Miami Beach August 2019

The hype phase of hemp has arrived.

The USA CBD Expo showcased the exploding popularity of hemp – and especially CBD.

It was an extremely energetic and flashy affair. It was loud, colorful and – dare I say – sexy. Just like Miami Beach itself.

Exhibit Floor

Many jars of CBD gummies on a long table

There were over 700 exhibitors representing well over 1000 brands from the CBD world.

All segments of the industry were in attendance. Genetics labs, hemp farms, extractors, private labelers, retailers, CBD wholesalers, vape device manufacturers.

Also there were more mundane organizations like insurance companies and non-profit cannabis organizations.

However, the CBD vape and beverage “booths” were far from mundane.

Sexy CBD Flash

Stoked CBD Energy Drink with Dancers

The largest and craziest areas were sponsored by the vape and drink manufacturers. They brought the energy and excitement of Miami inside the convention center.

Break dancers, cheerleaders, bikini girls, loud music, free booze – all in celebration of CBD.

Who would think that the humble cash crop, hemp, could be so sexy?

Well, we are definitely in the craze/hype/fad phase of the CBD movement.

CBD Education

Speaker talking about CBD bioavailability

Of course there was a more serious side competing for the attention for the attendees.

For 3 solid days there were two tracks of speakers and panels discussing everything from the biology and science of hemp to branding and marketing of CBD.

The main stage was exactly in the center of the show floor.

The presenters had theirs mics turned up to 11 to be heard over the cacophony of the convention.

It was a fairly apt metaphor of where CBD is right now: real science and health benefits at the core, but surrounded by a lot of nonsense.

CBD: Fad or Here to Stay?

So all the buzz and excitement of CBD was in full display at this convention. It’s hard to imagine that this kind of hype can be maintained for too long.

In my opinion, CBD is a dietary supplement that has incredible potential to help people. That’s wonderful, but not very sexy.

The CBD fad phase will eventually wear off. This combined with upcoming FDA regulations will turn down the volume on the party. And I think future CBD conferences will be quite a bit different – perhaps less fun – but better.

John Astrab

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