Edibles Just Might Be The Future Of Cannabis
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November 2020 will be one of the most anxious months, in one of the most angst-ridden years, in recent memory. It began with a highly-charged U.S. presidential election. Meanwhile, health experts are already warning about a possible COVID-19 spike. And though Thanksgiving is known for large gatherings of friends and family, this year’s celebration will be scaled down and socially distanced.
For such a stress-filled month this year, it's only appropriate that we celebrate anything that gives us a little relief.
For the first time, the third Thursday in November—Nov. 19—will be designated as National Cannabis Gummie Day, a red-letter occasion to give particular attention and thanks to an increasingly popular form of cannabis consumption.
A playful and amusing calendar designation? Absolutely. But it is also a recognition of why this form of consumption is so popular now, and why analysts project gummies' popularity to expand even more given current consumer trends and possible product innovations.
Why gummies, why now?
Today, cannabis gummies are part of the booming infused-edibles space, which is expected to see legal retail sales exceed an astounding $21.5 billion in the next five years. The global CBD gummie market size alone is forecast to post a CAGR of 31.9 percent by 2025. The North American market is the largest one for cannabis edibles overall, and forecasters predict it to remain that way in the future.
According to BSDA, cannabis gummies command 84 percent of the cannabis candy market—the largest category by far within today’s edibles space, including baked goods, beverages, chocolate treats, and even lozenges. More consumers choose gummies as their preferred way to consume cannabis in light of different health issues every year. The consumption of cannabis gummies today has become particularly robust, given how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed so much of daily life, including cannabis use.
Reasons for gummies' popularity
The growing popularity of cannabis gummies is easy to understand when you look at just a few of the key reasons consumers use them.
They're small in size; big in results. Cannabis gummies fit in your hand or pocket as easily as they do in purses or backpacks, making them convenient to carry practically anywhere and discreet to consume. And because manufacturers make cannabis gummies in such precise dosages, they can deliver more consistent results and make it easier for consumers who may not be experienced in smoking cannabis. Plus, they have far less sugar than other edible forms, such as baked goods and chocolate.
They don’t harm the lungs. Unlike smoking and vaping, consuming cannabis gummies doesn't present a health risk to the lungs because they utilize the digestive system. This is an especially important aspect of their use in the wake of last year’s deadly vaping pandemic and today’s current COVID-19 respiratory concerns.
Versatile products with versatile effects If consumers want strong, long-lasting effects, there’s a traditional cannabis gummie for that. If they’re looking for a more fast-acting gummie with a quick onset and offset more akin to inhalation methods, there’s a gummie for that, too. And there are a multitude of new ratio gummies for consumers looking to fine-tune the ways they might address specific health issues in their lives as they turn to CBD for pain relief, help with sleep, or efforts to reduce anxiety. And all of this comes at a time when the popularity of cannabis gummies is driving new flavors and ingredients to market, presenting an ever-widening array of healthy consumption options, many consist of all-natural, vegan, and gluten-free ingredients.
And though no one really foresees a day when a holiday for fruit-flavored cannabis gummies will rival the popularity of one that includes a finely roasted turkey and all the servings, there’s still reason to think the importance of the new National Cannabis Gummie Day might grow as more Americans turn to these edibles for a host of reasons.
How cannabis gummies will continue to evolve
There's little reason to think the current upward consumer trends on cannabis gummies will change, especially as U.S. legalization of adult-use and medical cannabis will inevitably expand to more states and markets. That market expansion could bring innovative changes to cannabis gummies soon. Many of those changes might come from production advances gained by new scientific and technical applications. For example:
Minor cannabinoids Researchers are experimenting in earnest with many cannabinoids, other than THC and CBD. Already, many of these compounds show potential for benefits ranging from addressing bacterial infections (CBN, cannabinol); cancers and glaucoma (CBG, cannabigerol); osteoarthritis and neurological diseases (CBD, cannabichromene); seizures and nausea (CBD-V, cannabidivarin); and Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, PTSD and anxiety (THC-V, tetrahydrocannabivarin). As we learn more about these cannabinoids, expect to see them utilized by many consumption forms, including edible gummies.
Nutraceuticals are already popular additions to many different kinds of cannabis gummies, particularly CBD-focused. Even before the current pandemic and its health considerations, these health supplements were gaining in popularity, and their use in cannabis gummies of any kind probably will advance along with research – as well as the duration of the ongoing global health crisis presented by COVID-19.
Flavor varieties will undoubtedly grow as cannabis makers explore new technologies and cooking methodologies. Right now, most cannabis gummies are marked by bold fruit flavors, which are perfect for masking much of the unpleasant taste that can come from the cannabis plant. New production advances, though, could change that and bring entirely new flavor alternatives.
Aside from these scientific innovations and other R & D already being conducted today, tomorrow's cannabis gummies will also be affected by the trends we see in place today.
Consumers are learning more about ratios. This will make a difference for cannabis users in the future, especially those who turn to edibles such as gummies for help with specific health issues or as part of medical-program protocols.
Researchers are focusing more on terpenes and how they can be uniquely responsible for the positive health outcomes and effects associated with the entourage effect of cannabis use.
Consumers want a range of onset options because of the versatility of cannabis gummies. Many of the biggest fans of cannabis gummies use them because of the robust, long-lasting 11-hydroxy-THC effects offered by traditional gummies. Others, though, want to consume cannabis gummies that will provide faster onset and offset times and more similar in effect to what delta-9-THC provides through smoking or vaping.
COVID-19 has changed many aspects of cannabis consumption, and gummies offer an adaptability to the New Normal that other forms of consumption do not. More people are working from home because of the pandemic, and a great many cannabis users today are avoiding the kinds of social gatherings where they may have smoked or vaped before. Regardless, cannabis gummies provide consumers with an enjoyable experience that is discreet as it is reliable.
How we're celebrating
To mark the first-ever holiday for cannabis gummies, Wana Brands and Three Wells are conducting a lighthearted video contest for consumers. Contestants can submit short Instagram videos of themselves enjoying various aspects of their lives, thanks to their use of cannabis gummies. It's a good-natured way to celebrate the benefits of using cannabis gummies, but it’s also an effective way to raise awareness about it for new users, a segment destined to grow as legalization and social acceptance expand.
And as more people discover how cannabis gummies can help them enhance their lives and live healthier and happier, that’s really something to give thanks for. And now we have a holiday to do so.