The Budding CBD Industry in Europe

Europe’s CBD Industry in 2022

The CBD industry is one of the most innovative and rapidly growing industries in the world, and it’s reshaping the way we view health and wellness. The global CBD market was valued at $3.5bn in 2021, a considerable increase from the previous year at $2.8bn. 

Thanks to a more progressive legislative approach, and millions in investment, the European CBD industry is estimated to overtake the U.S. as the number one CBD market soon. And the UK, Germany, and Switzerland are among the countries paving the way. 

The CBD Industry in the UK

The UK has one of the most promising CBD markets in the world. According to the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry, the UK’s CBD industry is currently worth around £700 million– more than double what it was valued in 2019!

It’s estimated up to eight million adults in the UK use CBD, with around 70% of consumers using CBD tinctures or capsules. This suggests that most consumers use CBD regularly for its overall wellness benefits. In terms of growth, there are over 1,000 CBD companies on LinkedIn, with around 30,000 employees in the UK. Within the first six months of 2021, over £34.7 million has been raised in the UK, and the CBD brand TRIP raised £3.5 million in a single private round.

Plant-based diets supported the CBD market

While the growing trend towards plant-based diets and supplements certainly played a role in the sudden popularity of CBD, the pandemic has had the most significant impact by far. People are more concerned with their mental and physical health, and CBD offers a natural solution to many of the issues brought on by the lockdown. It also helps that well-known British retailers, such as Holland & Barrett, distribute CBD products and expose vast demographics of people to its therapeutic benefits. 

A recent report by the ACI suggests that the UK has “the most regulatory evolved framework in the world for CBD”, which is a major factor in its growth. While synthetically-made CBD Isolates are completely legal, there are still heavy restrictions on hemp-derived CBD. The big issue with these domestic restrictions on hemp cultivation is that most profits for CBD are going overseas. The report calls for more government intervention and investment which could help grow hundreds of new CBD businesses, thousands of jobs, and billions of pounds in exports. 

The CBD Industry in the EU

In the past years, Europe saw a record level of investment in CBD startups. A total of €118.7 million was invested across 34 innovative companies, showing the great potential of the CBD industry. The total EU CBD market was valued at €1.6 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CARG) of 18.5%, with countries such as Germany and Switzerland leading the way. 

Germany is on track to become the most profitable CBD market in the world, thanks to its progressive politics and immense purchasing power. As Germany already has a very plant-based approach to health and wellness, people have embraced CBD with open arms. Sanity Group, a CBD startup comprising the brands VAAY and Vayamed, has raised an astonishing €75.8 million in investment and runs TV ads to educate the public on the health benefits of cannabis. 

CBD Continues to attract more customers every year

Switzerland is another industry leader and has the most liberal approach out of any EU country. Unlike the UK or Germany, Switzerland doesn’t require a licence for hemp cultivation within the country and even permits the sale of hemp flower. The legal THC limit has been extended up to 1%, and in 2022 Switzerland is beginning a three-year trial period in which cannabis can be sold for recreational use. 

The CBD industry in Europe has exploded in recent years and shows no signs of slowing down. Millions of people use CBD for day-to-day or medicinal use, and the pandemic has helped put CBD on store shelves and nightstands all across Europe. 

A lot of institutional money is being invested in the industry, giving way to hundreds of new CBD companies every year, and the demand for CBD is rising as well. And while the lack of proper regulations in the industry poses many challenges, innovative cannabis companies are proving that the industry has enormous potential.