Prospects for the development of the CBD market in Poland

Nowadays in Poland you can hear more and more about the legalization of marijuana, hemp and CDB products. For many people, all these things are associated with drugs and the devastating effects of these products on human health. Wrongly so.

Marijuana, which is made from cannabis, contains 2 main components: THC and CBD. The first of these substances, which has very strong psychoactive properties, actually has a negative effect on the body and, similar to nicotine, causes addiction 1 . Cannabidiol, or CBD, instead has the opposite effect. It is not addictive, has relaxing properties and a number of positive health benefits, which have been confirmed by World Health Organization studies. The substance is extracted from fiber hemp, the cultivation of which is legal in Poland, if the proper license is held. A survey conducted by Marygo 2 in September 2021 found that 90% of surveyed Poles have no knowledge of CBD, and half of those asked had never heard of the substance. This data clearly shows that the market for fiber hemp products is still at an early stage of development. However, analyzing the sales volume statistics of hemp companies, one is tempted to conclude that Poles are quickly becoming convinced of cannabidiol and are beginning to appreciate its positive effects on health.

CBD a cure for everything?

The use of hemp for medicinal and therapeutic purposes has proliferated in recent years. CBD has shown significant benefits in treating epilepsy and is being actively tested as a potential treatment for other ailments. Studies that have been conducted that have looked at epilepsy, anxiety, inflammation, as well as skin conditions, have yielded positive results showing that CBD can help combat these conditions. Its report On cannabidiol, the "CANNABIDIOL (CBD) Critical Review Report" was also issued in 2017 by the World Health Organization. The most important conclusions are that CBD is not addictive, has no negative social effects, but instead can be an important element in the treatment and cure of many diseases including: cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, but also depression and psychosis. In addition, CBD can be used as an analgesic for severe pains including neuropathic pains. Very often cannabidiol is used in the treatment of epilepsy (epilepsy), as CBD works best against this disease. Interestingly, despite the many clinical studies confirming the effective effects of this substance, it is still not included in the World Health Organization's list of essential medicines. This is mainly due to the fact that advanced research on CBD has not lasted very long, but the social factor is also not insignificant. For a large part of the public, cannabidiol is associated with something illegal, which means that the process of popularizing CBD in medicine may take a long time. This does not change the fact that this substance hides a huge therapeutic potential and aspires to be a miracle drug. It aspires because research is still ongoing and will continue for many years to come.

Booming business in the CBD market in Poland

The European CBD market was worth $359 million in 2020. According to Brigtfield Group forecasts, this amount will increase to $3.1 billion in just five years. The boom in the cannabidiol market is not bypassing Poland either. In 2019 alone, the acreage of cannabis cultivation in the country on the Vistula increased by 79% and exceeded 3,000 hectares. Despite complicated laws and a large number of documents to be filled out in government offices, Polish farmers are becoming convinced to grow hemp, as the market for the crop is growing at a very fast pace. There is also a chance on the horizon for the Polish legislature to relax regulations, which will further accelerate the development of the hemp industry in Poland. The Parliamentary Team for Legalization of Marijuana, which currently has 18 deputies, regularly tries to bring bills to the Sejm that will make life easier for both farmers and cannabis entrepreneurs. Analyzing the composition of the Parliamentary Team for Legalization of Marijuana, we can confidently say that cannabis unites, not divides. It is rare that the leader of the Together party Adrian Zandberg, known for his left-wing views, acts together with Dobromir Sośnierz or Konrad Berkowicz from the Confederation. In this case, however, MPs from two different worlds decided to stand above the divide and fight for the development of the hemp industry in Poland.

Polish hemp companies begin expansion into European market

Polish hemp companies are attracting high interest from investors, who see great potential to earn a lot of capital. In 2020, the company Kombinant Konopny broke a Polish crowdfunding record. The company managed to raise PLN 4.2 million in just 40 minutes. The record was already broken in early 2021 when CanPoland, a company selling hemp-based medicinal products, raised a dizzying PLN 4.4 million in 11 minutes. The company used the funds raised to install a production line for the production of a pharmaceutical raw material based on non-fiber hemp, or so-called medical marijuana. The company is able to produce pharmaceutical raw materials in the form of both flowers and oils within a single process line. CanPoland is growing at a very fast pace and is entering Western markets with its products. The company is also planning to go public on the NewConnect exchange to raise additional capital for investment. The market has fallen in love with cannabis companies, as investors believe there is a bright future for the industry. No wonder. Market experts, doctors, investors, all see this huge potential. Even some politicians are beginning to see it as well. The moment those in power, through the introduction of laws liberalizing and simplifying the law in Poland, give the green light to green hemp, we will witness an incredible growth of the CBD market in Poland.

What products did Poles love?

The range of legal CBD products in Poland is very wide. The world and Polish market is led by oils and dried, but cosmetics and products for pets with cannabidiol content are also becoming increasingly popular. The king of the hemp market, CBD oil is a type of hemp oil, extracted from the flowers of the hemp plant. It is considered a medicinal product that has sedative, anti-anxiety effects and helps with sleep. It fights inflammation, supports the body's immunity, and helps with allergies. According to data from the Ceneo portal, sales of CBD oils were already more than 80% higher in early 2021 than a year earlier. Many experts predict the continuation of this trend in the next few years. The situation is similar in the context of dried CDB, i.e. dried cannabis flowers and leaves. The increase in the number of searches in 2021 was as much as 350% higher compared to 2020 All indications are that a bright future also awaits CBD-containing skin care products. According to scientific studies conducted so far, cannabis-containing cosmetics have moisturizing properties and could prove to be an effective treatment for psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and acne thanks to their anti-inflammatory effects. In the case of cannabidiol-containing foods, the situation is different. Due to complicated procedures, this market is not developing so rapidly, as few manufacturers choose to introduce such products due to high costs. The chance of liberalizing the law in Poland in the near future allows us to believe that this market segment will also grow rapidly and gain new admirers.

(R)evolution in the cannabis market is happening before our eyes

For several years now, both in Poland and around the world, we have seen a very thriving development of the hemp business in various industries. Thanks to research, we know more and more about hemp, which contributes to changing the public's perception of the subject. Going to the pharmacy or drugstore, we can see before our own eyes that the CBD revolution is happening here and now. Sales figures from hemp companies and investor interest can only reinforce this belief. All market forecasts suggest further growth in demand. The huge potential of cannabidiol and the fact that we are at the beginning of the hemp boom in Poland can attest to the great potential of companies entering this market. It seems that the here and now is the perfect time to enter this industry, before the train leaves the station and gives money to someone else.

  1. WHO, "Division on Alcohol, Drugs and Addictive Behavior - Cannabis."
  2. Marygo, "What Poles know about CBD," 2021, marygo.app/focus/what-polans-know-o-cbd/

Jakub Karwat

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