The Business behind the world’s most politicized plant to be accepted for what it is: medicine. Will the “CBD” movie allow it to ca$h in on the mainstream?
The global CBD market was valued at USD 3,088.51 million in 2018, and the market is estimated to grow at USD 2,207,162.54 Million by 2026 and is expected to register a CAGR of 125.58% during the forecast period from 2019 to 2026. In 2018, the Americas accounted for the largest CBD market share of 78.14% with a value of USD 2,413.34 million, followed by Europe with a market value of USD 358.19 million in 2018.
Based on form, the liquid segment accounted for the largest CBD market share of 51.86% in 2018, with a market value of USD 1,601.62 million and is projected to register a CAGR of 127.24% during the forecast period. On the basis of routes of administration, the tincture segment accounted for the largest market share of 36.65% in 2018, with a market value of USD 1,132.07 million, and is projected to register a CAGR of 126.54% during the forecast period.
Featuring leading experts in cannabis and medicine, including Raphael Mechoulam—the Israeli scientist who discovered THC, the endocannabinoid system and the therapeutic efficacy of CBD to treat medical conditions—the 83-minute film titled CBD Nation exposes 60 years of often ignored published reports and ongoing research.
The project turned its director, producer and editor David Jakubovic from a CBD cynic to a CBD champion. Jakubovic got his start at the age of 18, during mandatory military service in the Israeli Air Force, when he was assigned to make training films.
“When I was asked if I wanted to make a documentary about the science of medical cannabis, my initial reaction was, ‘No.’ I didn’t know anything about it and my instinct was that CBD was an overblown fad,” admits Jakubovic. “Worse, I didn’t feel like spending a year living in a world surrounded by cannabis users. I had tried cannabis at 22, and the experience was just so intense that I stayed away from the plant for another 13 years.”
He changed his mind after watching a TED Talk from Dr. Dedi Meiri, a biologist who runs the world’s leading cannabis lab at Technion University in Israel. Based in New York City, Jakubovic started shooting CBD Nation two years ago, first traveling back to his homeland.
With interviews also spanning the U.S. and Canada, more than 30 physicians, clinicians, scientists and patients clearly explain how the human body has evolved to work with cannabis, providing not only healing, but also hope for the world’s most politicized plant to be accepted for what it is: medicine.
Among the many powerful personal stories CBD Nation tells is Rylie Maedler’s. At age seven, she was diagnosed with a rare degenerative disease, which in her case, caused tumors to eat away at her facial bones. Today, the 14-year-old remains the only known person in the world with the condition whose bones have regenerated.
“I hope that doctors, educators and politicians see this film,” says Maedler, who worked closely with legislators in her home state of Delaware to pass Rylie’s Law, granting children with qualifying conditions access to medical cannabis. “Because I’m living proof of the fact that cannabis and CBD have a place in modern medicine.”
Here is what some close to the movie are saying:
David Jakubovic, producer & director, CBD Nation
“Over the course of this project, I came to realize that cannabis is far from a gateway drug; for many, it’s actually an exit drug from pharmaceuticals and narcotics. And in the U.S., which accounts for 5% of the world’s population; it consumes 75% of the world’s pharmaceuticals. We can no longer afford to be in the dark about the facts. Facts can save lives.”
Dr. Reggie Gaudino, VP of R&D, Front Range Biosciences (formerly Chief Science Officer, Steep Hill)
“Almost all organisms that come out of the water have an endocannabinoid system, and they’re related. If there’s a receptor for [cannabis], there must be something inside humans that triggers the receptor. The endocannabinoid system’s job is to maintain the balance of all the other systems, right? So you have a bunch of other systems that do their thing, and the endocannabinoid system sits on top of all of them and makes sure that they don’t go out of control. I think we are going to see an increasing number of people who start to take responsibility for their own health and become present in their own well-being.”
Raphael Mechoulam, Ph.D., president of the Multidisciplinary Center for Cannabinoid Research, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
“We published our findings thirty-seven years ago: cannabidiol (CBD) blocks epileptic attacks in patients. What happened? Nothing for thirty years. Nothing happened until desperate parents like those in this film did their own research and found out that cannabidiol can help children with epilepsy. But epilepsy is just one of many conditions that we know cannabis medicine can treat. If the world chooses to not look at all of the science, it is not ignorance—it’s negligence.”
Dr. June Chin, osteopathic physician
“There is a galaxy of these cannabinoid receptors throughout our entire body. The endocannabinoid system parallels the immune system, so there really is no physiological process in our body that’s not affected by [it] to some degree. In my practice I see a great deal of women with gynecological issues. What cannabis serves as is a very natural and potent anti-inflammatory and a pain reliever. Healthcare practitioners really need to educate themselves on the endocannabinoid system and on medical cannabis very quickly.”
Martin A Lee, director, Project CBD & author, Smoke Signals
“There’s also the Shafer Commission. Same conclusion. They’re always coming out with these federal reports. It’s crazy, it’s like what does it mean? People are coming forward, saying it helps my multiple sclerosis, helps my depression, helps my kidney disease, liver disease, cancer, neurological, autoimmune disorders, diabetes. So many things people were reporting. If you have a government, why don’t you pay attention to what it figures out? You know, it makes no sense. But the whole marijuana policy has not made any sense. It was always built on lies. And we still suffer from that as a culture, as a society, as a world.”
Steve DeAngelo, co-founder, Harborside & Steep Hill
“We didn’t start Harborside with the idea of creating a business or making money, that wasn’t our main objective. We had a greater mission: to tell the world the truth about cannabis. I called every single commercial testing laboratory in the Bay Area and asked them to test our cannabis. Because if I was going to call it medicine, if I was going to provide it to people who have compromised immune systems, I needed to know exactly what was in it, I needed to know that it was safe. Every one refused to test our medicine out of fear of federal prosecution. So we started Steep Hill. There was low CBD content in the supply, really of California’s entire cannabis market. It seemed like a crisis to us. We started to [question] how do we get more of this compound into the plant? We went back to the growers who had supplied us and encouraged them to grow more of it.”
Dr. Sue Sisley, internal medicine specialist & medical cannabis activist
“I had this huge faction of patients in my practice who were claiming they were getting benefit from this plant, and I was very skeptical. I was basically dismissive of these claims because I thought they were just drug-seeking stoners, that’s what I’d been taught in medical school. And then I began losing a lot of veterans in my practice to suicide and that was when I had this real epiphany that all these lousy pharmaceuticals are not helping them. There’s tons of meds that I prescribe to patients that make them high, right? Whether it’s pain pills, benzodiazepines like Xanax—all of them have the potential to cause euphoria—and we don’t condemn those pills, but yet when it comes to this natural God-given plant we vilify it, we treat it like it’s so dangerous, like it’s plutonium, when in fact it’s far safer than most of the prescriptions I write for people every day. I started to finally examine the scientific literature, and I regretted how judgmental I was over these past many years because I probably could have saved more lives.”
Is investing in CBD the right move? With the arrival of a mainstream movie does this mean the CAGR will mushroom past the 125% to the moon?