I recently attended a trade show promoting various spa and wellness brands at none other than the Rainbow Room atop NYC’s Rockefeller Center. The boutique show—hosted by the Green Spa Network, a nonprofit trade association that provides education, resources and gatherings for the spa and wellness industry—represented my first glimpse into the burgeoning market of CBD oil.
If you are not aware, Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is currently the rage—initially in states that legalized medical marijuana, but now pretty much everywhere. The non-intoxicating marijuana extract is credited with helping treat a host of medical problems, from epileptic seizures to anxiety to inflammation to sleeplessness. In fact, eBay recently announced in a press release that shoppers relied on Cannabidiol (CBD) to help them cope with anxiety symptoms. 39,000 CBD oils and supplements were sold this year on eBay, with more than 284,000 searches, according to the e-commerce site. And because the oil, which is extracted from the flowers (buds) of marijuana or hemp plants does not produce intoxication—the “high” you get from marijuana’s tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) chemical—it is relatively safe to use. Advocates of CBD rave about its calming and even healing effects.
“We’re seeing an explosion of CBD products in the wellness sector,” says Darlene Fiske, Co-Founder of S’well Public Relations and a veteran in the spa business. “But there is a lot of confusion among consumers—some think it’s a drug, some think it is a pet remedy, and many people don’t have any idea of the benefits or how to use it. Spas have stepped in and are bridging the gap here—consumers are able to sample the products in a massage or body treatment and can learn more from their therapist in the treatment room. Then, they have the option to purchase and take the products home following their service. There’s a real opportunity for a few companies to take the lead and become the educators as well as the suppliers. We’re excited to see the evolution of skin and body care and how the CBD industry will play a role in our future beauty and self care regimes.”
As all of the companies present at the event were considered fairly high-end, I was able to meet with the owners of some very quality brands. I spoke specifically with the co-founders of CBD Care Garden, a high-end CBD oil brand that makes everything from CBD moisturizer to CBD lip-gloss and everything in between. Here is what I found out from Chris Elawar, co-founder of CBD Care Garden.
GLR: Is the CBD fad for real and why?
Chris: I believe that the “CBD (Cannabinol) FAD” is extremely real because consumers and practitioners are becoming more educated. They are learning that there is a system inside of your body that is made to receive cannabinoids called The Endocannabinoid System. CBD is just one of 100+ cannabinoids that your body is made to receive.
GLR: What makes your product unique?
Chris: I believe what makes our products unique is the efficacy of the ingredients and the efficacy of the CBD. We are 100% natural and the potency of our CBD oil is very high. Not all CBD is created equal. Consumers are becoming more educated on what they put on and inside of their bodies. As a company it is extremely important to put efficacious ingredients in your products that matter. We remove 100% of THC from our products including all trace amounts that federally would be within the legal limit of .3% or below. That is very important for professional athletes or people in professions like the military. They are typically held to a higher standard on what products can and can’t be used but they still want to receive the benefits of CBD.
(I’m a veteran of 10 years in the Marine Corps)
GLR: What are the health benefits?
Chris: There are immense amounts of health benefits to CBD. Currently there are over 1800 published studies on CBD on PUBMED.gov. CBD itself is a very potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. We do not say that our products treat or mitigate any disease or illness but we love when people do their research on CBD and it’s the health benefits.
GLR: Where do you see the CBD market in 5 years?
Chris: In 5 years I see CBD moving from a FAD to a trend in the market. I believe that CBD is just the tip of the iceberg. There are over 100+ cannabinoids and 500+ phytochemicals in the Hemp plant and as technology evolves we will be able to research all of them and their health benefits independently.
GLR: Explain the difference between CBD and actual THC and why is that important?
Chris: The difference between CBD and THC is very vast. They are both cannabinoids but CBD is not a psychoactive compound meaning it won’t get you “high” or make you feel impaired. You will typically see products with THC in the more medicinal market place such as the Medical and Recreational dispensary. It is important because people have different needs and not all products are created to treat and mitigate illness or disease. You should research and use the products that you feel will give you the best shot at helping with the scenario you are in personally.
GLR: Anything else? Predictions?
Chris: Currently CBD in the spa market is a FAD. Everyone everywhere is trying to get their hands on the best products. In the next 2-3 years it will be a TREND. You will see CBD products in most of the luxury spas and spaces and then it will become a STAPLE where it will be a guaranteed menu item in every spa no matter the level of client relationship.
CBD is projected to be a $22B industry by 2022. I believe that the CBD spa market in particular will be 10-15% of that gross total.