With an estimated 1.3 million regular users of CBD in the UK, more brands than ever are infusing products with the extract. But with a complex regulatory environment and drug connotations, how can marketers make the most of this craze?


It is fair to say cannabinoid (CBD) is gripping the UK. From beauty masks to coffee, the seven-leafed symbol is popping up more than ever before, spanning sectors and target audiences.

The number of CBD consumers shot from 125,000 in 2017 to 250,000 in 2018, according to the Cannabis Trades Association UK. While a separate study by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) estimates there are 1.3 million regular users of CBD in the UK, with 6 million people having tried it in the last year. Furthermore, it predicts the UK market could be worth almost £1bn a year by 2025. In short, business is blazing.

CBD is a non-psychoactive found in cannabis. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the other major compound in cannabis, CBD doesn’t get you high and is legal in the UK, provided it has been derived from an industrial hemp strain that is EU-approved and contains less than 0.2% of THC.

Despite its many health and wellness benefits, CBD is a substance that still strikes up images of hippies and Howard Marks, though, so how should brands go about marketing it?

“We see CBD very much a health and wellness product rather than a 1970s class A drug,” explains Rebekah Hall, founder and CEO of juice business Botanic Lab.

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