The increased demand for wellness and self-care products during the coronavirus pandemic has made more people curious about trying CBD, even though it has yet to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Separate from the actual virus, quarantine itself brings its own share of ills, such as anxiety, depression, sleeping problems, muscle pain from inactivity and, of course, crippling boredom. Although CBD has not been clinically proven to reduce anxiety, reducing anxiety is a key selling point for CBD, so it makes sense that in a time of public uncertainty more people would be open to experimenting with it.
According to CBD market-research company Brightfield Group, anxiety is the number-one ailment among CBD users. Over half of the users surveyed (53 percent) said they use CBD to manage anxiety, with treatment of depression and insomnia also among the top five reasons.
And using CBD to alleviate anxiety isn't just for people: Because animals also have an endocannabinoid system, CBD is often used for anxious pets. Many CBD product lines now include items specifically for animals; there are also CBD brands dedicated entirely to them, including Dr.Hempdog and Trove LLC, which has separate product lines for dogs, cats, people and even horses.
Chris Bedrosian, owner of Flora's Mercantile & Hemp Emporium, says that her store's three products for dogs (CBD-infused treats and two tinctures) have been popular with wholesalers during the pandemic; those retailers recognize the number of quarantiners who decided to foster or adopt pets during their time at home.
But Bedrosian says that her customers use CBD for all sorts of things. "It's the gamut," she explains. "I have people who use it with their horses, their birds, people who give it to their kids in isolate form to help them calm down, or kids who are on the autism scale and are injuring themselves. I have people who give it to their pets who, when thunder comes, they pee all over the house. People who give it to their kids and dogs and cats with seizures. Any disease you can name, I will have customers tell me that they use CBD to help with the symptoms."
Several CBD companies have acknowledged people's newfound interest in wellness and self-care by offering starter packs, samplers and discounts, so that the CBD-curious can dip their toes in without feeling like they're making a serious investment. Hemp and CBD production were federally protected during the stay-at-home order, keeping the supply steady while the demand decreased because of storefronts closing. As a result, the once-sky-high price of wholesale CBD has been slashed significantly, giving retailers the opportunity to lower their prices and entice new customers with better deals.
In addition to CBD-infused self-care products, hand sanitizers containing CBD have gained popularity. Flora's Mercantile, which already carried CBD-infused hand sanitizers, started offering a new product during quarantine to sell alongside them: hand oil. With the obsessive amount of hand washing and sanitizing that we're all doing, our hands are rough and cracked. So Bedrosian pulled out past research that she had done on different essential oils and terpenes and their antibacterial and antiviral properties, and formulated a hand oil with 3 percent antiviral essential oils and 300 milligrams of CBD.
While staying at home, people have been doing a lot of cooking...and many have been making their own cannabis-infused beverages and food, particularly bread. Figuring out the proper dosage for homemade edibles is not an exact science, so it's easy for people to accidentally eat too much of their THC-infused food. Fortunately, another popular use of CBD is mitigating the psychotropic effects of THC.
Whether you're interested in making CBD-infused edibles, adding a little CBD buffer to your THC edibles, or just having CBD on hand in case of a green-out, companies like Azuca that make CBD-infused ingredients have your back. Says Azuca CEO Kim Rael, "Azuca's chef-quality ingredients are the perfect 'go-to' addition to every home chef's pantry." And the company's website has plenty of easy food and beverage recipes to get you started.
Rael thinks that the interest in cooking will only continue in the wake of the pandemic, with a predicted uptick in more ingestible CBD products, such as tinctures, edibles and capsules, and a corresponding decline in the popularity of inhalants. "The combination of 'Vapegate' and the emerging data on COVID-19's unforgiving toll on patients with compromised lungs is driving growing interest in the ingestible category," she says. "Now, and in a post-COVID world, I believe we are going to see an even larger shift in consumer behavior to edibles and beverages from inhalable and smokable products."