Hemp is gaining popularity in india & here’s why retailers need to stock hemp-based products

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Hemp, derived from the cannabis plant species, is witnessing a gradual perception change among Indians. While hemp cultivation has a long history in India, there is a growing enthusiasm to explore the diverse potential of this plant, ranging from its fiber and seeds, to its therapeutic properties.

Distinguishing hemp from marijuana is crucial as both fall under the broad classification of the cannabis plant. The key distinction lies in the concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive compound recognized in cannabis. Hemp plants contain minimal levels of THC (0.3% or less), while marijuana plants have higher concentrations of this compound. This differentiation underscores the industrial uses and versatility that make hemp a valuable resource.

The Benefits

Hemp has abundant protein, essential fatty acids, and nutrient content that have caught the attention of enthusiasts. The compound has environmentally sustainable cultivation process, requiring minimal pesticides and water. Additionally, heightened awareness about hemp’s therapeutic benefits, including pain relief and anxiety reduction, has amplified the interest of the audience in this category.

Flourishing Hemp Market in India

India has witnessed a remarkable expansion in the hemp market over the past five years. According to research, the global industrial hemp market reached USD 4.74 billion in 2022, with a CAGR of 17.1% from 2023- 2030.

India stands out as a thriving hub for this industry, experiencing substantial advancements and opportunities within the flourishing hemp industry. As consumers become more aware of the benefits of plant-based products, including their nutritional value, reduced environmental impact, and cruelty-free nature, the demand is expected to grow exponentially.

From Niche to Mainstream

Consumer interest in hemp has witnessed a significant surge.  Individuals are increasingly prioritizing and shifting towards plant-based alternatives, ranging from skincare to dietary supplements. The nutritional value of hemp has particularly sparked interest within the food and beverage industry. It leads to higher demand for hemp-based products like hemp seeds and hemp protein powders.

There are several key factors that have come into play for mass-usage of hemp and hemp based products.

1.     Rising awareness about the health benefits of hemp and dispersing misconceptions surrounding its association with marijuana. Educating the public about this versatile plant will foster greater acceptance and understanding of hemp and hemp based products.

2.     Fostering development, research, and hemp cultivation will attract more investors and entrepreneurs,  encourage their active participation in the market

3.     The support and collaboration from the government are vital for facilitating the growth and sustainability of the hemp industry.

As the market matures, a wider range of hemp-based products can enter the market, catering to diverse consumer preferences and dietary needs. Also, the penetration of e-commerce platforms and the availability of these products in mainstream retail outlets contribute to increased accessibility and mass usage.

Innovation: The Way Forward

Hemp’s popularity is not just growing in India, but it has also brought forth a wave of new and inventive products derived from this versatile plant. Innovative uses of hemp have emerged across various sectors, showcasing its diverse applications and benefits.

In the pet care sector, hemp has made significant stride, capturing the attention of pet owners, who are seeking natural and holistic solutions. Products such as calming balms, supplements, and hemp oil have gained popularity due to their potential health benefits for pets.

Another area of growing interest lies in the therapeutic application of hemp. Products such as hemp oil and capsules are being explored for their potential medicinal properties to alleviate conditions such as epilepsy and chronic pain.

While medical cannabis is subject to regulation, hemp’s therapeutic benefits hold immense potential, for its inclusion in the healthcare industry. Hemp’s journey in the healthcare realm showcases the possibility for integrating natural alternatives into medical practices.

In India, the market for hemp and plant-based products is expanding steadily and gaining more and more interest from buyers, business owners, and investors. Hemp has been positioned as a competitive alternative in several businesses due to its adaptability, potential health advantages, and sustainable qualities.

The country needs to concentrate on developing a supportive legislative environment, increasing public awareness, encouraging research and development, improving market accessibility, and encouraging cooperation among stakeholders, to go from a niche market to the mainstream.

Hemp has the potential to play a significant role in Indian consumer market, providing a healthy and sustainable substitute for traditional products with out-and-out efforts and by creating supportive environment.