What is the value of the CBD market in the UK?

The reason that you’re reading this article is most definitely proof that the UK cannabis industry is growing exponentially. With new brands and CBD offerings launching almost daily, and Google search rankings coming in higher than Kanye West, we know that growth is enormous. Recent research that has been commissioned by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis has revealed that the UK CBD market is currently worth £300 million, but on its way to almost £1 billion by 2025. There is no doubt that the expansion of Cannabidiol as a health and wellness product is a movement, and not a trend.

The naturally occurring compound extracted from the cannabis plant is proven safe and non-addictive and part of our mission at CBDecoded is highlight the benefits that must not be confused with THC a.ka. tetrahydrocannabinol, that produces a psychoactive “high”. But who is using CBD products, the CMC has provided some more useful statistics:

  • 6 million UK adults have consumed a CBD product in the past year with 11% of the population consuming a CBD product in the last year.
  • Adults over 55 are the most frequent users: 31% of CBD users are 55+
  • £24 is the average monthly spend amongst UK CBD oil users
  • Over 70% of UK consumers are purchasing CBD tinctures/oils or capsules

In a 2018 critical review report from the World Health Organisation (WHO), CBD oil was shown to be most advanced in epilepsy treatment as well as lots of other benefits including:

In the same WHO report, it was reported that to date there is no evidence of any public health or abuse-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.

A recent and very important legal development has been the European Union’s Novel Food regime, which has lead to the classification of all extracted cannabinoids as “novel” in January 2019. Novel foods are foods which have not been widely consumed by people before 1997 – examples include cholesterol-lowering spreads or foods new to the UK market such as chia seeds. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has declared that it wants all CBD products to be classified as novel foods as an industry standard and is currently encouraging UK manufacturers to submit applications.

A growth area for concern that we have been exploring more of at CBDecoded to unearth the truth and transparency around the entire growth model of the industry is the concern that currently product labelling can be inaccurate and misleading. Lab tests in June, undertaken as part of the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis’ 2019 report CBD in the UK, exposed the following statistics concerning UK high-street CBD oil products:

  • 62% products studied didn’t contain the CBD content promised on label
  • One product which retails at £90 was found to contain 0% CBD
  • Almost half (45%) of products tested were found to contain a detectable amount of THC, making them technically illegal in the UK
  • One product contained 3.8% ethanol making it an alcoholic beverage
  • Only 11/29 (38%) of the products were within 10% of the advertised CBD content and 11/29 (38%) had less than 50% of the advertised CBD content

This data indicates that one of the main issues facing the CBD market is the lack of regulation and misleading product labelling, highlighting low industry standards.

At CBDecoded, we will continue to share industry insight and information in a digestible and up to date way so that you know how the industry is shaping up and how future developments may help you grow and, most of all, heal!