The Rise of CBD Vaping: Market Insights and Legal Status

While the trend of smoking conventional cigarettes has reduced significantly in the past couple of years, a similar increase in vaping has been observed worldwide, specifically with the rise of vape shop. A recent study published in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence suggested that approximately one-third of smokers in their 30s shifted to vaping as soon as e-cigarettes became popular. 

The 2022 Office for National Statistics report reveals that around 4.5 million people vape in the UK alone. That is a 3.5% growth compared to 2.8% in 2021. Also, 3.7% of youngsters between 11 and 18 years old vape regularly. 

Although vaping vs smoking is a continuous debate, people addicted to nicotine or tobacco have found a much better alternative to smoking in the form of vapes or nicotine gum, which can easily be purchased at any vape store. The increasing popularity of vapes has also become a new fashion trend, with people vaping zero-nicotine e-liquids. 

The effects of e-cigarettes on health have been well-researched, but the impacts of CBD vaping have not been documented significantly. One of the several primary components of an e-liquid also includes CBD, a chemical found in marijuana, which people use as a medicine to control anxiety and other mental issues.

What Is CBD? Everything You Need to Know

CBD is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in hemp plants or cannabis sativa. It is commonly available as CBD oil, CBD disposables, CBD vape juice extracted from plants and combined with carrier oils such as olive oil, hemp, or sunflower oil. The final product is either consumed directly, used in cooking, or applied to the skin.

It is associated with several health benefits, including treating anxiety, insomnia, epilepsy, acne, depression, arthritis and much more. CBD is not addictive and cannot cause intoxication due to its non-psychoactive properties. CBD itself does not contain delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but most of the products in the market contain up to 0.3% of THC.

People who smoke marijuana benefit from cannabinoids and not because of marijuana itself. However, their habit is developed as a result of the psychoactive properties of high THC in marijuana that make it addictive. Interestingly, users can get CBD flavours at any vape shop online.

The Buzz Behind Vaping CBD: What’s the Draw?

Vaping has been linked with certain potential health risks, but specifically, CBD vapes have become increasingly popular due to their rapid effects and the ability to enter the bloodstream faster. The method is also user-friendly, offering convenience for those who seek quick relief from pain and stress.

CBD Market Insights:

CBD oil and its usage in vapes have been a growing trend for the past few years. The Association of The Cannabinoid Industry shared CBD market insights in vape shop UK, whereby the market value increased from £314 million in 2019 to £690 million in 2022. This surprising growth rate passed 100% in 3 years. It also indicates that the CBD market will reach £1 billion by 2025.

The United States dominates the CBD product market, holding over 70% of the North American market share. The UK stands second to the USA in terms of the CBD consumer market. Even as supplements, CBD sales surpassed Vitamin B and C sales in the UK.

The Global Market Insights (GMI) shared a report featuring a market forecast from 2022 to 2028.

“The CBD market is expected to grow 21.7% during this period, whereas the 2028 value projection may reach $56,259.1 million. As of 2021, the Cannabinoid market stood at $12,818.6 million.”

Legal Status - Where Does CBD Stand Today?

CBD is legal in any vape store UK due to its tolerance and non-psychoactive properties. CBD oil is mostly considered highly safe for use, but when combined with other drugs, a prescription may be required. Also, CBD products can be purchased legally in the UK (as of 2024) if the amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive compound in cannabis) is below 1 milligram per container.

Furthermore, incorporating it into food and drinks requires a Novel Food Authorisation from the Food Standards Agency (FSA). This is because CBD was widely consumed in the UK in 1997. Obtaining this authorisation involves submitting safety data for FSA review, which costs over £50,000 and takes at least a year.

The current CBD laws in the UK need to be revised because they were created before the development of the CBD market. So, UK residents can expect a revision of these laws in the next five years.

Below is an overview of the UK CBD law:

  • CBD foods, oils, supplements & drinks

Legal Status: Novel Food
CBD foods require Novel Food Authorisation as of 13 February 2020.

  • CBD Cosmetics

Legal Status: Permitted
Cosmetic products require a THC limit and must follow cosmetic regulations.

  • CBD Vapes

Legal Status: Permitted
THC limit must be considered. Non-nicotine product regulations are applicable.

  • CBD Flowers

Legal Status: Under Consideration
A recent legal development paves the way for greater access to various CBD flowers.

Summing Up!

Although CBD itself is non-addictive and offers several health benefits, the debate about CBD consumption, either as vapours or through other edible sources, is still ongoing. Vaping has been associated with some health risks, but considering its rapid effects, people often vape CBD for faster relief. However, this concept is relatively new, and further research is still being conducted.