Cannabis has two “official” holidays: 4/20 and 7/10. The first one is principally devoted to the big, wide world of weed. The second first noted around 2012, celebrates oil (710 spells OIL backward), most specifically hash oil. Cannabis concentrate sales have boomed in recent years, and the rising popularity of 7/10 proves it.
Oils claim the largest revenue share in the cannabis extract market. Sales data continues to show flower tops popular product category lists. Still, the increasing consumer demand for cannabis concentrates makes this an attractive way for companies to focus on ways to expand their operations.
The economic power-punch of cannabis oil is substantial. Grand View Research’s 2020 Industry Report valued the oil segment at $4.8 billion in 2019. In Colorado’s 2019 annual report, the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) tallied 40,229 pounds (yup, pounds) of concentrate products sold between the medical and rec marketplaces in 2019. That’s a whopping 128% jump from 2016 totals, in no way comparable to the modest 4.4% increase in the state’s flower sales over the same period.
On the West Coast, in California, cannabis concentrates outsold flower in 2019, representing 37% of sales. And in a more recent adult-use marketplace, Massachusetts continues to show growth, with a 17% increase in cannabis concentrate sales between June 2019 and 2020. This is despite the mandated shutdowns of adult-use retailers due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.
Across the northern border, in Canada, extract sales have exploded since legalization in October 2019. Sales data from April 2020 show an increase of 154% in sales of cannabis concentrate, while flower sales decreased slightly over the same period.
As cannabis concentrates rise in popularity, consumers are seeking out terpenes and sophisticated hardware to enhance their experience. It starts with the terp. . . terpenes, that is.
If you haven’t heard of terpenes, I’ll let you in on a little secret: terpenes are an industry hot topic. While many folks focus primarily on THC content, talking about terpenes is becoming more and more popular when consumers inquire about products. Cannabis concentrates are well-established for their potency, but they also offer more options in terms of taste and smell — a certifiable cornucopia of sensory delight.
Terpenes add flavor and aroma to your consumption experience. Still, they can also affect the way your body processes the cannabinoids. So, while different strains cause different body and mind effects, terpenes are the magical compounds that make it happen. It’s referred to as the ‘Entourage Effect.’ In layman’s terms, both THC and CBD can react with your body differently, depending on the “entourage” of terpenes they bring to the table. Every strain has a unique chemical profile, and that means unlimited combinations.
To keep it simple, here are the most popular terpenes, along with a brief summary of each:
- Caryophyllene – found in pepper and cloves and likened to a ‘woody spice.’ This terpene is regularly found in indicas and has been described to provide both physical relief and sleepiness.
- Limonene – sounds like ‘lemon,’ right? This terpene boasts a citrusy aroma. It has been described as an energizing mood-lifter and is found in lemony sativas.
- Myrcene – When you hear myrcene, think of ‘musk.’ This terpene is found in earthy, herbaceous thyme, hops, and parsley. Most strains high in myrcene are classified as indicas, which promote feelings of relaxation.
- Pinene – Like lemony limonene, pinene is ‘piney.’ With a heavy pine smell, this terpene is found in rosemary, basil, and pine trees (duh). Pinene may have anti-inflammatory properties. This terpene profile is linked with feelings of creativity and euphoria.
The continued popularity of concentrates means that you can experience cannabis in many ways; they come in a variety of textures and can be consumed using several different methods. The look and feel of a cannabis concentrate won’t necessarily indicate quality (effects, flavor, potency).
One of the leading benefits of concentrates is the rapid onset time and the ability to yield a high more potent than consuming cannabis flower. Concentrates have a high bioavailability, meaning the effects you feel and experience, and the rate of absorption into your body happens almost immediately. The lingering effects of a cannabis concentrate can last anywhere from 1 to 3 hours, depending on the person.