As the lone CBD product sitting among the shelves of the biggest European retailer’s pharmacy counter, Dragonfly Biosciences Ltd. is set to spearhead the quest for the legitimacy of the hemp derivative.
Dragonfly is the only CBD or cannabidiol brand found in displays of Tesco Plc’s United Kingdom grocery stores. The company certainly holds an edge among plenty of other CBD brands with claims of medical benefits to combat pain, inflammation, and insomnia, there is still struggle to be accepted by lawmakers and the public at large.
CBD is deemed legal in over 40 countries to date, particularly since this cannabis derivative doesn’t give a high to users. In Europe, the CBD market is projected to reach around $1.7 billion in 2023, which is six-fold its value today. The industry is booming, and with a known advocated being appointed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a policy adviser, UK may be on its way to normalizing such products.
Dragonfly, with it being marketed in Boots, J Sainsbury Plc. and at the popular Harrods, is set on the leading the fight to CBD’s lawfulness.
Dragonfly’s CBD Plight
Companies are starting to cash in on CBD products, judging by the growing market. For Dragonfly CEO and Co-Founder Chris Wronski, cannabis companies are walking on thin ice when it comes to producing and selling such products. He says one wrong move can put any aspiring enterprise to a blacklist. The company is determined to skirt away from mistakes and become the brand that anyone can rely on.
Businesses infuse cannabidiol to a wide range of items, including food to toothpaste and pet nourishment. However, it’s not easy to pass current quality and labeling requirements arranged by dietary supplement regulator, UK’s Food Standards Agency.
Dragonfly’s 10 ml bottle contains 500 mg of CBD and costs around $49. To intake, one has to place 5 drops under the tongue. This brown, earthy liquid preparation is let stay for two minutes before swallowing. Tesco stocked their shelves of the product following increasing customer demands in March.
The said startup company is small, gathering a revenue of £1.1M in its first 6 months. However, it grew up to 40% after success in their online sales. They are planning to raise sales of up to £8M. they are also set to release a skincare line this September.
Wronski isn’t new to startups, with his last being a television company named Zone Vision Networks, which he sold in 2007. He is now aiming to sell initial shares by next year and is carefully monitoring all parts of the company’s supply chain. Wronski is determined to maintain regulations and its manufacturing certification by overseeing the process, as opposed to relying on cultivators and extractors.
Furthermore, Dragonfly wants to delve in vape products and is looking to expand in France, Poland, and Germany within next year. It is also not closing doors on a possible Canada and US expansion.
Bogus CBD Products?
It’s unfortunate how, even with the CBD boom, much bogus merchandise, unproven medical claims, and harmful ingredients still exist. Among 30 of UK’s best-selling brands, 11 products contain less than half its claimed CBD content, as stated by the industry group Center for Medical Cannabis.
A vial worth £90 had no cannabidiol, while half of the tested brands had THC. This cannabis component is responsible for the pot high and is illegal in the UK and other countries. Some brands are also found with heavy metals and harmful solvents that are above limits.
In Canada and the US, law enforcers are tightening the leash on CBD companies, with police seizing goods and revoking licenses after finding a breach in regulations. This is also foreseen in the European market. Blair Gibbs, PM’s policy adviser appointee, calls for the legalization and stricter cannabis regulation.
Dragonfly retailers trust the company to meet compliance and safety standard requirements, says brand COO Hannah Skingle. The startup grows its cannabis source in Bulgaria on a 1,800-acre lawful farm, with production taken care of by 20 employees. Extraction is then done in Romania.
Unregulated Wellness Chemicals Find Acceptance from Americans
Americans easily recommend cannabidiol or CBD, even to strangers they meet on an errand or travel. Shops have popped up here and there, selling a broad range of CBD products, from tinctures to gummies to oils and vapes. Even celebrities like Kylie Jenner has endorsed a CBD-infused product, drawing many fans to try it out as well.
CBD is lauded by users for its alleged therapeutic benefits from alleviating anxiety to curing cancer. There are also varying levels of evidence to back up the different claims.
Hitting peak popularity
According to Google Trends data, CBD has hit its peak in the US last May. The search engine giant recorded more than thrice the queries for CBD than Beyoncé.
