The U.S. cannabidiol (CBD) market continues to grow, with nearly 7 percent of Americans saying they use the substance. According to an analysis by Cowen & Co., the market could reach $16 billion by the year 2025, as per a report by Bloomberg.
Cowen questioned 2,500 adults for its January survey. Analyst Vivien Azer said that the 6.9 percent of people who said they used CBD was higher than the 4.2 percent who used an eCigarettes. Also, 19.6 percent of people considered themselves current tobacco users. It was the CBD usage, however, that most surprised the analyst.
“This initial response piqued our interest considerably, as it was much higher than we would have suspected,” Azer said.
The prediction for the continued use of CBD was set “conservatively” at usage growing 10 percent by 2025, which would reach the $16 billion threshold.
While the substance is touted as a treatment for everything from anxiety to insomnia, it has so far only been proven to help with two forms of rare epilepsy in children.
The substance, which is derived from hemp, was made legal in certain circumstances under the U.S. farm bill passed in December. However, the Food and Drug Administration said it’s illegal to market CBD as a dietary supplement, and if it’s claiming to have therapeutic components, then it has to be approved for that particular use before it can be sold as such.
There has been some pushback. Regulators in New York City recently ordered places that sell food to stop putting the substance in meals or beverages. In Maine and Ohio, regulators have also curtailed sales of the compound.
The biggest demographic using the substance, according to the survey, are people between the ages of 18 and 34. The majority of the usage comes from tinctures, at 44 percent, followed by topical products at 26 percent and capsules at 22 percent. Beverages accounts for 19 percent of use.