Functional challenges and opportunities for hemp cannabidiol (CBD) external analgesic rubs


Newman Anouvair LLC, Escondido, USA


The 2020 declared US market for consumer products made from hemp-derived CBD was expected to be close to $1billion, with the most significant consumption occurring in the State of California (projected from 2019 data by Statista, Inc). Growth in 2020 was slightly negative compared to 2019 owing to the downturn in the economy and the growing gap between anticipated performance and actual results (1). The US sales of hemp-based CBD in 2020 were closer to $0.8billion. The overall trend expected is illustrated in Figure 1. Further, there has been a greater shift towards e-commerce compared to 2019.
The largest segment of the hemp CBD market is currently in dietary supplements, followed by topical application products, and then food & beverage additives.
In this article, we will focus on the reported benefits of topically applied hemp phytocannabinoids extracts including non-cannabinoid co-extracts.

Most companies in California market external analgesic rubs with extracts from hemp in which the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration is less than 0.3%. This is exempted by the California Bureau of Cannabis Control from licensing and all associated fees. Currently, the types of extracts used predominantly in these applications are Full Spectrum extract containing a small quantity of THC (less than 0.3%), and Broad Spectrum extract with THC removed. The use of Full Spectrum extract requires a higher degree of analytical tracking because of the possibility of THC exceeding 0.3% in various lots. 


The predominant cannabinoid in these hemp extracts is CBD. Small concentrations of other cannabinoids are also present. Total cannabinoids generally account for more than 75% of the extract. Aromatic terpenes and terpenoids are also found in these extracts. Typical examples are d-limonene, beta-myrcene and beta-caryophyllene. Finally, flavonoids and steroids make up minor classes of molecules present.  


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