Among first-time health and wellness users, edibles are the second most popular form of consumption — along with vapes — only after concentrates.
There are many ways to consume cannabis. Some like smoking dried flower they can roll in a joint or purchasing pre-rolled joints, while others prefer consuming edibles, whether sweet (donuts) or savory (meatloaf). Still, others prefer their cannabis through vapes, topicals, tinctures, or extracts. Are some forms of cannabis healthier than others?
A little less than one-half of all Canadian cannabis consumers use cannabis for health and remedy purposes representing a $4.3 billion Canadian market annually. In Canada alone, 511,000 report using cannabis as a remedy/treatment for weight management indicating a unique application of cannabis, according to Vividata’s National Cannabis Consumer Study 2019, Canada’s largest syndicated study of cannabis consumers.
With options that cater to a vast palate of cannabis consumers, some products are perceived to be healthier than others. Although across North America, the preference for dried flower dominates among users, new consumers are seeing the benefits of smoking alternatives, with the potential topicals market pegged to grow by five times in the coming year, appealing especially to seniors, women, and new users.
Among first-time health and wellness users, edibles are the second most popular form of consumption — along with vapes (26%) — only after concentrates (53%)! This taps into the big potential of cannabis in delivering a personalized patient experience. Barely under one-third of all Canadians (29%) who have medical conditions have a weight management problem, of whom 63% are women, and 37% are men. Health and wellness cannabis brands have the highest perceptions of positivity (29%) over cannabis products in any other category.
Health and wellness topicals are already a popular method of consuming cannabis for the medically inclined who do not want the cognitive high. Seniors aged 50+ years old are the most likely to use cannabis for weight management issues compared to other age groups. Whereas the different formats of cannabis edibles range from calorie-filled to low-calorie, there are some ingredients that constitute a healthier eating experience for consumers versus others.
Some observe that a lot of smokers transition into the edibles market. Combusting cannabis or smoking is not the healthiest thing for the lungs, so there will be a lot more movement towards the edibles market as the next generation of healthy cannabis products take to the shelves.
For reasons such as individualized tastes and health criteria, it will become more and more important for consumers to be able to understand dosage, potency and consistency in cannabis. The data also confirms that “quality” of cannabis remains the top influencer in selecting a product followed by its “form,” as more brands cater to the growing palate of health and wellness consumers.
The healthiest and least known fact about cannabis, however, is that nobody has died of a cannabis overdose, and likely no one will, unless they consumed 15,000 kgs of cannabis in under 15 minutes.