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Technology Is Changing the CBD Industry

By Special Guest
Jean Ogden
February 11, 2021



According to Statista, the consumer sales of CBD are projected to boom to more than 1.8 billion dollars by 2022, which is a considerable increase from the half of billion dollars they totaled 2018. Other studies estimate that the CBD industry is on the track to grow its revenue to a whopping US$75 billion in the next ten years This is in part due to a strong market trend after the 2018 US Hemp Farming Act was passed, which removes hemp as a Schedule 1 controlled substance or drug, as long as it contains 0.3 percent or less THC by weight. The change in hemp classification has drastically increased the domestic supply of the hemp plant and has enabled many farmers to adopt hemp-farming.

While the CBD industry as a whole is expanding, it still has plenty of issues to address and countless hurdles to overcome for it to reach maturity and continue developing.

This is one place where technology can help key industry players find new and innovative solutions. The latest technological advancements are beneficial to both CBD sector producers and suppliers and will certainly influence the how companies maximize their profits from the plant while creating their products.

Let’s take a dive into a few of the technological advancements that are currently altering the CBD as we know it:

Technology-Driven CBD Hemp Farming

Smart farming technology through the use of drones is molding the future of hemp and cannabis cultivation. The crop management concept employs modern technology to increase the quality and quantity of agricultural products. It also allows farmers and companies to have access to GPS, data management, soil scanning, and the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. By measuring the exact variations within a field and adapting the strategy accordingly, the effectiveness of fertilizers and pesticides can be significantly increased by using data to make more selective application. What’s more, drone technology in agriculture settings can decrease a number of risks while offering agriculturalists valuable insights.

In addition to this, Integrated CBD–an institutional scale, provider of quality supply chain for hemp-derived CBD–has set sustainable hemp farming standards with the installation completion of plant-based sensor-technology, powered by Arizona’s largest hemp grower partners, Ag-tech Company, Phytech. This smart agriculture technology optimizes crop productivity and quality by reducing stress events and over-irrigation that may lead to an increase in THC levels (>0.3%) resulting in a total loss of crop. Not only does it streamline irrigation efficiencies at scale, but it also helps cut down expenses, and minimizes overall environmental impact. These processes are necessary to ensure that the plant is of the highest standard, which is especially important when launching a new brand. Check out CBD Nationwide to learn more about hemp CBD manufacturing for new brands.

Artificial Intelligence in the CBD Industry

Today, big data helps drive any industry by lowering their operational costs and consuming resources in the most effective possible ways. And CBD industry is no exception to the rule. Many companies are now using Artificial Intelligence or AI to help grow the CBD market in terms of marketing, production, research, and delivery. When it comes to marketing, for example, AI can gather insights into the target audience of an industry using big data, machine learning, and other processes–insights or information that leads to more effective customer touchpoints. AI assists with all marketing processes, including content generation, web design, ads, monitoring market risk, and even improved customer service.

Besides marketing, AI-powered technology also aids with the agricultural production of hemp or cannabis plants, from which marketers extract CBD. By having the ability to automatically integrate, read, and transform data recorded from automated systems that growers use, including light, environmental controls, or automatic irrigation systems. Artificial intelligence has also played a massive role in supporting Biotech companies in the CBD environment when performing their research through acquiring large sets of information from various sources and getting predictions for the future. Now that these data are readily available, companies will be able to deliver products quickly and efficiently to end consumers with, again, the use of AI and machine learning.

High Tech Extraction Technology

The changes caused by the 2018 Farm Bill legalizing the use of hemp also means new industry opportunities for extraction companies. Provided that the CBD oil extracted from hemp is not more than 0.3% and meets the requirements set by the Food and Drug Administration it is no longer considered a controlled substance.

The FDA has strict standards regarding the potency and purity of hemp CBD oil. As extractors look to add the product to their list, they are also concentrating on the importance of pure CBD extraction and on their methods to maintain the quality regulated by the FDA. Every state varies in its management of purity, but those who are most concerned with producing the highest quality CBD are choosing the most popular and advanced technique of extracting cannabis–supercritical CO2 extraction. Also considered to be one of the safest and most effective methods of extraction for health, food, and skin products approved by the FDA, supercritical CO2 extraction provides three major benefits with regards to producing CBD oil. The solvent leaves behind no residue and is not harmful to the environment, making the extracted product safe for application and consumption. CO2 allows extractors to choose the particular compound they want to extract, producing CBD with only small hints of THC (if any) and meeting the standards set by the FDA. Finally, CO2 is impressively versatile, giving extractors opportunities in other businesses outside of CBD and hemp oil in case the future market takes a different direction. 

Blockchain and Crypto in the Hemp Industry

The major strides in the hemp and cannabis industry were not without their pain points. Setting a standard of transparency, quality assurance and maintenance, payment processing and storage, and general regulatory uncertainty have overwhelmed CBD entrepreneurs for years. The blockchain is basically an indisputable distributed database at the core of what many people are calling a cryptocurrency revolution. Everything from publicly traded companies such as IBM to popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum is using blockchain to solve numerous issues. These problems aren’t just being solved for a few companies either, but thousands of emerging businesses. Combined with associated technologies like smart contracts (programming-based contracts) and cryptocurrency (digital cryptographic currency), blockchain can help the CBD industry solve its current concerns and navigate the uncertain path ahead.

From processing the payment and identity confirmation to monitoring the entire supply chain from seed to end-product, CBD businesses have several entry points for blockchain technology. As the blockchain and cannabis companies evolve together, there will be an even deeper collaboration and mingling between the technological advantages, respective entrepreneurial talents, and political activism of each die-hard community.

Conclusion

Just like in other industries, the CBD and hemp industry are continuously transforming in coexistence with new technologies. Technological advancements from innovation-driven farming practices, using artificial intelligence, and other forms of technology will continue to influence the CBD industry with fundamental new approaches to production and distribution. Moreover, technology will also help companies to improve safety, reduce costs, and satisfy customers.



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