Although the regulatory environment at the Federal level to decriminalize cannabis in the United States remains challenging, there are continued glimpses of a blue sky. How ironic that on April 1st, the House of Representatives approved a bill to legalize marijuana, which is surely no joke. However, politics and policy create uncertainty in passing reforms by the Senate in the year ahead. However, many states are moving independently to introduce medical and recreational licensing with New York, and New Jersey leading the way with plans to issue the recreational dispensary licenses by the end of 2022.
So despite these regulatory delays, what are the leading trends in cannabis as we prepare for the annual celebration on 4/20, as a lifestyle for some, and a deepening interest by many of us to use the plant for healing and well-being?
Covid-19 and Cannabis
Unquestionably the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on how we collectively approach plant medicines, particularly cannabis as a therapeutic. The profile of cannabis has been dramatically raised in the context of fighting COVID-induced symptoms. A new generation of botanical seeds is being cultivated to increase the presence of sub cannabinoids tailored to provide relief from flu-like symptoms as well as the classic medicinal benefits of relief from anxiety, stress, and inflammation.
Currently, it is estimated that there are over 120 cannabinoids and more than 150 terpenes in cannabis with many experts believing there are more to be found. CBN, CBD-A, and CBG are three of the minor cannabinoids that have gained popularity recently as researchers have found them to have potential therapeutic properties.
Continued research shows that CBN may have properties including appetite stimulation, anti-convulsant, antibiotic, cancer-fighting, sedative, pain reliever, and anti-inflammatory effects. CBD-A for anti-microbial benefits, and CBG also known as the stem cell cannabinoid, is suggested to exhibit anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, neuroprotective, and antibiotic effects. Here at The Alchemist’s Kitchen, we have been following the research, and recently introduced a new anti-viral product to help combat flu-like symptoms.
Trends in Cannabis: Therapeutic CBD Bliss
The therapeutic effects of minor cannabinoids have caused CBD producers and brands to include minor cannabinoids in their product assortment to differentiate themselves. As research on minor cannabinoids continues to blossom, it is an important trend for 2022 as product innovation becomes essential to maintain a competitive advantage in a growing market. An emphasis on improving bioavailability will be of primary interest to consumers who have adopted the plant and are seeking greater potency and concentration of dosage.
It’s important to point out that CBD, which exploded on the market in 2019, and 2020, and proliferated with hundreds of brands seeking an audience that was uninformed, and prone to becoming confused when low-quality CBD was suddenly available at smoke shops, and convenience stores, has for many consumers, created an adverse perception of the plant as a healing ally. Education, and personalized consultative services, tailored to the needs of each user, will become paramount.
In conclusion, cannabis is the leading trend of 2022, and it richly deserves its ancient history as a compassionate plant for healing but requires our collective awareness and activism to pivot its reputation from a purely recreational escape, to a medicinal ally fostering trust and respect between all of us.