As cannabis becomes more legal, the industry surrounding it continues to expand. Politicians now campaign on a platform of total weed legalization since it's that popular a stance, and it seems every other week there's a local news story about a mom who became a millionaire baking and selling edibles. Now that it has reached the suburbs, companies want to expand marketing efforts.
That's actually pretty difficult. Prominent search engines like Google aren't particularly keen on letting people advertising marijuana products on their website, even if the state it's produced in is legal. Manufacturers have been forced to find other means to sell their products.
Despite these roadblocks, the explosion in cannabis popularity has meant an explosion in cannabis products this decade. Because THC and CBD can enter the body in so many ways -smoking, vaping, ingesting, through skin - the number of products that can be made with it are, if not endless, certainly bountiful. Certain products, though, seem to be more prominent, or at least on the rise, than others.
It should be noted that this article is not an endorsement of any of the products that will be mentioned. Cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, and due to its classification as a Schedule 1 drug the amount of research that can be conducted on it is limited. This is simply an acknowledgement of popular types of products in states where cannabis is legal in some form.
1. Cannabis Oil
This is admittedly a pretty wide category in its own right. There are weed products we'll get to further down that contain cannabidiol (CBD) oil to give you the desired effects. But cannabis oil can be taken by itself in a number of different forms. That versatility has made it easily the most sought-after cannabis product for people looking for legal use.
CBD oils have exceedingly low traces of THC, so they won't give you the high that you'd normally associate with marijuana. That way one can potentially get the desired effects - pain relief, anxiety relief, nausea relief, etc. - without psychoactive reactions.
Epilepsy is the condition that seems to get the most consistent support for use of cannabis oil, even federally; the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently got a unanimous vote by their federal advisory committee to recommend approval of a pharmaceutical CBD oil known as Epidiolex, which can be used to treat certain rare forms of epilepsy. But CBD oil has also shown itself to be useful with regards to pain relief, cancer treatment, anxiety, depression, and sleep issues, among other conditions.
CBD oil, as its own usable entity, can come in several forms, and the larger companies that produce and sell them will offer a variety of options to choose from. E-liquid for a vape pen is the most common form, but another one is tinctures. CBD tinctures are drops of concentrated CBD extract that are dropped under your tongue and absorb in the mouth. There are capsules too, which can be taken with water like your average pill.
Of course, if someone who wants legal cannabis oil also doesn't want a middleman, they're free to literally just place CBD oil on their tongue and swallow it. CBD hemp oil is legally sold at some dispensaries.
2. Cannabis Beauty & Skin Care Products
As CBD use became more widespread and cannabis became further legalized in more states, certain companies and entrepreneurs had ideas of marketing these products to people who aren't often marketed weed: suburban women. Thanks to this, the industry of CBD beauty products grows exponentially every year - though it's not just suburban women who use them.
CBD, in addition to the benefits mentioned earlier, is also said to have anti-inflammatory properties due to cannabinoid receptors in skin. Some researchers say it may be able to help fight acne, and beauty/skincare products with cannabinoids are advertised as being able to help with pain relief, hydration, or even just a euphoric relaxed feeling.
How mainstream are these products becoming? Products containing CBD are now being sold on Sephora's website. The combination of effects these products purport to offer are awfully tantalizing, after all. Cannabis balms salves offer the potential of muscle pain relief, while lotions and rubs offer the allure of clearer skin. Bath bombs and bath salts may bring some much-needed relief and relaxation in the tub. The weed topicals market is real, and always expanding; you can now buy marijuana body wash, lip gloss, and mascara too.
The type of cannabinoids your beauty products have help determine the effects. Many of these products focus on CBD and the health benefits it provides. But some also have more THC, available in dispensaries.
3. Cannabis Beverages
Yeah, you can drink weed now. What a world.
Cannabis beverages haven't reached the mainstream heights of the beauty products, but they're getting more exposure, as evidenced by a recent article about CBD cocktails in Goop. Cocktails infused with cannabis are still in their infancy, relegated mostly to a few bars in Los Angeles, but should recreational marijuana use continue to get legalized in more states, it's a trend that could expand quickly.
Drinks infused with marijuana have been relegated to states where the drug is either totally legalized or decriminalized, acting almost as test markets for future states. In Colorado, where recreational marijuana is legal, some dispensaries - like Medicine Man, which has multiple locations - sell cannabis cola and fruit punch. And multiple coffee shops in New York sell cannabis-infused coffees, perfect for calming down anyone who gets the jitters from a strong cup.
But the one drink that is most often given CBD experiments, it's beer. This is because in addition to all the aforementioned effects of cannabinoids, the terpenes in cannabis offer different aromas and tastes. There have been some roadblocks along the way, particularly due to federal rulings around what is and is not a Schedule 1 drug. There have been workarounds though, especially for brewers and breweries that remain in states with legal weed. Keith Villa, creator of Blue Moon, is working on cannabis-infused non-alcoholic beers in Colorado, while breweries like Coalition Brewing have CBD beer available at select locations in both Oregon and Washington.
4. Cannabis Chocolates
Edibles are a particularly popular way to get high, as they have more potency than other methods. It also lets you snack while taking your now legal medicine, which is a plus. The most well-known edibles are fairly standard - the weed brownie, the pot cookie, marijuana gummies (which have occasionally caused companies to run into legal trouble due to concerns kids might inadvertently take them).
As it becomes legal and companies want to market cannabis treats, though, it is chocolates that have become something of a trend. Chocolates can be marketed to those interested in trying legal weed but who want a more "refined" method than smoking a joint. It also allows companies to attempt a more sophisticated marketing campaign than you could do with, say, a gummy bear. Two of the more prominent makers of marijuana chocolates, Kiva and Défoncé, each use a Godiva-esque design to their wrappers. Now you can feel fancy eating a chocolate bar designed to get you high!
These chocolates are sold in limited fashion, predictably, as they contain THC. Défoncé is only sold and distributed in California. But should these marketing efforts remain successful, if legal marijuana spreads to additional states it won't only be CA dispensaries that stocks them.
5. Cannabis Dog Treats
Giving cannabis to your pets? Is that safe? Well don't give your dog a pot cookie with human portions, and be wary of anything with high THC content, but there are some companies that have played with creating hemp and CBD products specifically for pets.
Many stories of pets being successfully treated by marijuana are anecdotal, as getting approval for federal research into the subject has proven exceedingly difficult and vets aren't legally allowed to prescribe it. Still, many scientists remain determined to study the effects medical marijuana can have on pets, and some local politicians in states like California have introduced bills to try and legalize prescribing cannabis for them.
More in depth studies would allow us to determine just how true many of the claims - that CBD can help pet owners treat cancer, epilepsy, osteoporosis, joint pain, and anxiety - actually are. Still, hemp and cannabidiol haven't shown themselves to have any extraordinary risk to dogs, as long as you remain cautious; not every company that claims their CBD products have minimal THC is telling the truth. Too much THC is NOT good for dogs.
Should you have already decided to try CBD for your pup's ailment, there are options. Canna-pet offer hemp dog treats in several flavors as well as tinctures, which are another popular method for pets as some can be picky about treats and capsules. Dispensaries in Colorado may also sell treats for your dog.
But as mentioned, be more careful about cannabis products for your dog. The lack of federal regulation or adequate studies means there's no real concrete determination of how much is too much for dogs. Cannabis products made for pets are made strictly for practical purposes; don't get them high.