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Topicals: The Fastest Growing Sector of the CBD Industry?

Written by Lance Griffin

The cannabidiol (CBD) market is rapidly expanding. As of 2019, tinctures led the way with 44% of the market and topical CBD rode shotgun with 26%. CBD skincare now generates $645 million a year, up from $370 million in 2017. And the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is projected at 26% from 2020 through 2030. This makes it one of the fastest growing and most impactful segments in the industry.

The Brightfield Group predicted that CBD will claim $22 billion by the year 2022, and Piper Jaffray analysts believe that infused beauty products will throttle this growth into the range of $50-100 billion. The aging population is driving a massive spike in the global cosmetics industry and CBD is at the forefront.

Topical CBD may in fact emerge as its own industry altogether, as many signs point in this direction. CVS Pharmacy began carrying CBD creams and salves in 800 stores across eight states and Walgreens offers CBD creams in 1,500 locations across the country. Consumers new to CBD may be more comfortable with topicals compared to novel-tasting tinctures. The potential relief of minor aches and pains with an all-natural cream is a great selling point, as is the targeted effect achieved when rubbing topicals on particularly painful or inflamed areas.

The anti-inflammatory properties of this cannabinoids have also sparked a celebrity-driven explosion of beauty products. The star-studded mantra is clear: CBD is very popular for those looking for anti-aging products. Neiman Marcus now offers topical CBD in the form of balms, lotions, soaps, body oil, serums, and masks. DSW stocked roughly 100 stores with CBD body lotions and washes. Sephora and Ulta are among other major retailers riding the CBD beauty train.

Then there are more serious skin conditions that many are aiming to treat. Emerging scientific research supports the use of CBD for skin conditions including acne, eczema, and psoriasis. We also know that skin has its own endocannabinoid system to promote homeostasis of skin cells. With more dermatological testing, topical CBD has now landed into clinical trial testing.

The applications of CBD topicals seem boundless in their diversity, user-friendliness, and efficacy, as they soar into the mainstream.

Image Credit: Frank Busch

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Lance Griffin