The cannabis industry continues to explode in popularity across the United States, with more and more states, like New York, legalizing the plant in one form or another. With laws around the country loosening, a wide variety of products are hitting the market that suggests cannabinoids, the compounds found in the cannabis plant, are being used in more ways than we previously thought possible. Now we’re seeing trends emerge in how cannabinoids are being used. Below is a list of five big trends in cannabinoids in 2021.
Move over beer and wine, there’s a new player on the market. 2019 began the advancement of cannabis-infused beverages for those who are seeking another alternative to smoking and a social alternative to alcohol consumption. The beverage trend isn’t expected to be just another fad - some estimate it will be a market worth over a billion dollars by 2023.
Cannabis-infused drinks are becoming popular enough that big corporate money is starting to filter into the beverage market. For example, Constellation Brands, which owns Corona, invested $4 billion into Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth for a 38% stake. Molson Coors is also partnering with another cannabis company to create a non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverage. Even major soft drink brands Coca Cola and Pepsi have expressed interest in getting into the cannabis beverage game. The two beverage giants are treading carefully, however, because cannabis remains federally illegal in the United States.
One of the biggest challenges currently facing the cannabis beverage market is taste. Many cannabis-infused drinks are simply not very palatable to the average user because the drinks taste like...well...cannabis. They’re very earthy and pungent, which might be okay for smoking and edibles, but not for a refreshing drink. Manufacturers are combating that raw taste with sugars and other strong flavors.
Yet even with the flavor problem, the cannabis beverage market is expected to continue its expansion into the foreseeable future with innovative new product introductions.
CBD remains as popular as ever, and is even gaining in popularity as new products and uses for the famous cannabinoid are being unveiled all the time. From gummies to tinctures, capsules and topical ointments, CBD is not going to slow down anytime soon. The US market for CBD is projected to generate over $20 billion by 2024, according to BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research.
The big draw for CBD oil is that it doesn’t have the same psychoactive effects of THC, but still retains many therapeutic uses. For example, CBD products like Lunchbox Alchemy, can be used to relieve anxiety, help with sleep, and pain management.
However, CBD is expanding beyond the use of humans. CBD for dogs and cats has emerged as a new trend. Evidence is beginning to emerge that CBD oil is effective at treating the pain and inflammation from osteoarthritis. Pets suffering from this painful condition showed a noticeable improvement in activity levels and overall well-being after being given CBD oil. Pets can also benefit from the compound’s anti-anxiety properties, giving anxious pets relief during stressful situations.
As we discover new uses for CBD oil, its popularity will continue to grow. This is one trend that’s not going away anytime soon.
Cannabinol, also known as CBN, is also beginning to gain a lot of attention. CBN is produced as a cannabis plant ages and THC begins to break down. CBN is the product of the THC molecules breaking down. The compound can also be produced in a lab by extracting THC from the cannabis plant and then breaking it down with heat.
CBN is another very common cannabinoid (right up there with THC) and has been studied for decades along with CBD. But CBN use is starting to rapidly increase as more and more people become aware of its benefits. Like CBD, cannabinol is a non-psychoactive compound, so it’s not going to get you high.
What is CBN used for? One of the lesser-known properties of this cannabinoid is that it’s antibacterial. In fact, some studies have shown that it’s effective against strains of the MRSA bacteria that are resistant to traditional antibiotics. CBN can also stimulate a user’s appetite. This makes it useful for those who struggle to eat, like cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
CBN has also been growing in popularity as a cannabinoid used for sleep formulations, however, the jury and science are still out on where the linkage to CBN and sleep comes from.
The most traditional way of consuming cannabis is by smoking the flower. But some people find the smoke too harsh and worry about the effect of the smoke on their lungs. This has resulted in an increasing interest in vaping.
In short, vaping is when cannabis concentrates are heated up to a certain temperature allowing for the vaporization of cannabinoids and terpenes. The vapor the user inhales is much smoother and easier on the lungs than smoking the flower. However, vaping benefits go far beyond just a smoother experience. Because vape pens often use concentrates, users can get the desired effect using less because the concentrate has a much higher level of THC. Vaping also allows for precise dosing, meaning the user is getting the same dose of THC with every hit, making it easier for users to manage their high.
People who still enjoy cannabis flower but are looking to avoid combustion may opt for a loose leaf vaporizer like the Firefly, a load-your-own premium vaporizer that allows users to get the full experience of flower in vapor format.
The popularity of vaping is likely to increase over the next few years because of benefits like portability, consistent dosing, and being easier on the lungs.
The market for skincare products has always been big. People are willing to spend big bucks on making their skin look younger, more vibrant, and free from wrinkles and other blemishes. There’s a large demand for skin care products that are infused with CBD oil.
CBD oil has known anti-inflammatory properties, making it a very effective treatment for a variety of skin conditions. Inflammation can be seen in certain types of acne, psoriasis, and eczema, all of which can be treated with CBD-infused skincare products. CBD is especially effective against acne because the compound fights many of the condition’s root causes. CBD prevents breakouts because it helps to moderate oil production in the sebaceous gland, helps with inflammation, and works to keep skin pores clean.
All this makes CBD a popular choice in skin products, especially since the traditional treatments for many skin conditions include harsh steroids that can have negative side-effects.
Is There A Pattern To These Trends?
The biggest trends in cannabinoids and how they’re used are mainly in the area of health and wellness. Whether it’s trying to stay healthy or treating existing conditions, people are using cannabinoids because these compounds can be very effective with few side-effects. This shows that cannabis is appealing to a much broader audience, and this appeal will likely continue to expand into 2021 and beyond.