The Consumer Potential of CBD, And Why It’s Here to Stay
The billion-dollar cannabis industry is reaching new heights. While stigma and restrictions still exist, these haven’t slowed the industry’s global growth, and it’s projected at almost $32 billion by 2022.
At the core of it is a growing appreciation and understanding for cannabidiol, or CBD—a non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis and hemp plants. Today’s infographic from The Green Organic Dutchman wraps up our “Soil to Sale” series, by explaining CBD’s therapeutic benefits and why it’s taking the world by storm.
CBD: A Medical Marvel
CBD is one of two major cannabinoids that naturally occur in cannabis. It has a long history of being used medicinally, but it fell out of favor due to legal issues.
Today, it’s making a comeback. Medical cannabis relies on CBD for its therapeutic properties, and the personal anecdotes of patients are being increasingly backed by science. There are currently over 300 active and completed clinical trials concerning CBD, and it’s proven to help with a range of health issues, from simple to complex:
- Chronic pain
- Inflammation and arthritis
- Anxiety and depression
- Nausea or appetite loss
- Multiple sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
- Epilepsy and seizures
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the first prescription CBD drug, Epidiolex, for its efficacy in reducing epilepsy seizures.
CBD is Going Global
It’s no wonder that over 20 countries have established medical cannabis markets, with more following suit. But there’s a catch—it can be legal to buy CBD-based products, but not cannabis. Ever-changing laws further complicate the legal status of CBD worldwide.
Canada is still one of only two countries to legalize cannabis on a federal level. It also has the resources to become a research leader, and expand product offerings based on changing consumer needs. Meanwhile, cannabis is still highly restricted in the United States, yet 33 states allow medical cannabis and/or the purchase of CBD products.
Many potential patients and consumers are wary to try cannabis, because they’re worried about getting “high”. With CBD-based products, that risk is significantly reduced, and it’s opening up all sorts of doors.
What Do Consumers Want?
Many consumers are drawn to CBD-based products for its therapeutic applications. In a survey of 4,000 Americans, here’s how many found CBD quite effective for different uses:
- 63%: Reducing stress or anxiety
- 52%: For better sleep
- 38%: Joint pain
- 24%: For fun or recreation
Consumers are also starting to explore CBD-based products for more than medication, such as sports recovery, and skincare and beauty. This new wellness segment is creating opportunities for alternative delivery formats—in the same survey, consumers reported using edibles, tinctures, vapes, and topicals to consume CBD the most.
It’s clear that CBD’s multiple applications will propel the market forward. Based on one estimate by Cowen & Co., CBD retail sales could shoot up from a baseline of $600 million to $16 billion by 2025. The most growth will be seen in the health and wellness category, like nutraceuticals (worth $6.4B) and topicals (worth $4B).
The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (TGOD) is a global leading organic cannabis brand, with an eye on CBD’s benefits and future market potential for years to come.
We want to remain on the cutting edge of innovation and establish the foundation for future … novel TGOD-branded cannabinoid products, from beverages and edibles, to topicals and beyond.
—Drew Campbell, Senior Director of Marketing at TGOD
The 26-Year History of ETFs, in One Infographic
This graphic timeline highlights how the exchange-traded fund (ETF) came into existence, as well as the 26-year history of ETFs as an investment vehicle.
The 26-Year History of ETFs, in One Infographic
In recent decades, there have been many breakthrough technologies that have re-shaped the nature of entire industries.
In finance, perhaps the most notable disruption has come from the rise of the exchange-traded fund (ETF) — an investment vehicle that has quadrupled in size over the last decade alone. But how did the ETF originate, and how has its use evolved through to today?
Today’s infographic comes to us from iShares by BlackRock, and it shows how the ETF has gone from an obscure index tracking tool to becoming a mainstream investing vehicle that encompasses trillions of dollars of assets around the world.
The Origin and History of ETFs
ETFs emerged out of the index investing phenomenon in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and there are two early examples that can be referenced as a starting point:
- Index Participation Shares – 1989
This initial attempt to create an ETF was set to track the S&P 500, and garnered significant investor interest. However, it was ruled to work like a futures contract according to a federal court in Chicago, so it never made it to the exchange.
- Toronto 35 Index Participation Units – 1990
These were a warehouse, receipt-based instrument that tracked Canada’s major index, the TSE-35. They allowed investors to participate in the performance in the index, without owning individual shares of stocks in the index.
Since these pioneering ETF endeavors, the investment vehicle has caught on in popularity — and it is now clear that ETFs provide a range of important benefits to investors, such as: low costs, liquidity, diversification, tax efficiency, flexibility, accessibility, and transparency.
