HomeCBDThe Booming Business of CBD: Opportunities and Challenges

The Booming Business of CBD: Opportunities and Challenges

CBD is in great demand by customers from young adults to the elderly. It is also receiving a lot of attention in the media, by CBD groups, and regulators. UK sales in 2021 amounted to £690 million and this figure is anticipated to rise to close to one billion pounds by 2025. The USA is the leader in CBD sales but is followed by the UK in second place. Nevertheless, there are challenges impacting the market. We look at these and the opportunities for businesses wanting to get in on the action. 


While CBD is sold in many outlets, the historic legacy of illegal THC has not been totally conquered, even though it does not contain the latter substance. Regulators are not approaching sales and marketing of CBD effectively, stymying competition and improved products in a free market. 

Red Tape

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) labels CBD as a novel food. It has imposed challenging standards on the industry that are difficult for small manufacturers to comply with and so enter the market. While the aim of regulations should be to legitimise CBD, these constraints are preventing that from happening and hampering the proper establishment of the market.

Costly Process

The process of applying to the FSA for CBD to be granted novel food status is unwieldly and exorbitant. It costs a CBD farmer between £20 and £30 million to make a test sample, made up of licensing, production, and infrastructure expenditure. This figure is just for an authorisation assessment, and effectively bars many small farmers from entering the CBD market. In a market economy, this results in overpriced products and less diversity. Consequentially, very little farming takes place in the UK and most CBD is imported from Europe, the USA, China, and Switzerland. However, small businesses that want to get in on the action can approach a CBD manufacturer with the capability to handle the whole process for them, including research and development.


Licensing laws prohibit the harvesting of hemp plant tops, from which CBD is extracted. Thus, the smaller hemp farmers are effectively kept out of the market. This prevents innovation and competition in the CBD industry. It is solely the huge corporations who are in a position to fund the costs of an application. 

Trace THC

The US has made CBD products legal across the board, but different states have varying amounts of trace THC that can be contained in it. In the UK, it is fixed at under two percent. Products that contain more are illegal.                                                                                                                                    


Although there are numerous challenges, there are also many opportunities for aspiring CBD manufacturers. 

Immense Growth of the CBD Market

The demand for this product is increasing rapidly in first-world countries. Europe is looking to bypass the three billion pounds mark in sales. The sales figure for the USA is estimated to be $47 billion in 2028. By contrast, the UK has sold approximately £700 million. This illustrates the huge scope for growth of the CBD market in the UK.


Consumers of CBD products are well-informed. This has resulted in a great demand for brand transparency and better quality. Custom CBD products are very popular with consumers. A business that can offer unique CBD products will have an edge over other companies.


The minor cannabinoids – CBN, CBC, and CBG – are trending. So are blends which include mushroom adaptogens and other plants. The latter is taking off and was big in 2022; this trend is likely to continue into 2023 and beyond as these combination products can advertise additional health benefits, such as promoting sleep and lowering stress.

Consumer Spread and Preferences

Consumers come in all ages and with varying health needs that they are getting relief from through ingesting or the topical use of CBD. CBD is being used to manage pain, insomnia, mood disturbances, migraines, female reproductive and menstrual issues, anxiety conditions, and skin care, to name a few uses. One study has shown CBD to work better for insomnia than melatonin without the bleariness side effect. Thus, there is a great demand for CBD products. The preferred purchasing method is via an online option. 

Credible CBD Novel Food Applications 

Credible CBD Novel Food Applications have been listed by the FSA. This list features 3,500 oral CBD products. This contains a wide range of different CBD products. Although final approval is still pending, these listed items can be sold in the CBD marketplace. Authorisation can take anywhere from a few months to several years.

CBD is here to stay, and over time, the legislative difficulties should decrease to make this a product for the small business to manufacture too.

Denis Ava
Denis Avahttps://bizgrows.com/
Denis Ava is mainly a business blogger who writes for Biz Grows. Rather than business blogs he loves to write and explore his talents in other niches such as fashion, technology, travelling,finance,etc.