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It’s almost time to put 2020 to bed and, really, who isn’t ready for that? With a new year comes new possibilities. Here’s what we at Three Wells think will be the top 5 cannabis trends for 2021…
1. Cannabis gummies will continue to increase in popularity and sales
Whether they are used for health and wellness reasons or simply recreational enjoyment, cannabis gummies have never been more popular in the U.S. With the 2020 global pandemic leaving us all a little (or a lot) more on edge, cannabis gummies became even more popular this year. Pandemic anxiety and mounting concerns about vaping have also helped shift sales of cannabis products. With people stuck at home, home delivery of cannabis products surged in 2020. We at Three Wells don’t anticipate that changing, despite the anticipated end of the pandemic in 2021. From candy and chocolate to infused beverages, the cannabis edibles market is expected to quadruple to $4.1 billion by 2022.
Edibles are one of the most common ways of cannabis consumption, and they offer a very discreet delivery method – no smoke, no vapor and no devices necessary. With edibles like gummies, drops, chocolate confections and mints, it’s as easy as popping one in your mouth and enjoying.
Other than being highly discreet, another reason why edibles, especially gummies, are growing in popularity is that more and more mature adults are wary of smoking cannabis due to health issues or even the stigma that smoking may represent. When ingesting an edible you get the benefits of the cannabis without irritating your lungs or throat like you do with smoking.
2. With the incoming Biden administration, cannabis stocks will become more and more popular with investors
Investors are always trying to get in early on stocks that have great growth potential. And while the CBD and cannabis market isn’t necessarily a secret, the cannabis stocks are still in their infancy, making it an early opportunity for investment in a cannabis sub-sector that is brand-focused and growing quickly, according to a research report from ArcView.
At the end of 2018, Canada fully legalized cannabis, nationwide, for both medical and recreational use. With the incoming Biden administration, the U.S. is expected to follow suit with federal-level legalization, or at least formal decriminalization, sometime in the next four years, Yahoo Finance reports. Despite cannabis legalization residing at the state level, cannabis industry experts believe more states will hop on board if the federal government moves to legalize. In fact, five more U.S. states did just that, legalizing cannabis in November, raising the total to 15 states that have legalized recreational or adult-use cannabis.
In anticipation of more cannabis legalization, cannabis stocks as a whole have been on the rise since the U.S. election.
3. More doctors will support and prescribe cannabis use
Medical cannabis use is common in the United States and increasingly more socially acceptable. As more patients seek out and acquire medical cannabis, primary care physicians will be faced with a growing number of patients seeking information on medical cannabis. We think that alone could sway more doctors to become more educated on cannabis and support and prescribe its use.
Cannabis remains a Schedule 1 dangerous drug within the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which basically means that it is highly addictive and doesn’t possess any healing properties. However, there is a growing body of evidence showing that cannabis can help patients treat a variety of health conditions, including migraines, anxiety, epilepsy, insomnia, lower back pain and acid reflux.
Even without congressional assistance, the Biden administration will have the authority to initiate the process of getting cannabis rescheduled on the CSA. They have already signaled their support of more wide-spread legalization. What does that mean? Downgrading the cannabis plant classification would give pharmaceutical companies more freedom to develop and market cannabis-based drugs, making it more likely that doctors will begin to believe in and prescribe cannabis to treat a variety of medical conditions.
4. There will be new products with new and better compounds
Most of the attention on cannabis today focuses on CBD, Hemp CBD or THC. While these are important compounds there are other compounds, like those listed below, in the cannabis plant that are proving to be incredibly beneficial. By mid-2021 we will begin to see a whole new range of products using these powerful compounds to naturally improve our mental and physical well being.
CBG – Also known as Cannabigerol and the “Mother of All Cannabinoids,” CBG is the compound that THC and CBD originate from, and it has very wide-ranging health benefits. However, it forms into either THC or CBD when it is exposed to sunlight. It’s likely that many CBD supplements will be infused with this cannabinoid in the future, and more research is likely to be done on the potential benefits of this compound.
THCA – While THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) does not have psychoactive effects unless heat converts it into THC, scientists are now learning that it does have health benefits of its own. There’s likely to be more attention paid to this compound in the future.
Limonene – Unlike most other terpenes, limonene, which smells like citrus and gets its name from the lemon and gives citrus its characteristic scent, actually has effects on the cannabis receptors. While this compound is found in cannabis, it’s also found in other plants, and it’s thought to have health benefits, as it’s anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, a bronchodilator, and it improves mood to treat anxiety and depression. It may relieve heartburn and acid reflux has been used clinically to dissolve gallstones, is an anti-convulsant, and has been shown to destroy breast cancer cells. As a result, it’s likely that there will be strains bred to produce more of this terpene.
Delta-8-THC – This form of THC is a different than delta-9-THC, which is the most powerful version of it. It does produce psychoactive effects that are very similar to THC, but it’s less potent per milligram of the compound. However, it’s only found in small amounts within the plant. As a result, there’s a good chance that purer forms of delta-8-thc will be created.
5. We’ll see more cannabis acceptance
As time has gone on, Americans have learned more and more about the health and wellness benefits of cannabis, and it has led to changing attitudes about its use. And amid a national opioid epidemic, many people consider using cannabis as less likely to lead to prescription drug dependence.
Then there’s the fact of the changing legal status of cannabis in many states, which may also be responsible for shifting attitudes toward its use and perceived dangers. If more than a dozen states have legalized recreational cannabis, and many more have approved medical cannabis, people are inclined to shake off the scare tactics they were told about cannabis growing up.
We predict that in 2021 cannabis conversations with our friends, family and neighbors will become less taboo, with people more openly talking about cannabis use. In our experience, those conversations themselves will bring about more cannabis conversations. When you learn your brother has been using cannabis for years to help with his arthritis, and your neighbor uses CBD to help calm her anxiety, you might be more inclined to try it, or vice versa.
Will all these cannabis trends play out? Time will tell. What we do know is that the cannabis industry has exploded in recent years so it’s highly likely that the trends listed above will play out and likely many more. Stay tuned here and we’ll update you on all of these trends and more.