2022 CBD Trends to Expect
The CBD market, both in the UK and worldwide, is expected to expand further in 2022, offering ever more CBD-rich products and abundant choices for consumers. As people become more aware and informed about CBD and as governments across the world relax CBD regulations, consumers are more willing to experiment with it. This, however, also means they are more demanding and knowledgeable about their choices.
CBD research is expected to grow and the CBD market is expected to become better regulated. Consumer pressure will help reputable brands stand out from less trustworthy ones. CBD manufacturers who have invested in research will get rewarded with consumer attention and have an advantage over the competition.
In the United Kingdom, the CBD market is expected to reach £690m in annual sales in 2021, above what was initially expected. As for 2022, further expansion is anticipated.
Here is our detailed report of what CBD market trends we expect to see in 2022 in the United Kingdom and globally.
Increased consumer awareness of CBD
With CBD products flooding the market, people are becoming more aware of it. CBD edibles, drinks, topicals, oils, tinctures, bath bombs, salves, as well as more niche products such as CBD sunscreens and even CBD-infused mattresses are hitting the market.
Research  is showing that around 11% of Britons use CBD regularly. Surveys  are also telling us that Britons support open access to CBD products by a large majority: 65% of people would like to freely buy CBD products from shops and pharmacies.
These findings are reflected across the world. Heightened public awareness and better quality of information regarding CBD are helping people understand what CBD is and how it may help improve their wellbeing and quality of life. It is particularly interesting that only 5% of Britons don’t want CBD sales to be free .
Higher-quality CBD products
A free market, however, is not the same as an unregulated one: with better awareness come increased consumer expectations. CBD consumers are already focusing on quality control, safety assurances about the product, country of origin, Certificates of Analysis (CoA), extractions methods, and the cannabinoid profile of each product. People are increasingly becoming more demanding: they do their research regarding CBD products and choose the most reliable brands.
It is expected that CBD consumers will become more demanding in 2022: they will do their research regarding CBD products and choose the most reliable brands. They will want pure hemp grown under sustainable and fair terms and from farms that follow best growing practices. They will even want to digitally visit the farms to see how hemp is grown. Organic hemp may see an uptick in demand as a result.
Greater product diversity
As CBD manufacturers experiment and try new things, the CBD market gets more diverse products.
New products, particularly CBD drinks and edibles, are vying for people’s attention. Edibles are the easiest ways to consume CBD: this is why CBD producers are constantly trying to come up with new CBD-rich products that can be either eaten or drunk. CBD edibles are easy to transport and consume. This makes them particularly interesting for manufacturers and consumers alike.
CBD drinks are expected to rise in popularity, particularly if their marketing campaigns focus on wellbeing. The combination of CBD drinks and sports and performance support is also expected to lead to increased sales and consumer interest. Just like energy and functional drinks, CBD drinks could capture a market segment that is focused on CBD for mental focus, improving sports performance, and overall health.
Focus on new cannabinoids
The increasing amount of information around CBD and cannabinoids is making more people aware of the other cannabinoids of hemp. While CBD is the most abundant cannabinoid, hemp contains over 100 cannabinoids.
Research suggests that these cannabinoids have their own benefits, including potential anti-inflammation, pain relief, anxiolytic, and anti-depressant qualities.
CBD brands trying to differentiate from the competition will be focusing more of their attention on minor cannabinoids. CBD products with a diverse mix of cannabinoids could entice consumers to diversify their CBD choices, depending on their expected health targets. This will create niche markets of CBD products combined with other cannabinoids or with specific terpene profiles.
Consolidation of brands
There are hundreds if not thousands of CBD brands. It is expected that some brands will be more successful than others and will be able to acquire smaller ones.
This brand consolidation will lead to more funds devoted to research and quality control. As brands become bigger, they will devote more time and effort to making more diverse products with better safety profiles. Dose consistency and reliability will be better achieved by bigger brands and they will be the ones to gain consumer recognition.
Large consumer brands will enter the CBD market
Right now the market is dominated by smaller, new players. Large consumer brands have not entered the CBD market. Coca-Cola®, for instance, is not selling any CBD-infused drinks.
This could change. If CBD gains acceptance and its legal status becomes better entrenched, larger brands will want to tap into consumer demand for CBD products. Whether through the acquisition of existing brands or the creation of their own CBD product lines, big consumer brands will enter the CBD market eventually. This includes food and drinks companies as well as cosmetics.
CBD for pets
A market segment that is expected to attract attention in 2022 is CBD for pets. It is estimated that 44% of British households have pets, with the dog population in the UK estimated at around 12 million and the cat one at over 10 million .
Most pets, like humans, have an endocannabinoid system. Since CBD works with our endocannabinoid system, it is safe to assume it will work for pets as well—and research suggests that pets may benefit from CBD in terms of anxiety and stress as well as pain relief.
