Unearthing the past, present and future of CBD: by the experts
In partnership with Protein Agency, we spoke to six industry experts to unearth the past, present and future of CBD.
Exploring their personal and professional relationships with CBD and cannabis, we’ve asked them questions around current market regulations, the reported uses of CBD as well as where the industry is heading in terms of research and innovation. We’ll be sharing insights with you every week – stay tuned!
At a glance
Meet our CBD experts
Sara B. Somerset
Sara is a United Nations-based cannabis correspondent and global drug policy analyst; the first accredited journalist covering drug policy fulltime. She has covered cannabis culture for 15+ years as a reporter and photographer, covering social justice issues and equality. Her work has been featured in The New York Times and Forbes. As a public speaker, she has appeared at Cannabis Media Summit, CannaTech, and Cannabis Europa.
Mennlay G. Aggrey
Mennlay is author of ‘The Art of Weed Butter’ and an interdisciplinary cannabis entrepreneur legally working with cannabis since 2005. She is co-founder and creative director of an upcoming CBD brand and co-host of Broccoli Talk podcast. Her career shows a shift in the industry for women. As perceptions of the plant and legality changed, she has transformed her belief in the healing power of cannabis into a legitimate profession.
Mary is a journalist, holistic practitioner and educator committed to providing accurate and accessible education around CBD and cannabis. As one of the leading European based medical cannabis writers, she has recently authored ‘The CBD Book: Essential Guide to CBD Oil’. She regularly contributes to Project CBD, the Cannigma, Kalapa Clinic and the Huffington Post.
Poppy is a London-based entrepreneur and former television presenter. She is co-founder of accessories brand Pop & Suki and the wellbeing and mindfulness app Happy Not Perfect, the ‘go-to place for everything you need to look after your mind in a fun new way’. As a believer in the positive effects of CBD on mental health, she advocates for brand transparency, industry regulation and consumer education around safe and effective use of CBD.
Dr. Chandni Hindocha
Doctor Chandni Hindocha is an internationally award-winning research fellow in clinical psychopharmacology at UCL. She is exploring how our DNA affects how we respond to cannabis through investigating the relationship between the genetics of the endocannabinoid system and behavioural endophenotypes. Through her work, she explores mental health in relation to cannabis and has spent over seven years exploring the effects of CBD.
Claire is the founder and designer behind London-based and designed clothing brand Hanger Inc. As a consumer advocate for CBD, Claire has incorporated cannabis into both her business and lifestyle. With a focus on sustainability, renewable and seasonless clothing, Hanger Inc. recently launched a sustainable cannabis and hemp clothing line called High Altitudes. Claire also recently competed on Netflix’s show 'Next in Fashion'.
A history of cannabis and medicine
Cannabis has been used as a medicine for thousands of years. Ancient cultures mixed it into other medicines to relieve pain and various ailments. In China, as early as 2737 B.C., it was made into a tea and used to treat malaria and other conditions. But it was not until the mid-19th century that doctors in the west began to take an interest. In Britain, even Queen Victoria took it for period pain, while in America it was used as a pain reliever for rheumatism and other diseases.
CBD was first isolated from the cannabis leaf in the 1960s, but it’s come a long way since then. As the use of CBD oil has become destigmatised and dissociated from recreational cannabis consumption, more people are turning to it and noticing benefits from its use.
Historic milestones such as cannabis’ role in managing nausea during the AIDS crisis, led to research into CBD as a standalone compound. CBD’s medicinal use received heightened attention in 2018 when the topic of medical cannabis was thrust into parliamentary debate after 12-year-old Billy Caldwell’s supply of cannabis oil which was intended to treat his epilepsy was seized at Heathrow airport. This ultimately led to the first cannabis-based medicines being approved for use on the NHS in 2019.
This rich and evolving history has influenced modern perceptions of the cannabis leaf:
In the UK, a 2019 YouGov survey found that twice as many British adults now support the legalisation of cannabis than oppose it.
