Over the past several years, hemp has shifted from a niche market to a highly profitable industry globally, and has, along the way, found means to appeal to just about every generation.
The Generational History of Cannabis
Cannabis has been around for thousands of years and was used medicinally since the times of ancient Egypt. But, dating all the way back to the 1700s, it became controversial due to the intoxicating nature of marijuana, which belongs to the genus.
In the early days of America, hemp was cultivated for its fibers, but that all changed in the 1930s when the Marihuana Tax Act came into play, soon followed by the complete criminalization of cannabis in the 1960s.
When cannabis became a black-market substance, it appealed mainly to young people who were seeking out the psychoactive effects of marijuana. This stigmatized cannabis to the extent that when hemp was finally legalized in 2018, many people still thought of it as a dangerous drug.
But things have changed. In fact, scientists were researching the potential medicinal properties of cannabis way back in the 1930s and were making fascinating discoveries throughout the 60s and 70s, when people were being arrested for possession. In the 1990s, the endocannabinoid system was discovered, which explained why cannabinoids like CBD (cannabidiol) and others the potential have to help us feel better in a number of ways.
In fact, one of the first discoveries relating to CBD was its effects on epilepsy, which are now backed with abundant research. As CBD became legal, and as medical marijuana programs developed in various states, people of all ages began to see that there is more to cannabis than the mind-altering nature of marijuana.
Hemp: Not a Recreational Plant
Hemp, unlike marijuana, is non-intoxicating, because it naturally possesses too low a level of THC to produce psychoactive effects. This is why hemp is now legal, while marijuana remains illegal at the federal level.
And, now that hemp has been legalized, we’re learning more and more about its unique effects that may make it particularly useful for people belonging to all generations. Charlotte’s Web was a hemp strain bred specially for a child who was suffering from epilepsy, maximizing the potential of the compounds that play a role in neurological function. Since then, the FDA approved a hemp-based drug called Epidiolex, which is intended to treat epilepsy in children.
At the same time, researchers were finding that hemp acts as a neuroprotectant thanks to the properties within its cannabinoids, which may regulate neurological function while preventing cognitive decline. This has made it particularly interesting to those studying treatments for dementia, which largely affects seniors.
Today’s CBD Market: Accessible to All Generations
The current CBD market appeals to all generations, and there are a number of reasons why.
Reason #1: It has Been Around Long Enough
One thing that helps is that the CBD market has been around for more than a decade now, and people who may have been hesitant to explore it initially are seeing that it’s existed for a long enough time to demonstrate that it’s generally safe to use.
Reason #2: Companies are Working Hard to Build Trust
Companies that produce CBD are working extremely hard to prove themselves as trustworthy to consumers. They are finding ways to test their products to verify the quality, safety and purity, and are being transparent with how their products are made to prove to potential customers that they use only safe ingredients and manufacturing methods. This makes people of all ages feel more secure about using hemp.
Reason #3: Medical Studies are Promising
Medical studies on the effects of hemp are promising and are showing that cannabinoids like CBD may be able to offer unique levels of relief to specific groups of people. These studies make people feel more optimistic about what hemp may be able to do for them.
Reason #4: Doctors are Getting on Board
One thing that helps tremendously is the fact that many medical professionals are believing in the potential that CBD has to offer. Many doctors now recommend it to patients of all ages, which gives patients a feeling that hemp is, in fact, a legitimate option for them. Combined with the fact that it’s a uniquely natural and gentle product, it’s easy to see why people are embracing hemp like never before, at the recommendation of their trusted doctor.
Reason #5: More Widely Available Than Before
Another reason why hemp is appealing to all generations because it’s now widely available and accessible to people of every age. Once upon a time, you had to go into a vape shop or visit a specialty website to find CBD. Now, the average person can find it in a convenience store or vitamin shop. What this does is normalize hemp to break the association that it has to an illegal substance. And, beyond that, hemp products now come in all kinds of forms and delivery methods, many of which are familiar to us, like topicals and capsules.
CBD Has Evolved to Fit All Sorts of Generations
What started out as a fairly controversial, niche market has exploded into a hugely successful commercial industry, and over the years, it has become clear that more people are amazingly comfortable introducing CBD into their daily routines, regardless of their age.