DENVER, May 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Fueled by an explosion of CBD-infused edibles, billion-dollar projections for the CBD market may even be conservative.
This seems possible when one considers the truly innovative work being done in the sector by the likes of Lexaria Bioscience Corp. (CSE: LXX) (OTCQX: LXRP) (LXRP Profile), which has developed a patented delivery technology with disruptive potential, delivering 475% more CBD to the bloodstream after 15 minutes than conventional formulations. Other sector innovators are making a similar impact, including the likes of noted cannabinoid biopharma GW Pharmaceuticals Plc (NASDAQ:GWPH) and that of researchers and product developers Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ:TLRY), MariMed Inc. (OTCQB:MRMD) and Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE:ACB) (TSX:ACB).
- CBD is going mainstream into all kinds of consumer goods and foodstuffs.
- Hard data on numerous health benefits appears to be core driver behind growing CBD acceptance.
- $1 billion-plus cannabis edibles segment growing rapidly but separate from CBD market.
- Innovative delivery tech could revolutionize the industry and consumer receptivity.
To view an infographic of this editorial, click here.
Mainstream CBD Teeing Up an Edibles Boom
The recent May 9 report from leading cannabis industry analysts BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research forecasts that the market for nonpsychoactive cannabinoid CBD (cannabidiol) alone will hit upwards of $20 billion by 2024, running at a CAGR around 49%. With last year's farm bill legalizing industrial hemp in the United States, CBD sales in dispensaries have been rapidly increasing. Additionally fueled by an explosion of CBD-infused edibles, it appears that conservative sector growth estimates from analysts such as New York-based investment bank Cowen & Co. may be shortsighted.
A mounting, positive consumer sentiment about the health benefits of cannabinoids is broadly underscored by the work of developers such as GW Pharmaceuticals, whose CBD-based Epidiolex is already FDA-approved to treat two types of severe childhood epilepsy. CBD is going mainstream, with high-profile celebrities such as iconic homemaker Martha Stewart publicly coming out in support of the numerous health benefits that CBD is said to have, like lowering stress and anxiety or battling inflammation and pain. It is little wonder that consumers are seeing CBD used as a nutraceutical additive in everything from over-the-counter cosmetics and pet health products, to wildly popular edibles infused with CBD oil.
The cannabis edibles segment is also interesting to many analysts, and recent forecasts such as the Arcview Group's $4.1 billion by 2022 figure brings into stark relief the immense potential of a market that already ballooned to more than $1 billion last year. BDS Analytics predicts that the same rapid CBD product sales growth seen at dispensaries will continue to occur as the majority of sales shift to general retail stores. An increasingly receptive consumer base is seen driving this trend, as roughly 66% of hemp-derived CBD consumers in the United States now believe in full federal legalization of cannabis in general.
The demand for CBD products now appears to be nothing short of historic, with CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies having never witnessed such an insatiable appetite for a new product type before. CBD, THC and others of the 100 or more cannabinoids found in cannabis appear to show strong potential for gobbling up market share across massive, vulnerable consumables industries, ranging from soft drinks and snack foods to alcoholic beverages and pet aides.
Revolutionary Delivery Technology Could Supercharge Edibles Industry
Unfortunately, the vast majority of edible CBD is being delivered to the human body in an inefficient manner, with most of the CBD simply ending up in the toilet. Typical CBD-infused products utilize industry-standard delivery methods such as MCTs (medium-chain triglyceride) like coconut oil. Such MCTs are a somewhat crude but straightforward approach, offering a rich texture and "mouth feel" but promising only limited delivery of CBD. Lexaria Bioscience Corp. (CSE: LXX) (OTCQX: LXRP) DehydraTECH(TM) patented formulations have considerable disruptive potential amid the ongoing CBD boom, with recent multi-objective animal studies showing a clear advantage over industry standards, in terms of how efficiently edible forms of cannabinoids enter the bloodstream.
The company's standard DehydraTECH formulation using LCFAs (long-chain fatty acids) went head-to-head with a concentration-matched MCT formulation in the recently announced animal studies, yielding a whopping 475% higher CBD blood concentration level — and at four times the speed (15 minutes). These days, it is not uncommon to see people throwing around terms such revolutionary or groundbreaking willy-nilly. So when a technology comes along that truly does represent a fundamental paradigm shift, it can easily get lost in the ceaseless 24-hour news cycle cacophony.
