Updated on January 30, 2019.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
As the stigma surrounding cannabis gradually begins to erode, innovation in cannabis-based products â as well as the marijuana industry as a whole â is progressing at an impressive pace. These are just some of the more unique products and industry trends that have recently emerged.
Cannabis has long been recognized as an effective, healthy alternative to many types of pharmaceuticals that can produce severe side effects. People throughout states where cannabis is legal are fully embracing the potential of the plant as part of an overall health and wellness program. Here are a few examples:
Cannabis Health Food â When you think of cannabis-based food products, cookies and brownies might come to mind first. But entrepreneurs are using cannabis in a wide range of edibles that not only taste great, but are extremely healthy as well. One company in Colorado, Simply Pure, offers many different edibles that are free of sugar and gluten. A California company, Auntie Dolores, is also focusing on providing medical cannabis users with tasty ways to get their daily dose of medication.
Cannabis-Based Coconut Oil â Coconut oil infused with cannabis can be taken on its own or baked into treats such as cookies and even biscuits.
Juicing â Some people are finding significant benefits from juicing fresh cannabis into beverages. They gain the nutritional benefits of the plant without having to deal with any of its psychoactive effects.
Hemp Seeds â Many experts consider hemp a âsuper food,â and hemp seeds are growing in popularity as a result. Just one ounce of hemp seeds provides 75 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin E and 33 percent of a personâs daily recommended zinc intake. These incredible seeds are also high in beneficial antioxidants as well as omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. When pressed into an oil, hemp seeds make a delicious salad dressing.
Cannabis Cookbooks â More and more gourmets are publishing cannabis cookbooks that provide simple recipes that use all of the parts of the cannabis plant. These recipes run the gamut of food choices, including smoothies, curries, pesto and many, many others.
Cannabis Biscuits â The company Euphoria recently introduced cannabis-based biscuits that contain cannabis seeds and leaves. It also makes cannabis lollipops.
Drinkable Powders â Colorado-based Aceso â named after the Greek goddess of healing â offers single-serve containers filled with cannabis-based powder that can be mixed with water to help calm anxiety and soothe pain. In addition to cannabis, the products contain lavender, passionflower and turmeric, an anti-inflammatory.
Cannabis-Based Spreads â Clever bakers are finding ways to make cannabis butter, which can be used both as a spread as well as a cooking ingredient. It is made using ground-up marijuana that is then combined with coconut oil and cooked in a slow cooker. After a certain amount of time, the THC in the marijuana is released into the oil, creating the butter. There is also a marijuana-based spread that is designed to mimic the taste of Nutella, the extremely popular chocolate-hazelnut product.
Other non-food products include a medical delivery pen that helps patients ensure they are safely administering their cannabis doses. The pen is a vaporizer that provides a consistent dosage through airflow, time and temperature controls to reduce pain, improve relaxation and help patients improve the quality of their sleep.
There is also a cannabis tin called the Cannasueur One that keeps marijuana products fresh for a longer period of time thanks to a small humidifier. This helps keep weed at the proper temperature and moisture level so it doesnât become too dry to use.
Marijuana Industry Trends
As more states legalize marijuana, the industry is undergoing rapid changes to boost efficiency in cultivation and distribution of the plant.
One of the most important trends in the marijuana industry involves taking steps to help ensure the safety of pot that has been legally cultivated. The industry was recently rocked by news that cannabis plants and products in Colorado contained dangerously high pesticide levels. As a result, the state took comprehensive action to increase safety testing as well as banning certain dangerous chemicals. But companies stepped up as well, identifying potentially contaminated products and pulling them from store shelves before they could make consumers ill.
Thanks to increased regulation and the conscientiousness of growers and distributors, cannabis in Colorado is safer than itâs ever been.
Marijuana Technological Trends
As the industry grows, so too will the level of sophistication when it comes to ways that businesses will distribute their cannabis-based products. These are some of the innovations that are already taking shape:
Customer Connections â Cannabis distributors are turning to social media to not only understand the needs of their customers, but also to anticipate those needs. Companies are using sites such as Facebook and Instagram as ways to build support and strengthen their brands, as well as vehicles to gauge interest in new products.Customers in states where pot is legal can use the Internet to shop for deals, rate products on the market or even start their own cannabis-based businesses.
Sales and Usage Tracking â Technology is beginning to have an effect on every phase of the sales experience. For example, customers can use apps on their phones to share their buying experience, give their opinions on the different strains of marijuana they try, and much more. While this might seem a little far-fetched at this time, some can even envision a day where weed is delivered via drones.
Production and Manufacturing Innovations â Production technology is advancing at a rapid pace in the cannabis industry, including the use of robotics and other automation. Greenhouse technology is also playing an increasingly larger role in manufacturing as companies look to lower energy costs and increase efficiency.
Not only is the tide turning in the acceptance of marijuana for medical purposes, but it is also starting to turn in favor of recreational use as well. People are slowly starting to see just how beneficial cannabis can be, and savvy entrepreneurs are taking advantage. You can expect continued innovation in products and technologies as this acceptance grows. Browse marijuana dispensaries near you to check out the latest products today!