Cannabidiol is a compound identified as a cannabinoid, which are chemicals found in hemp and marijuana plants. It was largely unknown a couple of years back, but the legalization of hemp as an industrial crop in the 2018 Farm Bill has catapulted CBD to its popularity today.
Hemp is a cousin of marijuana, the substance infamous for being addictive. Both plants are from the same plant species, Cannabis sativa L., but hemp is considered as the safer, non-psychoactive compound of the two.
Although studies regarding CBD are lacking, consumer interest hasn’t dwindled. Manufacturers have already taken the initial steps to experiment with some less popular cannabinoids like CBN or cannabinol. Salespeople find it easy to market cannabinoids since there is still little information about them.
Before CBD, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC was the most recognized cannabinoid, mainly because it causes the high in marijuana. THC levels in cannabis-derived products draw the line between what is legal and what’s not. With hemp becoming legal to grow and process, the US now has its homegrown supply for CBD production.
Lack of official regulation
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is yet to provide detailed rules on cannabidiol, including the labeling and quality testing of the many CBD and CBD-infused products out in the market today. As of writing, CBD products are still illegal to sell as dietary supplements and as a food additive, although such product forms are widely sold domestically.
The FDA still has not provided nuanced rules, due in part to the lack of academic research on cannabis. Permission and funding to conduct cannabis studies are limited, and scientists have a hard time securing such provisions.
Ether Blessing, New York University Langone Health researcher, believes that it might take a decade to establish FDA approval of CBD as a drug. She warned that the current condition makes it difficult for consumers to know the quality and CBD content of the product they are buying.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine published research in 2017 that concludes cannabinoids as a useful substance for chronic pain, nausea, and multiple sclerosis symptoms. It is one of the very few studies made on the compound.
No waiting for Americans
Despite the very little information on CBD, Americans don’t wait for formality to set in, which is why the CBD industry has flourished in a couple of years. With the cracks in the health care system, CBD products have filled the needs of the average consumer. The substance is said to be effective in alleviating several health conditions, including anxiety, nausea, pain, MS, and cancer.
However, the unique way in which cannabidiol is incorporated or sold does not necessarily mean that it is valid or if there is any CBD in the product at all. What retailers do is satisfy the consumer’s curiosity by developing novel ways to market the compound, even at the expense of the buyer.
Much like vitamins and supplements, CBD and other cannabinoids are mostly untested and unregulated, yet many Americans purchase such products. The more or less have the same reasons, such as distrust for pharmaceuticals, lack of medical care access, or curiosity about the new product.
Coca Cola Denies Rumors Regarding CBD-infused Product Development
Coca-Cola has no plans to enter the CBD market with its products, dismissing rumors about the company selling beverages incorporated with hemp oil.
Kent Landers, Coca Cola spokesperson, said in an interview with FOX Business that the speculations are not valid. He reiterated that the beverage giant had no intention of joining the CBD craze as what they have stated several times.
The rumors have arisen after a Youtube video of a man popping open a can of Coca Cola and claiming that it is infused with cannabidiol oil, a cannabis leaf extract typically used to alleviate pain without causing a high. The video has since been deleted.
About the video
The Youtube user who made the video, “Gabor the Blind Guy”, claimed to the viewers that he got ahold of the product via his father who allegedly produced capping and bottling machines for several primary food and pharmaceutical companies.
He further stated that his father was contacted by Coca Cola Canada to develop a machine that would produce childproof caps for Coca Cola cans. The company is said to release a new line of products infused with cannabidiol extracts, which are considered as cannabis-based substances as declared by Gabor.
Coca Cola was supposedly looking into a collaboration with Aurora Cannabis, a Canada-based cannabis production company. The beverage powerhouse allegedly eyed the CBD market since it grew in demand, as reported by Bloomberg last September of 2018.
Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger, CEO and Vice-Chair of Berkshire Hathway, respectively, indicated that Coca Cola joining the marijuana industry would not be right. In an interview with FOX Business Liz Claman, the experts said that entering the CBD market will be detrimental to the wholesome image that the company has kept throughout years.
Munger stated during the Berkshire Hathway Annual Shareholders Meeting held in Omaha, Nebraska that going into the cannabis market is a massive mistake for the company. The company’s image does not align with cannabis and its related products.
