The Largest UK CBD Research Study
The Report: CBD in the UK ~ Organized by the CMC (Center for Medicinal Cannabis)
This comprehensive study finally reveals the exact status of the cannabidiol industry in the UK. We’ve heard good, we’ve heard bad, we have witnessed success, and we’ve seen a few troubling things along the way. Now, we can peer into this relatively unregulated market and get an idea of how things are proceeding within the legal hemp scene.
A majority of the information and facts discussed in this article will be pulled directly from the CMC’s “CBD in the UK” report or their official research update.
UK Research CBD: Cutting Edge Results
Cannabidiol has a tremendous market influence. For better or worse, there are vague laws around these products, they have created a highly competitive market, and there are still some unregulated elements that need to be amended.
The majority of consumers are pursuing CBD oil effects for health and wellness. The lack of legal access likely makes this more appealing and relevant to customers. With millions of UK citizens trying cannabidiol, this sector needs to be taken seriously. It will probably be a permanent installation in the wellness industry. This indicates that the appropriate parties need to understand the consumers, business practices, and market motivations behind the CBD hype.
One huge reason why CBD is being used so frequently is the lack of addictive potential. Many reputable studies have shown that this non-psychoactive compound will not create compulsive use or withdrawals. As research on this potent plant nutrient ramps up globally, it is interesting to note that 1 in 10 studies are being completed in the UK.
At CBD Guru, we recognize that cannabidiol is still being researched and that the proper regulatory forces have not made statements about the allowed claims surrounding CBD. This third-party study stated that the more common uses of cannabidiol applications include self-treatment of insomnia, mood imbalance, inflammation, and physical tension. More details will be revealed soon as the research expands.
Buying and selling CBD is legal, but it brushes up against illegal elements. Hemp extractions cannot be processed here in the UK, and the psychoactive THC compound cannot appear in detectable levels in the finished product.
Companies importing CBD may have to resort to a “loose” interpretation of domestic laws to get substances across the border. Regulators do not provide the legal clarity, so distributors will find a way to offer this non-psychoactive holistic supplement to their clients. Transparency needs to be released, however, so that the industry, government agencies, and consumers are not undermined.
When classifying CBD products, it can be challenging to understand what type of regulations are needed. CBD can be seen as a medicinal, a cosmetic, or food. No claims should be made, although on-going studies can be discussed impartially. You must have a product license on an ingredient to address these potential properties, but this is impossible with the current legal CBD status, where it is not classified as food or medicine.
The primary concern that drove this study to fruition was the fact that these cannabinoid products are under-regulated and too loosely controlled. These regulations that are being suggested should not be unique to cannabidiol. Generic constructs are in place for medicine, food, and cosmetic properties that help to ensure customer health.
Protocols for CBD businesses have not been defined, but when you look at the results from this UK study, you will see that there is a need for quality testing and health regulations.
For the study, third-party testing was performed at a reputable UK-based lab known as PhytoVista. 30 CBD oil products were tested to determine their quality. The parameters tested to determine quality included labeling consistency, absence of controlled substances, lack of CBD, and contaminant presence.
The results indicate that there are high-quality cannabidiol products on the market, but some others have issues such as low potency and contaminants. Most choices are imperfect but passable for consumers.
- 11/29 38% of products were within 10% of advertised CBD.
- 11/29 (38%) had less than 50% of the CBD.
- One product had 0% CBD. ( High Street pharmacy brand is getting called out for their £90 inactive product)
- 45% of the items had measurable levels of THC (more than 0.04%). These levels are illegal, although not likely to be psychoactive.
- One product contained 3.8% ethanol. (3.4%+ is an alcoholic beverage)
- Dichloromethane was detectable in 7 products at 3.8-13.1ppm, and cyclohexane was found in another at 27.9ppm. These percentages of solvents and heavy metals are still below the permitted daily dose in pharmaceutical processes but above food safety levels.
These results indicate that a majority of these products do not deliver an experience consistent with product labeling. None of the issues appearing here are threatening to human health, but some of them do cross into gray market areas. One truth stands out when looking at these results. Purity can be significantly improved in the pursuit of the highest quality.
Why Is This Important?
There are large numbers of CBD users in the UK. Cannabis has entered mainstream consciousness and is currently taking over the scene. Earlier in 2019, in May and June, Dynata and YouGov conducted surveys regarding CBD. 8-11% of UK adults, that’s a cool 4-6 million, have tried CBD. This exploration has created a vast consumer pool that is capable of creating a more significant market size than what has been previously projected.
