The cannabis industry has taken America by storm over the past two decades with significant advances in product variety and legal availability and an immense influx of state income from the taxation of recreational sales. Since Oregon blazed the trail of marijuana decriminalization in 1973, with California leading the way for medical sales and consumption in 1996 through proposition 215, cannabis use began making its’ way into the mainstream of American culture.
The difficulty of acquisition and complicated legal logistics left much to be desired in regards to research and education about the substance, even in regards to its medical application and effect. Within 20 years, over two dozen states have decriminalized the plant, with many opting to make it medically-legal. The recreationalization of cannabis in both Colorado and Washington have allowed for the state and relevant organizations such as Leafly and Weedmaps to observe consumer patterns within the cannabis market. There have also been significant advancements in scientific research regarding the plant and its’ psychoactive and healthful components, such as the commonly-known compounds THC and CBD. Following this revolution into the relatively uncharted waters of the regulated, legal cannabis industry, it begs one to question what will come next.
This is where Daniel Luebke, a representative for Heylo Cannabis comes in. Blunt Talks held their first event in Seattle, Washington just a single day prior to international cannabis day; the infamous 4/20. Daniel Luebke was one of four presenters on the schedule, presenting six educated predictions for the future of the consumerism in the medical and recreational cannabis industry and communities in Washington state over the next 18 months.
The terms indica, sativa and hybrid are generally used to describe the type of high that is activated through consumption. Though relevant to plant structure during growth, these terms are not necessarily being accurately depicted in terms of effects. As the cannabis plant undergoes genetic manipulation -adapting and evolving with the rest of the planet- our terminology will need to adapt and evolve as well.
People are likely to become more educated about the effects of plant content such as terpenoids and cannabinoids as resources for said information become more readily available. The normalization of cannabis offers potential to breed new vocabulary to define its many potential effects and benefits.
This refers to a heightened consumer demand for the highest listed percentage of THC. A common misconception when it comes to cannabis is that the highest percentage results in the highest effects, but this is not necessarily the case. There is more to marijuana than just THC, with other cannabinoids inherently inhibitive to the plant’s other psychoactive qualities and terpenes affecting more than just aromatic sensations. Additionally, difficulty regulating the potential variability and validity of lab test results calls to question the integrity of producers, processors, and retailers. As consumer education progresses, the market share of products with questionably high testing results may diminish. A transition such as this could be a push by the consumer, or directly by the labs themselves.
Following the “Potency Rush” with the purest concentrates from a clear oil to crystalline, consumers will be salivating for the next new thing to take the industry by storm. Currently leading the race is the wide variety of flavors offered by terpene extraction and concentration, from maintaining the integrity of a classic strain to creating a sensation all your own. And as previously mentioned, these terpenoids go beyond just flavor and smell, genuinely altering the psychoactive experience.
Important to maintain the integrity of the natural plant (AKA it’s natural terpene profile)
With educational material for the consumer becoming much more readily available, the desire for specific cannabinoids is on the rise. An excellent example is THCV. Tetrahydrocannabivarin, a homologue of tetrahydrocannabinol, known commonly as THC. This cannabinoid can be found most commonly in sativas, has been associated with appetite suppression and has a relatively high boiling point, meaning it requires more heat for vaporization than other cannabinoids. Most products on the shelves do not currently specify these compounds directly on their packaging. Keep in mind, you can request the test results for any retail cannabis product in Washington, meaning you have the power to tailor the CBC’s, CBN’s, CBG’s, CBT’s and CBL’s to your liking, no matter what’s listed on the baggie, box or jar!
From anxiety and depression to arthritis and even cancer, cannabis can be utilized for many medicative purposes. Beyond these miraculous benefits, it can also be used as a tool to heighten or suppress appetite, to regulate blood sugar levels and help ease aches and pains. As high doses can have adverse effects like paranoia and extreme drowsiness, low doses can be preferable for many people. The notion of needing to get zooted out of your mind is dated. Think of it like unwinding with a beer instead of going for the all-out kegstand. Even for those of us who are opposed to smoking, there are low-dose, no-fuss, non-carcinogenic consumption options such as capsules and candies. In Washington state edibles are regulated with maximum doses of 10 MG THC each, making it easy to start small and work your way up to the perfect dose.
A transition such as this may potentially begin on a more private scale from individual producers and processors or even retailers! Very few companies on the market have made a point of prioritizing a completely transparent consumption experience. We look forward to a world in which you can choose your product based on all applicable information, from pesticides and solvents used to exact terpene and cannabinoid content. Leafly offers a terpene “color wheel” to make it easier for the average consumer to understand potential flavors and effects. Every product will have a unique effect depending on the user. Nutritional facts on packaging would increase efficiency and predictability. Heylo Cannabis’ Daniel Luebke has a strong preference for the flavor and high he personally experiences from Heylo’s strain “Jack’s Girl.” Who knows, maybe it’ll be a winner for you too!