Trust and Transparency: Today’s CBD Industry
The CBD Industry’s Challenge? Not all CBD is created equal. As consumers demand it, and new brands innovate within the space, the onus is on the industry to be transparent about its supply chain. Every drop of CBII full spectrum CBD oil is developed under stringent quality conditions in exclusive partnership with Swiss CBD specialist, Linnea SA, to ensure quality and reliability.
New laws, such as the definitive classification of CBD as a Novel Food in the UK, are accelerating a higher standard of industry quality and consistency. In 2020, the CBD industry is also benefitting from new research:A recent paper not only succeeded in creating water-soluble CBD, it also found that doing so increases its bioavailability; the amount that gets transmitted from your blood to your brain.
As the industry grows, brands must take charge to educate customers on how to adopt CBD as part of their routines. Until more people try CBD and share their positive experiences, brands that self-regulate and pay for independent testing will be more likely to gain consumer trust. All CBII products are independently tested for your peace of mind.
Exploring CBD and Mental Health
The pressures of modern society have brought about a mental health crisis, with waiting lists for therapy longer than ever. In a survey of UK CBD users, Dr. Hindocha found that anxiety was a top reason for taking CBD.
“The great thing with CBD is that it is tactile. You can touch it and feel it, whereas mental health is quite in the head. It does aid relaxation, it’s that ritual element and I think rituals are really important to support mental health.” says Poppy Jamie, co-founder of wellbeing and mindfulness app, Happy not Perfect.
In fact, Jamie’s own market research found that less than 15% of the people she interviewed could stick to the demands of meditation, a common recommendation for mental wellbeing.
“We don’t have the time anymore. Technology has sped up the world and taken away the time we need to process it. Our attention spans are being split, and we distract ourselves from how we feel by looking at Instagram or responding to emails.” Jamie says.
“Right now, everyone should be taking CBD to support their wellness so they don’t actually make themselves ill as a result. It’s a great tool for wellness, as long as it’s accompanied by other things.” adds holistic practitioner, Mary Biles.
Are you using CBD oil to support your mental health?
Why take CBD?
“In terms of psychopharmacology, we do know that CBD definitely, at high doses, affects anxiety. We have seen that when you stress people out and then give them 400mg and upwards of CBD, it reduces their anxiety and stress levels. So, it might be that people who are generally high in anxiety and stress will respond to those effects of CBD.” - Dr. Chandni Hindocha
Research on CBD and anxiety is evolving. An ongoing Harvard Medical School study is looking at whether 10mg of CBD will reduce anxiety levels. Such a low dose has never been tested before, and if it proves effective, the CBD industry will get its biggest boom yet.
“In terms of psychopharmacology, we do know that CBD definitely, at high doses, affects sleep and anxiety…a lot of people use CBD for sleep” - Dr. Chandni Hindocha
At lower doses CBD will not sedate you, but it might help you relax in a more holistic way. The key is in finding the right strength which can take some experimenting and trial and error. Our expert, Mary Biles, suggests keeping a diary and building up until you find your “personal sweet spot”.
When it comes to CBD, everyone is different so it’s important to find the dose that’s right for you. We recommend starting low and building up if needed, which is why CBII offers three different strength oils that you can choose from (500mg, 200mg and 100mg).
Generational attitudes to CBD
In our 2020 report, we spoke to six experts on cannabis and CBD, who provided insight into the attitudes of different generations to CBD consumption.
For the 18-24 group, CBD is a natural accompaniment to the health and fitness-focused lives they lead.
They are drinking less alcohol and staying home more, and so in this context CBD acts as a wellness ritual that affirms their values.
Willing to experiment: Trend forecasters LS:N Global found that younger consumers were happy trialling and testing the various use cases of CBD at their own leisure, seamlessly integrating it into their beauty and self-care regimes and experimenting with different applications and dosages.
