The cannabis products people consume today look very different than the cannabis your grandfather, or even father, consumed.
As this industry grows to meet its multi-billion dollar consumer demand, companies are coming up with innovative products for getting their customers stoned.
Simply rolling up a joint or packing a bowl are no longer enough for consumers. According to many reports, demand for flower, the actual buds of plant matter, has dropped from 90% at the start of 2016 to 65% at the end of the same year.
A cannabis delivery service operating in California says 80% of their customers ordered flower when they first started the company in 2014. That percentage is down to about 50% now.
So, what products are customers and patients hyped about? Edibles and concentrates!
Why are concentrates and edibles gaining so much popularity now if they’ve been around since, ironically, the flower child era of the 1970s? There are a few reasons we should explore when trying to understand this industry trend.
Legalization is bringing a huge influx of money into the cannabis industry. Cannabis businesses now are able to invest more money into research & development, with wildly innovative products as an end result.
Consider all the types of concentrates: shatter, crumble, sugar, oil. Now, think of all the different ways they are extracted: CO2, hydrocarbons, propane, alcohol, butane, or solvent-free concentrates extracted by water and heat. That is a lot of product options.
Data shows that concentrates are slightly more popular for Medical marijuana patients than they are recreational consumers.
Why? Concentrates are highly potent, much more so than flower. This is likely a selling point for medical patients. Concentrates can also come in a variety of intake methods, from vaping to tinctures to pill capsules – better options for those looking for more lung-friendly ways to ingest.
Another likely contributing factor? Concentrates are intimidating. Many buyers on the recreational market are new to cannabis and may be turned off by their potency.
When it comes to edibles, it is truly a great time to be alive.
The selection goes far beyond the brownies and cookies of previous stoner generations. Today we have cannabis-infused cold brew coffee, olive oil, truffles, mints, beef jerky, hot pockets, chicken wings.
Name a food and I bet there’s a company who infuses it with cannabis…or is thinking about it.
The influx of new money and product innovations have been especially good to the edibles market. Not so long ago, nearly every type of edible in a dispensary was a sugary candy. Now a bottle of infused olive oil can mean getting your doses in sauteed vegetables or eating an infused granola bar for the perfect hike high.
Edibles are another great option for those who might want a non-smoking ingestion method, namely medical patients. Someone trying to dull the pain during chemotherapy for lung cancer might not be down to smoke cannabis, but may be more open to trying a cannabis-infused beverage.