Demand for CBD is surpassing previous expectations, leading many to view this medicinal product as the next big thing. By 2024, it is estimated that the CBD market will be valued at over $20 billion, which stands to reason; this compound is making its way into a variety of products, such as foods, drinks, cosmetics, and even pet supplies.
The growth for this industry has been exponential; in 2019 alone, the CBD market in the United States grew by 706%. This trend is also true outside of North America; many countries now legally allow the use of CBD, as this compound has no psychoactive effects, and therefore doesn’t face the same legal hurdles as medicinal cannabis.
As CBD grows in popularity, suppliers are determining the ways they can compete with a saturated market, and technology is already reshaping the way the budding CBD industry functions.
Let’s take a dive into a few of the ways technology is altering the CBD market as we currently know it:
1. Transforming Cultivation Processes
Generally, cannabis plants are costly and challenging to cultivate, largely due to lighting needs. In warmer regions, it can be easier to grow these plants; however, companies that are growing their plants indoors must rely on certain pieces of equipment, namely, high-intensity discharge bulbs that eat up energy (costing companies thousands).
Technology has answered in the form of LED bulbs. These cost-effective bulbs provide a wider light spectrum without adding significant heat, which makes it easier to sustain optimal growing temperature while saving energy.
2. Improving Extraction Processes
CBD products can be expensive, largely due to the fact that cultivation and extraction processes can be difficult. Manufacturers use a CO2 extraction process to form CBD via a rosin press, which is designed to heat and cool the compound quickly. While the average rosin press can apply 1,000 pounds of pressure, there are companies working steadily on new presses that can add more weight to expedite the CBD production process.
3. Catering to Consumer Desires
Technology can also be used to improve user experience. By optimizing design of CBD delivery, manufacturers can provide buyers with a better product that’s tailored to consumer desires. For example, CBD company CBDfx makes the best CBD vape kits crafted with technologically-advanced pieces, including cartridges made with ceramic glass and steel, and temperature setting optimized for the best experience. This last bit is important; this brand’s technology has been designed to burn at lower temperatures than regular mods to avoid producing carcinogens and ruining the taste.
4. Enhancing Market Research and Data Collection
Big data is the guiding factor behind virtually every industry, and data collection is being used to help CBD companies access valuable information that provides important intel on consumer demand and habits. As CBD continues its market reign, marketers will be able to use data to mine actionable insights, guiding their advertising, sales, and branding decisions. With access to robust datasets, growers can adapt their products to consistently produce those that sell best.
Artificial intelligence and big data go hand in hand, and AI has begun to make changes in the CBD industry, as well. Through machine learning, growers are better able to determine what needs to change in the growing and manufacturing processes, homing in on hourly processes to make their operations more efficient. As machine learning helps growers improve efficiency, manual labor needs may diminish, reducing costs and increasing production. By harnessing the power of big data and AI, the CBD industry may be able to minimize overhead costs and get a better return on their investments.