It is no surprise that an increasing number of online searches concern questions like, “how much CBD should I give my dog?” Pet owners are increasingly interested in helping their animals with less invasive methods. Separation anxiety, stress, decreased appetite, or painful joints are some of the most common ailments in pets.
The CBD pet market segment is anticipated to increase in 2022 as more pet owners become knowledgeable about CBD. They will ask their vets about CBD’s potential and try to help their four-legged family lead better, happier lives.
More research devoted to CBD
When brands consolidate, they have more resources to devote to research. Larger CBD manufacturers will collaborate with research facilities to advance CBD research. This will benefit the CBD market: more scientific research about the benefits of CBD will offer better guidance and increased security to people. When people feel more secure, they are more open to trying new products.
A diverse range of customers
When CBD was legalized, it was initially a market for a specific audience: people who had read about CBD and were willing to experiment even without definitive proof about CBD’s effectiveness. Nowadays, CBD is consumed by a diverse range of customers and for various reasons. Most people  take CBD for anxiety and stress, pain relief, inflammation, and sleep.
Younger people are more willing to experiment with CBD: 10% of those aged 18 to 24 and 11% of those aged 25-49 have used CBD while only 5% of those aged 65 and above have done so.
This is expected to change. As elderly people become more aware of CBD, they will try it to fend off occasional pains and for a better quality of life. Similarly, different people with different health scopes will try CBD.
We forecast a greater diversity in terms of ages, demographics, and socio-economic backgrounds of people consuming CBD.
Developments in the US
The American CBD market is the largest worldwide, with the British one coming second. Inevitably, whatever happens in the United States is expected to make its way to the rest of the world.
Legislation opening up the CBD market is on its way. Initiatives like the MORE Act pave the path and the Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act of 2021  aims at making CBD a food supplement. This would mean that CBD marketing would be much easier and more straightforward. As a food supplement recognized by the FDA, CBD could enter new distribution channels and make it easier for larger brands to invest in a wider CBD product range.
The Hemp Access and Consumer Safety Act  builds on the previous Act and goes a step further: better regulation and proper product labelling to satisfy consumers and address any safety concerns. Currently, the CBD market is relatively unregulated and it is up to consumers to do their due diligence and decide which CBD brand is trustworthy and delivers safe and clean CBD products.
What does that mean for the rest of the world? CBD may become equivalent to nutritional supplements like vitamins, iron, herbal supplements, etc. Easier distribution, better public awareness, and better access to shelves would help people experiment with CBD and introduce it to their lifestyles and health routines.
It is expected that most countries will follow in the United States’ footsteps and make CBD more accessible and safer.
Developments in the EU
European developments like the KanaVape Ruling suggest that the EU is also becoming more open to CBD. The European Court of Justice (CJEU) has already ruled that CBD may not be considered a narcotic drug within the scope of the UN’s Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Last year, the European Commission confirmed that CBD qualifies as food and that the EFSA authorisation process for cannabidiol as a novel food ingredient may resume. With this decision, CBD is now covered by the EU’s free movement provision.
Developments in the UK
In the United Kingdom, CBD is classified as Novel Food by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). CBD edibles already on the market can stay on shelves but manufacturers must apply with the FSA for authorisation.
The FSA is looking to assess the safety of all CBD edibles before they reach shop shelves. This means that new CBD edibles may not enter the market until they have been assessed and authorised by the Agency.
CBD manufacturers in Britain are looking into new market segments such as cosmetics, vapes, and other CBD products. Ingenuity and resourcefulness are turning the British CBD market into a vibrant market, with new products hitting the shelves daily.
One welcome development would be to make it easier to grow hemp in the UK. Right now, the legislation is counterproductive, allowing hemp growers to harvest the seeds and stalks of the hemp but requiring them to throw away the CBD-rich flowers. As a result, the UK CBD manufacturing industry has to import all the CBD it needs from Europe and the US.
The British CBD market
The CBD market in Britain increased to unexpected levels in 2021. Lockdowns due to the pandemic made people anxious and stressed. Many turned to CBD to regain their footing in the world and rebalance their life. However, the CBD market goes beyond that.
Public awareness has increased and CBD manufacturers have become more responsible. To make sure their products are safe and clean, they run third-party lab tests and publish online their products’ Certificates of Analysis.
As a result, producing CBD may become more expensive in the short term: brands will look to consolidate to stabilize costs and expand into more research and development. This should help keep prices down while delivering better-quality products. In the long term, economy of scale should bring the prices back down as competition forces producers to offer the best possible products at the lowest possible prices.
People are also demanding greater product diversity and more choices. Besides CBD products, consumers will also start asking for products with diverse cannabinoid profiles. Having looked into minor cannabinoids such as CBC, CBG, CBN, CBDA, and more, they will want products that focus on specific properties of hemp alongside those that encompass all of its possible benefits.
Accordingly, the pressure on the government to relax regulations on both cannabinoid consumption and hemp production will increase. With better government regulation regarding quality and more freedom to market and advertise, the CBD market is expected to grow for the foreseeable future.