Driscoll Green: The skepticism surrounding the benefits of new cannabis products

Colorado was the first state to allow the recreational usage of marijuana, so it would only make sense that new innovations, up-and-coming trends and cannabis culture plants their firmest root here. There has been an increasing market for those who prefer THC-heavy cannabis products or CBD-based products, especially those of the seltzer variety.

Take Durango Organics, a dispensary once known for its award-winning edibles. Now, they partner with brewing company Ska Brewing to create Oh-Hi—a joint venture that specializes in both THC and CBD seltzers.

The alcoholic beverage market dominator Molson Coors and Canada-based Hexo Corp created the Truss Beverage Company for similar reasons: to tap into one of the biggest evolutions in the cannabis industry since the days of gummies and edibles.

Of course, it is important to note that CBD and THC have fairly different target audiences when it comes to the benefits they provide. CBD has more of a medical connotation than its counterpart, as it has been reported to assist with health problems such as sleep disorders, anxiety and muscle-related disorders. Most CBD is administered or taken orally through a pill, chewable tablet or topical gel.

THC is psychoactive and the part of the plant most associated with recreational and social consumption. There is still apprehension surrounding THC, as Truss Beverage Co. reports that around 76% of legal-aged Canadians avoided weed because most of its traditional methods of consumption lacked control.

Understanding the differences between these two may seem redundant; however, to the companies that started these endeavors, research distinguishing these two categories of consumers was vital in the creation and marketing of new products.

So where does the role of new variants in CBD and THC products, like seltzers, fit in? The simplest answer is an expansion of the market. Truss Beverage Co. reported that 43% of users tried THC seltzers because they wanted to consume cannabis without the smoking element. Similarly, Oh-Hi started its CBD line so its consumers had an option that didn’t require them to go to one of their dispensaries.

The benefits of these new cannabis products are that they may not be as powerful or potent as edibles and smoking. Some may shy away from these new products, but it might catch the interest of someone who would never consider consuming marijuana. It is all a matter of the consumer profile and trajectory of the market in the next year or two.

Despite living in Colorado, it still takes time for the public to accept the new ways in which weed can be consumed. However, there is a huge consumer base that is eager to explore these new alternatives, potentially hastening their acceptance into the mainstream market. The success of these new seltzers depends on if the benefits of greater control and easier introduction are valued by first-time users and cannabis connoisseurs alike.

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