The Biggest Trends in Cannabis We’ve Seen In 2020

Photo of 2020 in fireworks.

Trends come and go in every industry, and the cannabis industry is no exception. Cannabis trends are continuously evolving due to technological advancements and research studies on the benefits of cannabis and all of its cannabinoids.

To start the year off right, we have compiled a list of some of the biggest trends in cannabis right now!

Full-Spectrum CBD/Hemp

CBD isolate had its moment in 2018 following the enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill, which allowed for the agriculture of hemp. In 2019, full-spectrum CBD/hemp entered the market and has remained popular ever since.

Extracting CBD isolate encompasses the separation of the desirable molecules from the plant matter and removes all other unwanted compounds. Researchers discovered that full-spectrum CBD is more effective because of a phenomenon called the “entourage effect,” which enhances the effects produced by the full range of 120+ cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and fatty acids.

CBG & Other Minor Cannabinoids

We all know full-spectrum CBD blew up in 2019, but as we entered the new year, we’ve received a rise of inquiries from journalists pertaining to Cannabigerol (CBG) and other minor cannabinoids, including CBG pre rolls.

Researchers first discovered CBG in the 1960’s, which is one of more than 120 identified cannabinoid compounds found in the cannabis plant. CBG is the parent molecule from which all other cannabinoids are synthesized.

So what’s all the hype about? It is believed that consuming a high concentration of CBG works as an antibacterial and an anti-inflammatory. However, as of 2019, there has been no clinical research conducted to test the specific effects of consuming a high concentration of CBG. It is currently under laboratory research by The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) to study its potential benefits for managing pain.

Keep an eye out for products entering the market containing a high concentration of CBG and other cannabinoids. We expect to see many developments this year.

CBD Pet Products

Like humans, animals can suffer from anxiety, depression, and diseases like cancer. Pet owners are now turning to CBD as an alternative medicinal treatment for their furry friends. Some of the most popular products include CBD flavorless tinctures, which can be easily added to meals, as well as CBD infused treats and balms.

Stay tuned because we expect to see a rise of commercial pharmacies carrying more CBD pet products as states begin to accept CBD as an alternative to prescription medication. Do your research when purchasing hemp/CBD pet products since as of January 2020, California is the only state that authorizes veterinarians to discuss CBD products with pet owners.  This year, we believe more states will pass legislation allowing veterinarians to discuss cannabis and CBD as a form of medicinal treatment with pet owners.

Hemp Cosmetics

The two billion-dollar industries that are cannabis and cosmetics merged this past year to create some unique products. High-end brands like MELT Cosmetics released their Smoke Session eyeshadow pallet, which includes a variety of green and neutral shades inspired by the marijuana leaf.

Milk Makeup released their CBD infused Kush High Volume Mascara. Drugstore brands, NYX Cosmetics released their Bare With Me Cannabis collection and milani cosmetics released their Green Goddess collection. We expect to see a rise of makeup collections with hemp-infused oils this year.

Rise of Cannabis Beverages

The beverage industry tapped into the cannabis industry this year. As a result, we saw an emergence of cannabis beverages in the form of teas, energy drinks, alcoholic drinks, sodas, coffee, and everything in between.

Cannabis Industry Layoffs

The recent layoffs in the cannabis industry have put investors on edge, which is reflected in the plummeting stock market. Just like any new and developing industry, poor managerial decisions coupled with black market competition, high taxes, and inflated expectations can lead to a loss in profit margins and eventually layoffs.

Some of the recent layoffs include:

  • Leafly laid off 18% of its workforce in January 2020.
  • MedMen laid off an additional 20% of employees last month. In November 2019, MedMen laid off 190 employees to offset a $180 million deficit.
  • Weedmaps laid off over 100 employees in October 2019.

This isn’t the end for the cannabis industry but just the beginning. Layoffs indicate businesses are trying to limit their spending to meet profit projections in hopes of attracting old and new investors.

While layoffs are discouraging, companies are also looking to outsource some of their PR, SEO, or marketing strategies with cannabis consulting companies, like us! Companies needing a helping hand in these areas can benefit from a knowledgeable outside consultant who knows market trends and can help you weather the next industry conditions.

Vape Cartridges & Safety

In 2019 vape cartridges grew in popularity, and so did the illicit market’s interest in them. Consumers began purchasing black market knock-off cartridges for a fraction of the cost of regulated cartridges. Unfortunately, the black market cartridges contained Vitamin E, which caused the national outbreak of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI). As of January 21, 2020, EVALI caused 2,711 hospitalizations and 60 deaths.

During the EVALI outbreak, consumers reverted to smoking or vaping cannabis in flower form, but as we identified its cause, consumers quickly went back to vaping regulated and trusted THC oil cartridges.

Vape cartridges continued popularity is due to its discreet size and less-pervasive smell compared to other smoking forms. Today we see a rise in disposable THC pens, which are convenient but not great for the environment, as well as the development of cartridges containing CBD and other cannabinoids.

2020 Predictions

We expect to see many socially-cautious and politically active campaigns from some of our favorite brands as we approach the general election. (Stay tuned for some exciting announcements from our clients!)

This is an exciting year for a rapidly-maturing and expanding industry. We look forward to seeing these and other trends in the coming months. Chat with us on social media to give your opinion on cannabis and CBD trends!

Raquel has been working with Nisonco since 2015 and has been advocating for drug policy reform since founding the University at Albany, Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapter in 2014.