Key Milestones in U.S. ETF History:
- 1993 – The First ETF launches in the U.S., tracking the S&P 500
- 1998 – Sector ETFs debut, tracking individual S&P 500 sectors
- 2004 – The first U.S.-listed commodity ETF is formed, offering exposure to gold bullion
- 2008 – Actively-managed ETFs get the green light from the SEC
- 2010 – Term-maturity ETFs debut, holding bonds that all mature in same year
- 2015 – First factor-based bond ETFs are launched
- 2019 – U.S.-listed ETFs hit $4 trillion in AUM, and global bond ETF AUM crosses $1 trillion
How ETFs are Used Today
Today, the U.S. ETF industry has $4.04 trillion of assets under management (AUM), covering a wide spectrum of assets including equities, bonds, alternatives, and money markets.
ETFs are now the go-to index vehicle for 78% of institutional investors, according to a study by Greenwich Associates. Here are the 10 most popular applications for ETFs based on the same data:
|Tactical adjustments||72%||Over- or underweight certain styles, regions, or countries on the basis of short term views.|
|Core allocation||68%||Build a long-term strategic holding in a portfolio.|
|Rebalancing||60%||Manage portfolio risk in between rebalancing cycles.|
|Portfolio completion||57%||Fill in gaps in a strategic asset allocation.|
|International diversification||56%||Gain efficient access to foreign markets.|
|Liquidity management||54%||Maintain exposure in a liquid investment vehicle to meet cash flow needs.|
|Transition management||44%||Facilitate manager transitions with ETFs.|
|Risk management||42%||Mitigate undesired portfolio risk and hedge asset allocation decisions.|
|Interim beta||37%||Maintain market exposure while refining a long-term view.|
|Cash equitization||37%||Put long-term cash positions to work with ETFs to minimize cash drag.|
In the 26 years since the introduction of ETFs, they have grown and evolved to cover almost every aspect of the market. The next stage of growth for the ETF will be driven by investors finding even more uses for these versatile tools.
Why Telcos Must Get in the Game for the Rise of Esports
Telcos failed to capitalize on the ‘Netflix’ opportunity — however, the birth of a new multi-billion dollar industry (esports) could change the game.
Why Telcos Must Get in the Game for the Rise of Esports
Over the last century, the world’s telecommunications companies have built out the complex infrastructure that makes the information age possible.
Hundreds of billions of dollars has been invested into phone lines, submarine cables, wireless towers, and fiber optics to connect the world. And with 5G innovations in the pipeline, the world has never been able to communicate faster and more effectively.
Despite this impressive accomplishment, telcos find themselves in an awkward situation: their revenue growth is stagnating and margins continue to shrink, all while companies like Netflix are monetizing internet bandwidth around the world.
Today’s infographic is from Swarmio Media, and it highlights challenges faced by telcos — and how they can potentially capitalize on the emergence of esports and a massive gaming market.
A Missed Opportunity
Habits around content consumption can change abruptly, and fast-moving technology companies have been able to capitalize on these changes.
That’s why, in recent years, there’s been a boom in over-the-top (OTT) media services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Skype, etc.) that have found effective ways to operate on top of the telco infrastructure, streaming content or providing VoIP services to end consumers.
|Television||Voice & Messaging||Audio|
|Example OTT services||- Netflix|
- Amazon Prime
- Apple Music
- Internet Radio
|Global market size (2018)||$68.7 billion||$26.7 billion||$8.9 billion|
|Growth rate (2017-2018):||28%||15%||33%|
Although telcos arguably missed the boat on video streaming, voice, and messaging, there is now an emerging segment that could help fill the gap.
The rising popularity of esports could be the multi-billion dollar industry that provides telcos a much-needed growth area to better monetize their infrastructure.
The Esports Boom
In recent years, the growth in professional gaming has been explosive.
Already worth over $1 billion, the market is projected by experts to triple by 2025. Esports is regularly packing stadiums with avid fans, spawning new professional teams, and selling massive sponsorship deals.
This boom in esports – and in online multiplayer gaming in general — has created a commercial audience of digital natives that is both young and affluent. It’s a growing segment that sees gaming as a lifestyle, and they see professional esports gamers and personalities as their heroes.
The Need For Speed
Any multiplayer gamer will tell you that there is one surefire way to ruin the gaming experience: high latencies (or as they call it, “lag”). This is an area telecoms are uniquely positioned to help with, especially with the advent of edge computing technology and 5G.
When it comes to online gaming, a sophisticated edge computing system will be able to detect where each player is located, while creating a server in an optimal location that provides all the players with the same high bandwidth, low latency, and experience.
By leveraging technology that enables edge computing at scale, forward-looking telcos can take gamers to where they want to go – and with plenty of value-adds.
Living on the Edge
To compete against growing outside threats like Netflix and Google, telcos must make bold investments in enabling technologies that bring edge computing to their customers at scale.
Beyond acting as the gatekeeper to lightning fast connections, telcos can take advantage of esports and gaming by building internal online communities, delivering tailored esports content, and enabling and promoting esports tournaments.
If done right, this can help telcos engage with digital natives, create meaningful experiences, win lifelong customers and advocates, and maximize average revenue per user (ARPU).
For many of the 2.5 billion gamers globally, there is little reason to be loyal to a telco – until now.
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