Will CBD sales and use overtake legal cannabis sales in Canada

Published Jul 18, 2019 11:12 a.m. ET
iStock / Aleksandr Kravtsov

Under Canadian rules, hemp plants can be grown outdoors. The rules around the cultivating CBD are less restrictive than the rules for growing high levels of THC cannabis, making CBD a very lucrative component of the cannabis plant.

Retailers across Canada are having a hard time keeping up with the demands of this popular product. CBD oil is infusing itself into all types of products, from health products for humans to providing wellness to your furry friends.

Cannabis use, in general, has increased, and with the approaching second round of cannabis legalization at the end of 2019, introducing and legalizing cannabis infused products, the retailer is bracing for the expected rush.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, more commonly referred to as CBD is a non-intoxicating extract produced from the cannabis plant. The health benefits that have been reported from the use of CBD oil include:

• Pain reduction
• Anti-inflammatory qualities
• Aid in reducing Anxiety/depression
• Muscle spasm aid
• Anti-nausea control
• Insomnia

CBD in the Canadian market

The overwhelming interest in CBD oil has perhaps surprised licensed producers in Canada and trying to keep the shelves of the dispensaries stocked has proven to be an endeavor.

The presumption of licensed producers was that with the legalization of cannabis that the THC psychoactive qualities of cannabis would be the most sought-after component of the product on the market. This is proving not to be the case. Consumers are looking towards the purchase of CBD oil more than the anticipated interest and sales of the other highly lucrative component of the plant, THC.

The media cover surrounding the health and wellness abilities that this amazing plant holds has driven the sales and interest to sky-rocketing amounts.

Currently, the medical consumer, with the aid of a doctor’s authorization, can purchase CBD products from legal recreational cannabis websites. The consumer, through misconception, believes that the legal purchasing of CBD products is available outside of the current licensed medical and recreational cannabis systems in Canada, it is not. Canada is moving towards marketing CBD largely as a health supplement.


Natural health products that are sold in Canada must follow strict requirements; they must be:

  1. Products must be safe for consumption as over the counter products
  2. Individuals do not need a prescription to purchase products

Survey groups are predicting that the CBD market will pass the demand for cannabis use. The Canadian market believes the consumer is ready for CBD health products and are waiting somewhat patiently for the legalization of CBD infused edibles, creams, and tinctures to become available by the end of 2019.

It is expected that regulated CBD infused products in Canada will be on the shelves of pharmacies and grocery stores throughout Canada. The demand for CBD infused products has caused the Canadian Health Food Association to look at categorizing CBD products in the same space as Vitamin D and other health supplements.

Before the legalization of cannabis in October 2018, in Canada, hemp could only be used for industrial use. If any of the plants contain high levels of CBD, the plant was discarded and classed as not usable. With the legalization of cannabis came the ability for hemp producers to sell the CBD flowers and leaves to licensed producers the responsibility for extraction.

Cannabis use in the form of THC, although extremely popular in Canada is perhaps in for a race when comparing it with the sales and popularity of CBD. The green rush is on again, cannabis, in general, is hot, and the CBD market is perhaps proving to be a hotter, more competitive market.

Should you use THC or CBD?

As the benefits for CBD are becoming more profound from wellness to curing certain ailments the CBD contender may be the winner.

However, you choose to use cannabis, recreationally or medicinally look out for the surging CBD market. Perhaps the legalization of cannabis in Canada is helping to rid the stigma attached to the plant. The consumer is easing into using cannabis as a medicinal agent and a legal contender to become an over the counter supplement, to better assist in consumer wellness.

Only time will tell if CBD sales will surpass cannabis’s recreational capacity, meanwhile, enjoy the benefits provided by the two top components of the cannabis plant responsibly. Enjoy!

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