Those words may truly apply here. Lexaria's patented LCFA formulation has demonstrated a stunning 334% higher average maximum CBD blood concentration level over a 60-minute interval than standard MCT oil formulation, with initial onset (measurable CBD in blood) occurring three times faster (as little as only two minutes), a key factor for edibles.
This animal-study data is compelling and establishes a solid foundation under LXRP's value proposition to investors. That proposition become even more interesting considering that LXRP is the only company in the United States with such a powerful absorption and delivery technology backed up by proven claims in lab, animal and even human clinical studies. DehydraTECH appears to deliver more CBD, more quickly, than virtually any other brand or technology available in the country.
In a recent human clinical study conducted at a medical research university, DehydraTECH-enabled capsules branded as TurboCBD delivered 317% more CBD into the human bloodstream than did generic CBD lacking this impressive technology. Seemingly, the human testing in addition to animal reinforces the notion that the industry may be witnessing a revolutionary breakthrough.
No Brag, Just Facts
Consider what this technology could mean for the CBD edibles space. At 15 minutes, the DehydraTECH formulation achieved 475% higher concentrations and to levels not seen or achieved by MCT. This puts DehydraTECH on par with inhalation in terms of how fast acting it is, something which has been a brass ring to the edibles industry for many years.
Rapid uptake by the body's various tissue systems as opposed to valuable raw ingredients being flushed down the toilet because of minimal absorption — that is a huge selling point to consumers. And DehydraTECH technology provides the additional benefit of enabling lower drug-dosage quantities, an important point to consider given that "Lexaria has every reason to believe that virtually identical results would have been achieved if THC was instead the cannabinoid under examination [in the aforementioned animal studies], consistent with subjective human clinical studies Lexaria's partners have conducted with edible THC products."
Another great feature of LXRP's proprietary technology is that it eliminates bad tastes typically found in CBD oils, thus eliminating the need for large quantities of sugar or artificial sweeteners to mask the taste, making the ingredient even more attractive to health-conscious consumers.
CBD Companies Leading the Charge
Cannabis is going mainstream, with CBD appearing to lead the way.
GW Pharmaceuticals Plc (NASDAQ:GWPH) has the enviable distinction of developing Epidiolex, one of the most widely known CBD indications ever devised. Made world famous by coverage of the drug's use in combatting severe childhood epilepsy, the drug is the first prescription, FDA-approved, plant-derived cannabinoid medicine in the United States and has acted as a kind brand ambassador for CBD in general.
Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ:TLRY) has grown into quite an operation, with a presence in eight countries across four continents, and worldwide production capacity that is on track to hit 1.3 million square feet this year. A strategic partnership with Authentic Brands Group is expected to have co-branded CBD products hitting consumers throughout ABG's vast North American distribution network in the second half of this year. And Tilray even managed to beat first-quarter sales expectations, having posted a 195% jump in year-over-year revenues to $23 million, on the strength of factors such as solid hemp-food sales growth from the recently acquired Manitoba Harvest.
MariMed Inc. (OTCQB:MRMD) recently announced the formation of a wholly owned subsidiary to be entirely focused on hemp-derived CBD products. MariMed Hemp Inc. will have its own dedicated executive team, proprietary brand and product lines, as well as distribution and marketing relationships. A bold move for this multistate operator of licensed cannabis facilities, which has an increasingly strong presence in branded cannabis and hemp product lines, as well as a retained initial core business providing advisory services.
Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE:ACB) (TSX:ACB) recently made a huge announcement with entry into a multiyear, multimillion-dollar agreement with mixed martial arts organization UFC to conduct hemp-derived CBD research on athlete recovery and wellness at UFC's substantial Las Vegas institute site. This high-profile and well-capitalized initiative could pave the way for sweeping clinical studies to more thoroughly evaluate CBD across the gamut of current major target indications such as pain management, inflammation, injury/exercise recovery and mental well-being.
Lexaria's DehydraTECH continues to offer hardline absorption data that makes it one of the most exciting names in CBD delivery technology today. As the CBD industry continues to build momentum approaching widespread, mainstream acceptance and inevitable incorporation into a multiplicity of everyday consumers products and foods, LXRP stands poised to profit mightily.
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