U.S. sales of CBD and hemp oil products containing CBD reached $238 million in 2018, up 57% from 2017, according to a new study by New Hope Network’s Nutrition Business Journal, Boulder, Colo.

Nutrition Business Journal sought to understand what consumers know now and what they remain confused about around hemp and CBD. The study found that while 47% of U.S. consumers are familiar with CBD, a significant percentage (38%) are entirely unfamiliar with the ingredient, and many of those who do know about CBD are highly likely to be confused or unaware of the science or legality behind it. Of those consumers who are familiar with CBD, 57% have considered purchasing, 47% have actively researched the ingredient and 30% have made a purchase.

“Reaching and reassuring consumers is crucial for CBD manufacturers. Even consumers who are unsure about the science or legal standing of the ingredient show high purchase intent, suggesting growth could be astronomical for brands that deliver on education,” says Claire Morton, senior industry analyst for Nutrition Business Journal.

A full 65% of natural and organic product manufacturers surveyed expect to launch new hemp-derived CBD products in the next 1-2 years. Of those manufacturers, 29% currently sell CBD products while 71% do not. About one-quarter (27%) were found solely to market and sell CBD products, while the majority (73%) are expanding their offerings to include CBD products.

“As demand for products with CBD grows, all stakeholders are important in building a responsible and transparent marketplace. We can’t eliminate risk in any category, especially not this one, but reducing that risk is possible. By taking a broad look at all of the factors impacting the industry, the 2019 Hemp & CBD Guide gives companies what they need to know as they go forward, especially those just stepping in now,” says Rick Polito, editor-in-chief of Nutrition Business Journal.

The 2019 Hemp & CBD Guide surveyed more than 2,700 respondents representing the general population, combined with consumer concept testing to predict market performance of hemp and CBD products. The guide takes a close look at obstacles and opportunities by sales channel and provides updates and clarifications on legal and regulatory risks.