Smoking pot is popular, no question, but not everyone wants to light up and inhale to experience the benefits of the potent cannabis flower.
When it comes to recreational cannabis and medical cannabis, the alternatives for a pleasant and relaxing buzz come in many forms. Dose derivatives in edibles such as gummies, caramels, and peanut butter cups are portable and tasty when you need a lift.
But just look beyond the candy. There’s a growing number of cannabis-curious people who want to eat enticing new foods to improve their health. They represent a larger target demographic that includes workout enthusiasts, soccer moms, and people who just wouldn’t consider smoking or vaping.
They’re not your typical weed-and-munchies crowd.
In fact, they’re not interested in getting high. They’re looking at cannabis nutrition with micro-doses infused into wholesome and delicious all-natural foods and beverages—without added sugar!—to strengthen immunity, alleviate pain, treat insomnia and more. Items such as teas, crackers, honey, energy bars, and keto-friendly baked goods are on the radar. Many are health-conscious foodies, eager to try the latest health edibles on the market. The Specialty Foods Association says cannabis is one of the top food trends gaining momentum.
Medical Cannabis as Superfood Nutrition
The once-considered dangerous drug has become a superfood alongside antioxidant-rich blueberries and pomegranate seeds—and there’s good science behind the image makeover.
Studies show that there are more than 100 different cannabinoids and active compounds in the plant. Most of the new infused edibles contain one or both primary cannabinoids that have proven health benefits: cannabidiol (CBD) and tetra-hydrocannabinol (THC). THC is responsible for the buzz, while CBD-only products are non-psychoactive and legal in all 50 states.
Medical Cannabis for Feel-good Skincare and Mindfulness
Cannabis companies are embracing the flower for its holistic capability as feel-good nutrition for body, mind, and soul. With legalization of marijuana in Canada this October, the wellness market is wide open for innovation and new product.
Green Growth Brands in Columbus, Ohio, for one, has a niche Xanthic Hi-dration Drink that delivers anti-inflammatory muscle recovery (and a flavorful, quality experience) and a proprietary powder that can be used in baking and cooking or added to drinks. It dissolves instantly in water and works to replenish electrolytes and boost energy.
The numbers say it all: estimates suggest that 70% of dispensary sales today come from cannabis flower sales and 30% come from cannabis-infused products. Future predictions say those stats will reverse, with 30% of dispensary sales from cannabis flower sales and 70% from cannabis-infused products.
Consumption of edibles and non-cannabis flower sales are on the rise. In Colorado alone, the sale of marijuana-infused edibles has jumped 35% since January.
Consumers in California purchased $180 million worth of cannabis-infused products in 2017, a total of 10% of the state’s total marijuana sales. By February 2018, that rose to 18% of total marijuana sales.
Add to those numbers is big-picture opportunity. The global cannabis-infused market rate is expected to grow by more than 25% from 2018-2022.
Delish! Edibles are clearly the next big thing for cannabis entrepreneurs.