All social classes and groups are trying cannabidiol. Cannabis users who work with the plant to settle their symptoms are 6x more likely to have tried CBD. Of the 7% of the population which has used cannabis for self-medication in the last year, 41% have done so with CBD.
These buyers deserve quality products with transparent dosing information. They are currently creating their own guidelines to navigate the scene, looking for distributor communication, and proof of purity before buying. Concise labeling, informative content, and consumption advice are all winning factors leading to a CBD purchase. Users also prefer British CBD companies. The testing standards and open communications are more relevant to buyers than claims of organic properties or brand status.
These regular users are happy to spend significant amounts of money on cannabidiol treatment. Their subjective experience leads them to believe that CBD has a beneficial value. All of the CBD users in the UK deserve regulations that can assure purity while not constricting product expression, availability, or quality.
The Reward For Health Regulation And Support
Let’s look at the projections. The CMC admitted that this information was difficult to track down. They needed to commission an independent market insight and research agency to find the details shared below.
Right off the bat, it is valuable to realize that the UK CBD market is three to six times larger than previously expected. We are looking at profits of over £300M per year vs. the £100M Brightfield report projection. The number of CBD users is projected to be 1.3 M vs. 250K. The money to be made here beats both the Vitamin D and Vitamin C markets combined.
By 2025, CBD profits will be just shy of £1B. This amount is equal to the entire 2016 UK herbal supplement market. This is not a drill. Cannabidiol is becoming one of the most sought after holistic tools. 70% of the UK CBD purchases are made on products in tincture/oil or capsule form. This record indicates that clients are looking for “therapeutic” uses over novelty applications.
If a consumer has a perceived medical reason for using CBD, they could be willing to spend up to two-three times a month more than the general population for their CBD regimen. These “medicinal” purchases are commonly around £55 per month, where the average community sits around £25 of expenditure per month.
A Promising Industry
Products are usually purchased online, for a variety of reasons. This quickly circulating market is one of the largest in Europe. All of the hype and success around CBD has persevered even though this compound cannot be legally extracted here in the UK. The global supply chain is scaling quickly, so it cannot be taken lightly like other industries.
Industrial hemp production itself does not seem viable in the UK unless it can find a way to compete with international producers. However, there is an incredible support for UK farmers to be legally able to process hemp material and then feed these extractions into the CBD supply.
Over the years, the UK has played a considerable role in cannabinoid pharmacology. GW Pharmaceuticals, a local research facility, launched the first two globally recognized cannabis pharmaceutical products for medicinal use. Several other facilities have joined the effort as these establishments seek to demystify and master cannabinoid science.
Now, cannabidiol needs to be represented accurately. This accurate representation needs to happen in the media, in the market, and especially in product formulations. All negative associations with this plant need to dissipate as we step into an era of healthy regulation and transparency.
Standardized testing procedures could also be implemented to improve consistent quality for this market. The prospects are strong; we just need to pull it together and prove that cannabis can be a responsible member of our society. Rising demands will bring CBD into the legal discussion, as users seek to spend on positive CBD wellness routines.
Having open dialogues between consumers, distributors, and government agencies will help this process happen smoothly. Educational resources need to be made available for citizens and politicians. Ethical regulatory rules need to put into place to eliminate lousy practices and to facilitate quality product creation.
Government agencies will need to step up just as much as industry leaders. As we saw with these report results, this regulation needs to happen soon, so that informed consumers can ensure that they are getting the bioactive cannabidiol products they are asking for.
Shortly after releasing their report, the CMC released a critical update expanding on their information. They stated that all CMC related products were within 10% of the CBD content listed on the label. All of these products were tested for residual solvents and metals. None of these items, CMC or otherwise, were hazardous to public health.
For the last year, we have been encouraging our readers to find lab reports, and get in touch with their CBD supplier if there is any question about purity or potency. This CMC report encourages buyers to do the same. They suggest that the public contact their seller for details regarding individual tests and to identify relevant batch numbers on the product packaging to eliminate confusion.
CBD Guru’s Current Status
We are thrilled to hear these calls for quality standards, healthy government involvement, and testing protocols. Seeing the oils featuring pesticides, minimal CBD, and noncompliant levels of THC were disappointing, but of course, we knew it was happening. This dysfunction is why we have been urging our readers to take action and investigate their products before making a purchase.
This CMC report indicated that the market is thriving and that there is a selection of quality cannabidiol products like our own available on the market. Great! The competition will only help us improve customer care and product purity. Engage your favorite CBD products to find the relief and wellness you love. CBD Guru has your back at every step of your wellness journey. Browse our shop, read our blog, and feel free to contact a representative today.