Last week, we looked at CBD’s potential role in this seemingly endless pandemic. While it may not be the miracle cure a lot of people want, it certainly raises some questions about other ways COVID-19 might affect the CBD industry.
Understandably, media focus is mostly on the human element, such as number of infections and deaths. Antiviral drugs and vaccines are also central to the current narrative. But there are other issues lying beneath the surface that could affect several industries, CBD being just one of them.
These issues are concerning from a business perspective, but they’re equally impactful to consumers like you.
However, the CBD industry faced many challenges over the years, proving its resilience against constant attacks from overzealous regulators and closed-minded medical professionals. But given the extreme situation we face, can CBD businesses weather the storm and come out unscathed? We can only theorize, but based on the news we’ve seen, it’s possible to make some loose predictions.
One unfortunate consequence of state lockdown measures is their effect on the prices for food and commodities – which mostly show an upward trend. This problem is further compounded by the dire financial situation experienced by millions of would-be consumers. Many of these individuals struggle to pay rent, let alone invest in premium CBD supplements.
So are consumers and businesses out of luck, or is there a silver lining? As it turns out, we’re not the first ones to ask this question. Cannabis Business Times explored the issue in 2020, with some interesting findings.
While it’s true that loss of income affected the purchasing power of middle-class earners, the resulting drop in CBD sales triggered higher supply and less demand.
The free market did the rest. As supply grew, raw material costs went down. This allowed CBD businesses to drop prices, which suddenly made their products more accessible.
Of course, the downside for the industry is reduced profits per item for the foreseeable future.
But one look at the current landscape proves it’s not 2020 anymore. A lot has changed with the pandemic situation. But CBD businesses continue to roll with the punches as they did in 2020, so it’s safe to say consumers will still be able to get their hands on their favorite CBD products.
The pandemic is a logistical nightmare for several industries. We’ve all seen the reports of grocery store shelves sitting vacant as supply lines struggle to recover – an uphill battle to say the least.
So is CBD about to face the same problem? Philipp Fuhrmann, CEO of Canx CBD Processing Corp, believes it all depends on the vendor. In his analysis of the U.S. and European CBD industries, Fuhrmann points to the same problems.
“Route changes, employee layoffs, and production shortages have all disrupted the CBD industry and its stakeholders,” he explains. The main problem, Furhmann argues, is how well-prepared a company is.
“Distributors with poor supply management solutions in place, however, may have especially struggled,” he adds. Sadly, it seems a lot of CBD vendors weren’t prepared. According to Fuhrmann, “…the U.S. CBD market growth was 10-15% of its pre-COVID projections for 2020.
Essentially, the CBD market was hit so hard that growth dropped by 85-90%. That’s jaw-droppingly horrifying for hemp extract supporters, but there’s one bit of good news. As Fuhrmann explains, the lack of growth “…was largely due to a change in consumer behavior as opposed to a change in demand.”
In other words, the problem isn’t that people don’t want to buy CBD. They don’t have the disposable income to spend on what many consider a luxury rather than a necessity. People who can live without it have no problem cutting CBD from their monthly budget, but they plan to buy again once the pandemic stops affecting their wallets.
New Research and New Hype
Sales figures aside, one thing that seems unstoppable is public interest. Even the FDA recently allowed a clinical trial to test CBD’s effectiveness against certain drug addictions.
Then there’s the biggest piece of CBD news since the pandemic started. A recent study, in the eyes of many, “proved” that CBD can “cure” COVID-19. Although the study’s results were promising, the experiments were done using synthetic CBD and conducted on human tissues, not live subjects.
But to the average layperson who’s both tired and afraid of the virus, this kind of news is more than welcome. After all, CBD is readily available while antiviral drug supplies are still short.
However, as we mentioned last week, the study isn’t conclusive. People need to set realistic expectations. It’s quite possible CBD can build up a strong defense against the novel coronavirus, but we need a lot more research to prove it.
On the other hand, jumping to conclusions about CBD is still better than drinking bleach.
Why Does This All Matter?
The current situation matters for different reasons, depending on who you are. For some, CBD may no longer be accessible, even with the sudden price drops.
Some CBD businesses might suffer if they can’t push their products due to supply chain issues.
Fake or unproven medical claims have always been a problem. But considering the high stakes, we can’t afford any more misguided hype or false information.
Finally, there’s the biggest problem plaguing the industry. Unscrupulous vendors are everywhere, and they’ll capitalize on the COVID-19 research. An unsuspecting customer might let their guard down and feel invulnerable to the virus simply because someone marketed a lie.
Tessera Naturals has always stood by its products for quality, purity, and safety. We also won’t misrepresent industry news, no matter how flattering it may be. Whether it’s the virus, the economy, or exaggerated hype, we all need to remember to stay grounded in reality.
- COVID-19 has reduced demand for CBD, resulting in price drops.
- Supply issues could make it harder for customers to buy their favorite CBD products.
- Research into CBD continues, but misunderstandings generate hype.
- Never use CBD in an attempt to protect yourself or treat COVID-19.