Millennials are also taking CBD for general health and wellness reasons.
“I’m 36 and I use CBD more as a herbal supplement. It’s something you can take every day to stay healthy to keep all of your systems fluid and juicy and functioning.” - Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey
Life experience: “The post 32-ish group is looking for trustworthy and effective tools. Life has been accepted for all its hardships and they’re just trying to make informed decisions to manage stress levels.” - Poppy Jamie
For our expert Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey, the generations set to benefit the most from CBD are boomers and seniors.
While CBD adoption within older generations is rising, substantial growth is inhibited due to a lack of clear dosage instructions and research into possible interference with other medication.
Guidance for Seniors: CBD offers a welcome alternative to a lack of options for older people in traditional healthcare services.
As Jamie puts it, “Older generations want to try new tools but they also want authority figures to guide them through the science and research.”
The Million Pound Drop CBII’s CBD Quiz! (Part 1)
We’ve been unearthing all things CBD over the past 6 weeks, thanks to our 2020 research report and our partnering experts.
Covering CBD’s history, the evolving industry, as well as the profiles and motivations of today’s consumers, we’ve put together a quiz to test your CBD knowledge!
Pssst…this quiz is open book! Scroll up or check out our Unearth highlights from the past 6 weeks – you’ll find some handy hints and useful facts.
Okay, fingers on the buzzers…
1. Which British monarch took CBD to combat period pain ?
a) Queen Anne
b) Queen Victoria
c) Queen Mary
2. In a survey of UK CBD users, our expert Dr Hindocha found that anxiety was a top reason for taking CBD.
3. From Poppy Jamie’s own market research, what percentage of people she interviewed could stick to the demands of meditation to support their wellbeing?
a) Less than 30%
b) Less than 20%
c) Less than 15%
4. In the UK, a 2019 YouGov survey found that twice as many British adults now support the legalization of cannabis than oppose it.
5. Which CBII CBD format would you prefer to try?
Want a free, downloadable CBD diary to accompany your order?
Thanks for playing! We hope you enjoyed our quiz (and maybe learnt something new). Psst - scroll down for the correct answers!
As we continue our education on the profiles of CBD consumers, our experts take a look at the attitudes of different genders to CBD consumption.
“Women might feel more of an effect because they generally weigh less, and get more of it in. But there could just be genuine pharmacological differences in how CBD acts on males and females.” - Dr. Hindocha
Join us as we discover what each gender is taking CBD for and why...
Women: period pain and menopause
Many women turn to CBD to combat period pain. From low mood to abdominal cramps, the discomforts of menstruation lead many women to spend more time and money on self-care to make themselves feel better at that time of the month.
Our expert, Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey, has experienced very positive reviews of CBD from the menopausal population. She found that CBD was a huge component for individuals who didn’t want to feel high but definitely wanted to feel a certain ease.
Men: mental health awareness
CBII is experiencing growing demand for CBD from male consumers. It could be that the rise of the men’s grooming market, combined with an increase in column inches dedicated to male mental health, is driving demand.
Our expert Poppy Jamie believes that CBD, “if marketed to men better,” could easily fill a gap in the market.
We’d love to hear why our male community are interested in taking CBD so we can help you achieve your own personal wellness journey. Share your journey with us on Instagram.
Your personal CBD journey
Regardless of age, gender or lifestyle, CBD is being embraced by consumers across the board for a huge variety of reasons.
It is up to the consumer to determine how it can help them, which is why we offer a wide range of products to suit your individual preference. Tell us, what's your favourite?
CBD and Sustainability
For the CBD industry, today’s requirements for greater environmental responsibility are an opportunity to create new ways of cultivating an ancient plant and win back consumer trust.
Sustainable plant growth
There is no one way to grow cannabis. But there’s no denying that, whether it’s cultivated indoors, outdoors or a mix of the two, it consumes massive amounts of natural resources.
