself in many mainstream shop windows, with more products hitting the high street all the time.
But why is CBD so unbelievably popular? It seems that CBD and the growing CBD industry has been captured within the perfect storm of variables, all of which act like a jetpack set to rocket its popularity into the cosmos.
But is the current popularity of CBD oil in Europe just a trending capitalist opportunity, or will it withstand the tolls of trendiness and prove itself as a long lasting tool in the fight for better health, better pain relief, better sleep, and all the other things it promises to make better?
CBD: Proof of popularity
It’s one thing to claim something is popular in the cultural eye, and another to prove through hard evidence that this is actually the case. CBD is certainly doing an excellent job of catching the attention of both the cultural and capitalist consciousness, and there is plenty of statistical evidence to back this.
Forbes reports that apart from the medical demand for CBD oils, the stock market growth against 2020 can increase by 700%, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11%. Not only that, but the product demand across continental Europe is expected to grow by 500% with several countries looking to benefit in this sector (May 2019).
As the CBD industry is set to grow in ways that are literally impossible to imagine, it does not seem too bold to say that even if this is indeed a trend, it’s proving to be a very profitable and long lasting one.
CBD: Potential health benefits
Now that the hard proof has been addressed, let’s shift to exploring why the future of CBD oil in Europe is so promising. An undeniable reason is that CBD’s popularity is intricately woven into what’s becoming a global conversation surrounding its health benefits. CBD is said to show early promising results for treating anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, chronic pain, symptoms associated with chemotherapy, arthritis, and some forms of seizures associated with epilepsy.
What’s more, this global conversation includes voices from the scientific world as well as the public one. There are many articles and resources highlighting scientific studies that back many of the popular claims surrounding CBD’s potential. But, as many of CBD’s powers have only recently been investigated scientifically, opportunities for the general public and for companies selling CBD products to make tenuous claims are rife.
These speculative claims are meant to intrigue the public. As they are connected even weakly to actual scientific research, they only add fuel to the flames of CBD popularity and solidify its status as a ‘miracle drug’.
The fact that CBD is now legal in Europe (with a few exceptions) not only demonstrates that there continues to be a shifting cultural attitude with regards to CBD, but also helps to create this shift. Widespread legalisation has done a lot of the legwork to separate CBD from it’s stigmatised partner cannabinoid, THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). As THC remains illegal for wholesale consumption, it is still very much seen as ‘unsafe’ culturally.
Because of CBD’s legality, it continues to be seen more and more as a ‘safe’ substance, a ‘safe’ alternative to THC. THC is psychoactive and potentially addictive, and has a sordid history with European law. So, for those who negatively associate with ‘stoner culture’ and its dangers, but are curious about the ways in which cannabinoids can affect health, CBD has become the alternative that lawful, mainstream culture has been looking for.
CBD: Changing Attitudes
As the legal status of CBD generates a changing cultural attitude, so too do companies who have taken this legality and turned it into an effective, and founded, marketing tool. There are many natural (pun intended) features of CBD that have been used to highlight a growing cultural movement surrounding health consciousness, what is popularly known as the wellness movement. This consciousness focuses on wellness for the body, mind, spirit, and earth.
And, as is probably well known, CBD fits perfectly into this framework. CBD is a natural, organic (potential) healer with no known side effects and no addictive or harmful properties. In a society increasingly distrustful of ‘big pharma’, it’s effects on the earth, and it’s money-making agenda, CBD has become a safe haven. It has become synonymous with alternative medicines to treat real, serious afflictions.
Is CBD Here For Good?
With all of this being said, it’s time to consider whether CBD’s benefits will outlast its mega-popularity. The answer is not cut and dry, of course, but there are a few considerations that could tip the scale one way or the other.
If CBD hopes to continue to capitalise on the wellness movement, quality CBD production methods must become as pure as possible. These need to be aimed at not only being environmentally safe but also refining a ‘pure’ CBD free of heavy chemicals, metals, or other byproducts.
These production methods will need to go hand-in-hand with airtight and rigorous quality regulations. So, in order for CBD to last, and in order to make sure popular culture continues to see it as ‘safe’, it must look past it’s popularity to work towards responsibility, innovation, sound regulations, and above all, quality.