James Quincey, Coca-Cola CEO, dispelled the speculation in October, declaring that the company does not plan to get into the CBD space at this stage.
More about CBD
Cannabidiol oil has gained significant popularity over the recent years because of the positive reception from users. CBD is now known as an almost magical remedy that cures or alleviates pain, sleeplessness, anxiety, and more. Users claim that CBD is useful in resolving a broad range of health conditions.
However, there is still no formal regulatory framework for CBD from the Food and Drug Administration or FDA, the regulating body that is supposed to safeguard consumers from fake and harmful products. Many advocates, cannabis groups and even members of the House have called on FDA to hasten the process of providing a clear set of guidelines for the use and sale of CBD products.
The only FDA-approved medication out in the market today is Epidiolex, a drug used as an adjunct treatment for intractable epilepsy. It means that other CBD products out in the market today cannot be advertised as medication or food supplements, which makes adds to the confusion regarding the legality of the industry and the products.
CBD-Based Wellness and Skincare Products for Newbies
Active ingredients in skin care products can take hours of research, and several clinical trials to determine which ones really work. While nature-derived substances are considered safer, some allergies and skin sensitivities can still cause a reaction when using natural remedies.
Cannabidiol or CBD is the latest natural ingredient that has sparked interest in the wellness industry. It is extracted from Cannabis sativa L., the source plant for hemp and marijuana. Many questions arose regarding the application of CBD on skincare: does it work? What are the benefits of using it for wellness and beauty? Does it give a “high” when used, like in marijuana?
To clarify, cannabidiol is derived from the non-psychotropic component of marijuana. It has little to no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content, which is the compound responsible for the psychoactive effect of the drug. Several countries have banned CBD products, but most formulations are safe to use and have zero dependency potential.
In terms of skincare benefits, CBD can be used to soothe, calm, and relax the skin. CBD is touted to have anti-inflammatory effects, which makes it a viable cure for acne. It is also believed to bring balance to skin sebum levels, controlling breakouts. CBD, as a plant-based ingredient, is rich in anti-oxidants and reduces wrinkles, roughness, and dull skin.
It might be confusing or intimidating to start on a CBD-based skin regimen. Some factors to take note of when choosing a CBD product for skin care are the method of extraction, packaging, purity and INCI compliance.
Here are some CBD-based skincare products that you can incorporate into your CBD routine.
Cannuka combines CBD oil and Manuka Honey to provide its all-natural skincare solution. Some of their products include CBD Harmonizing Face Cream, CBD Skin Balm, and CBD Calming Eye Balm, which showcase the healing capabilities of both ingredients. The products were created for the purpose of skin therapy.
The company ensures thoughtful harvesting, sustainable sourcing, and quality. Their hemp farms are known to produce quality cannabidiol since 2014. Their Manuka honey is sourced from an established farm in New Zealand.
For evening skin routine, the Lavender CBD Face Oil from Populum is an excellent choice. It is made of full-spectrum hemp oil and incorporated with lavender to give a calming sense while also working towards reducing signs of aging. The effect is a more youthful and radiant skin after applying during the night.
CBD and lavender are a good combination, which provides antioxidants, and as well as give a soothing effect for an improved mood and wellness.
Lily CBD is a company that values integrity, safety standards, and paying it forward. Their CBD-infused product, Essential Oil Rollers, is promoted as a gift item for loved ones with a busy schedule. They incorporate full-spectrum cannabidiol in their products and have travel-friendly skincare items that minimize discomfort after a long trip.
Bathing’s Cultures CBD product is Dipsea Soak, which is specially formulated to reduce stress and provide a relaxing bath experience.
Fleur Marche is known for its informative labeling and transparency of their products. The Starter Kit is their offering for people wanting to start a CBD routine, with products such as Balance Drops, Nite Nite Patch, Luxury Beauty Serum, CBD Mint Truffles, and CBD & Honey Ache and Pain Relief Stick that are best-selling for their effectiveness.
They Call Her Alfie
The premium collagen and certified CBD make They Call Her Alfie products a hit in the market. They offer fast-acting skincare on their Forever Firming Duet Set, which works to rejuvenate and reinvigorate the skin.
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