While the world has been on lockdown, cannabis has been flying high (pun intended), and consumption rates have skyrocketed. After years of being a dirty secret, cannabis was deemed “essential” during the global pandemic. Long socially distanced lines into dispensaries and a rise in online pickup orders confirmed the popularity of medical and recreational marijuana. Not surprisingly, 2020 brought an increase of 67% in U.S. cannabis sales.
While THC helped people deal with the social isolation of COVID-19, the anxiety-relieving cannabinoid CBD also saw an increase in consumption. Across the board, New Frontier Data reported on the overall increase in cannabis consumption. In a recent survey, 42% of current marijuana consumers reported increased usage, while 18% of study participants indicated a large increase in consumption.
Below are some cannabis trends we’ve seen over the past year during the global shutdown.
Though classified as edibles, cannabis consumers are giving infused beverages more attention than ever. While cannabis drinks hit the market with a bang a few years ago, they are becoming an increasingly popular choice. There’s Recess a sparkling hemp CBD infused water with adaptogens, and Gem + Jane a “THC botanical beverage infused with rare cannabinoids.” We see growth across the CBD and THC sectors, and if it’s a liquid, it may be infused with cannabis oil.
The Marlboro cigarettes of yesteryear have been replaced by vaping nicotine with devices such as the Juul. Still, for those who want to break the habit or relax a little, hemp cigarettes made a grand entrance in 2021. Walk into your local headshop or dispensary, depending on where you live, and you may see hemp or CBD marijuana cigarettes.
They are a similar form factor as cigarettes, they often look the same and have a similar filtration device. However, hemp or CBD-marijuana cigarettes don’t have nicotine, and THC amounts are below 0.3%—a level too low for intoxication. It’s essential to find a reputable brand like Shaman Smokes, a CBD cigarette blended from USA-grown hemp from hemp strains chosen for relaxation and focus.
What’s Delta-8, and why do you hear so much about it? Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-8-THC, Δ8-THC) is a psychoactive cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, and in most places, it is gray-territory legal. Delta-8 can be extracted from either cannabis marijuana or hemp.
Delta-8 is a form of THC, although with milder psychoactive effects. For some people who are overwhelmed by the effects of THC, Delta-8 may be a less intimidating high. You are likely to find Delta-8 in your local headshop as hemp can be legally grown and used for extractions all over the US. This makes Delta-8 legal in states where Delta-9 THC (regular marijuana) may be illegal.
Favorite Strains During Lockdown
Who would have thought we would be locked in our house for over a year in virtual isolation minus the occasional, or persistent, zoom meeting? None.
Working remotely took on a whole new meaning for most of us during 2020 and 2021, and for many, it meant increased flower consumption. Some of the favorites for working from home include the creativity-inducing Blue Dream, a Sativa-dominant hybrid that provides a cerebral and euphoric high.
Another strain specifically designed for relaxation is CBD-heavy Harle-Tsu. An ideal health and wellness aid, Harle-Tsu helps cannabis consumers feel centered by promoting relaxation and focus. This high-CBD marijuana strain eases pain, stress, and anxiety.