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How technology is shaping the ever-growing CBD industry

Below are some of the most important ways tech is reshaping the CBD industry. 

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Image: Kevin Raposo / KnowTechie

Hemp-based businesses are growing up everywhere, and given the recent popularity CBD products have had, no one is surprised. The magic compound has found its way into various industries, including wellness, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and even pet care, leading to estimations that, by 2024, the CBD market will surpass $20 billion.

As country after country begins to look into the legalization of cannabis, the U.S. CBD market is growing at a very fast rate. Last year alone, the CBD market grew by 706%, and the numbers are only expecting to get larger.

CBD is widely spreading in popularity, as producers can now leverage technology to come up with new and ingenious intake methods, aiming to make the product more appealing for a variety of people.

Technology is continuously reshaping the CBD market, and if you are curious to learn how, there you came to the right place. Below are some of the most important ways tech is reshaping the CBD industry.

Help for growers and sellers

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Hemp and cannabis plants require a precise growth process, which is often complicated and expensive to sustain. The main issue that seems to pain growers is lighting, as the cannabis plant requires a special kind of light in order to grow properly and retain all its properties

For growers in warm regions, that’s not necessarily an issue, as the plants have plenty of sunlight to help them grow. Indoor growing, however, requires some significant investments in lighting equipment, most importantly high-intensity discharge bulbs. These bulbs are not only expensive to purchase, but they also make for some colossal electricity bills.

One solution that can help growers cut down costs, and is also less harmful to the environment is using LED bulbs. Not only are LED bulbs cost-effective, but they also produce a much wider light spectrum and don’t emanate heat. This way, growers can control room temperature better and avoid potential issues.

Paired with directional lamps, LED bulbs can be used to send the light exactly where it is needed, improving versatility and marking for a more efficient growth process.

Yet another challenge technology promised to tackle is cannabis and CBD education. CBD companies need to train their employees about the multitude of products and compounds, compliance and regulation, as well as how CBD actually works, all of which can sometimes be challenging. To help things out, a variety of educational programs and training platforms are now available online, which employers can use to train their staff.

State-of-the-art extraction technology

Growing hemp and cannabis plants is nowhere near being cheap, but CBD companies need to invest tremendously in the manufacturing process of their products as well. This is why CBD products that come from reputable companies end up costing a tad bit more than others on the market.

The CO2 extraction process, in particular, is one very extensive and high-priced procedure. For optimum CBD extraction, manufacturers use a rosin press, which heats and cools the substance fast. So far, this has proven to be a beneficial technique, but that does not make it any less expensive.

Now, typical rosin presses used by CBD manufacturers can apply 1,000 pounds of pressure, but things are bound to change pretty fast. A Los Angeles-based company is working to develop a rosin press that is able to apply 1,900 pounds of pressure, which could be a game-changer. By applying nearly double the pressure, it is believed the production of CBD can quadruple for those using this state-of-the-art press. This means more products on the market, reduced prices and less waste.

Nanoencapsulation

When it comes to CBD products, researchers and producers are confronted with one big issue – the compound’s low bioavailability level. Only around 20% of the CBD you consume will reach the bloodstream, meaning a lot of it will go to waste. This happens because CBD is an oily substance, meaning it will not dissolve in water. This keeps producers from being able to develop water-based CBD products, which are known to have high bioavailability.

There is, however, a process that aims to solve this issue – nanoencapsulation. This could turn CBD into a water-soluble compound, which can then be added to a new range of products, including beverages.

Personalized CBD products

Because our individual biochemistry causes us to process cannabinoids differently, CBD can often have different effects on two different people. This is why some individuals may find a product very helpful, while others may fail to sense the effects.

Due to these variations, finding the right amount and type of CBD product can often be challenging and can lead to believing CBD may not be for you before even experiencing its full effects. Producers are experiencing various types of products, attempting to provide consumers with a variety of choices, including edibles, sublingual films, and even CBD paste. The last one, in particular, is very interesting, as it can be used as both a topical and an oral supplement.

However, coming up with new methods to intake CBD is not enough. In order to experience the full benefits of CBD, your body needs to react well to it.

Using saliva-based swab tests, technology can help determine how your body reacts to known cannabinoids and verify which compound is compatible with your unique needs. While this is still in the experimental phase, it has enormous potential for the CBD industry.

Leveraging AI to better market research

Big data is making its way towards any notable industry, including CBD, and for a good reason. The amount of data that is gathered from consumers, including product preferences and buyer habits, has become massive, which is why we need something to help us analyze it. Artificial Intelligence can come to help in this area and provide CBD companies with valuable information on what consumers need and how to improve their products.

Researchers, producers and sellers can leverage AI to gather and analyze terabytes of data, using the results for both scientific and commercial purposes. If more information about CBD use is obtained, then companies can gain insight on how to better their products, tailor their marketing campaigns, increase sales, and make more informed business decisions.

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