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Many in the cannabis industry consider that the “killer app” for cannabis and CBD brands is the well-known American sleep crisis. Simply put, Americans are increasingly at risk from lack of sleep. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, forty percent or more of Americans do not get enough sleep — defined as less than seven hours of sleep nightly — and the problem is worse among people of color.

This sleep insufficiency is a major problem. Medical experts agree it can lead to long-term health issues: poor mental health, diabetes, even cardiovascular disease. The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that 20 to 30 million Americans suffer every year from intermittent sleep problems.

One of the more interesting means of discerning this problem is by looking at Google activity by time of day. The word “insomnia” was searched more than ever before in 2020, and most often late at night, according to researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Late night web surfing may be good for e-commerce, but it can certainly be detrimental to Americans’ sleep habits.

This is why the sleep marketplace represents a huge growth opportunity for cannabis, and works in tandem with the missions of new entrepreneurs who would like to contribute to the public good. Prescriptions for sleep medications are at an all-time high according to the largest pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts — however many consumers, Gen Zers in particular, are often reluctant to use pharmaceutical-based sleep aids and more willing to adopt products they view as natural or non-addictive.

What’s more, the pandemic has raised the country’s levels of stress and anxiety, which are allied to the sleep problem. According to a recent survey by the American Psychological Association, 80% of Americans are reporting emotions with prolonged stress, and difficulty coping with the current zeitgeist. While it is well known that alcohol consumption has significantly increased over the past year, this is leading to employer concerns that remote workers will return to the workplace with substance abuse disorders.

So the market climate looks very promising for cannabis products that can connect with consumers’ needs to sleep more and stress less. Oils, topicals and gummies are the most popular forms of cannabis and cannabidiol products for treating these issues. Market Data Forecasts estimates that the sleep market will grow 5.9% annually from $34.9 billion in 2020 to an estimated $46.5 billion by 2025, making this a category that lets cannabis companies both do well and profit well.