As the global industry for cannabis products booms, steps must be taken to mitigate its impact on the planet.
“Hemp has been grown in the world for a long time, but now you have to be smarter with the way that you reuse water and what plastics you’re not using. CBD has created a boom in sustainable agricultural practices because you just have to be more innovative for your CBD to pass certain laws and pass certain lab tests.” - Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey
Increasing industry commitment
A growing number of farmers seem to be pushing the boundaries with new and hybrid methods, attributing this new, experimental mentality to the CBD industry.
“It’s so possible to make cannabis in a sustainable way. That should be the first thing you think about.” - Claire Davis
Many brands use CO2 to extract their CBD from the plant, but here at CBII, we use a cleaner and more sustainable method.
CBII uses over 90% recycled ethanol to gently extract CBD. It uses less energy and chemicals than CO2 extraction and follows Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (GACP).
For expert Claire Davis, brands must be transparent about the materials they use in their packaging, the transparency of their communications, and any other ingredients that are mixed in with their CBD.
That's why our CBII carton is made from hemp and is 100% recyclable along with the glass bottles.
How important is sustainability to you?
The future of CBD
Sustainable industry growth
With signs of progress already apparent, the future of CBD looks rosy. By putting people and the planet first, brands will ensure sustainable growth for the long-term.
But it won’t be easy…
Brands must come together as an industry to push for more research, greater regulation and continue to educate their customers and the media about every aspect of their products.
"Brands should put education first as part of their mission. There needs to be a lot more guidance for consumers around what is safe CBD, and actually effective CBD” - Poppy Jamie
The CBII Example
CBII are passionate about helping improve the wellbeing of people by being a leader in safe, premium CBD sourced from hemp. Developed under stringent quality conditions in Switzerland and bottled in the UK, CBII independently tests every batch of the full spectrum extract for CBD you can trust.
CBD is just one of many compounds within the cannabis plant. Several industry insiders are turning their gaze towards other THC-free cannabinoids to understand how they can be incorporated into products alongside CBD.
The more we push the way we take CBD and the way we create CBD for consumers and ourselves, the more we push the evolution of how we use it and what else we can use within the plant.” - Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey.
Starting and Continuing the Conversation
“CBD kind of gave me pause in a sense like, ‘Okay, this is how. This is the tool that will bring us to legalisation’. Being able to advocate by and large for cannabis.” - Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey
Discussing the plant
For Claire Davis, this goes back to the original “spiritual, of the earth” characteristics of cannabis. “People need to see it as more of a plant and less of a compound,” she says. She hopes this will be a mindset that companies incorporate into their business plans to ensure the industry’s future longevity.
“We see CBD shifting the conversation more towards plant medicine, more towards legalisation and being that tool for peer reviewed scientific studies, research and articles.” - Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey
With CBD oils and related beauty products now available in some of the UK’s top retailers, the industry has come a long way in winning wider acceptance and a premium perception.
This suggests that, slowly, CBD is starting to shed its former associations and gain recognition in its own right.
Aggrey believes the internet has greatly helped people feel more comfortable talking about it openly.
“I think social media has been a really huge component in bringing a larger population to an issue”, she says.
“When people are brought to an issue [via social media], they have the ability to act, whether it’s voting for certain laws, or participating in certain studies, questionnaires and conversations within their families and schools.
“I think that really shifted the CBD conversation.” - Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey
The CBII Example
CBII are passionate about continuous education on all things CBD.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our Unearthing CBD series, and invite you to look back through our highlights to catch any that you’ve missed!
Look out for our quiz finale next week!
Got a question for our experts? We’d love to hear your CBD success stories, or why you’re interested in trying CBD for the first time. Join us as each week as we unearth more about CBD right here and in our Instagram stories every Wednesday.
Answers to Quiz part 1: 1B | 2T | 3C | 4T | 5 Trick question - it's up to you!