As cannabis reform spread across the United States, so much has changed within a short time. With increased cannabis demand, cannabis product production has also increased dramatically, and the quality and amount of concentrates, edibles, and flowers has exploded. An effect of this is the decrease in prices of cannabis products in well-established legal cannabis markets across the United States.
This is good news for many cannabis consumers as plenty of options are now available to them to find which method and cannabis product gives them the best high. Consumers who prefer smoking flowers have available to them countless strains across legal dispensaries. Those who love concentrates can also make their choice from isolate to full-spectrum and edibles lovers can choose between infused olive oil and various gummies.
Nonetheless, while the cannabis sector keeps growing and trying to meet the specific needs and preferences of consumers, many consumers are limited by the cash in hand. Hence, they are rather bound to choose their product based on the money at hand instead of valued effects.
Because of this, edibles are said to be gaining more popularity, especially among consumers living in recently-legalized cannabis states. This is because the price of flowers continues to increase due to overwhelming demand, hence, becoming more expensive than edibles. As a result many turn to edibles given their cheaper and more standardized pricing.
Are Edibles Cheaper Than Other Marijuana Products?
Across the United States, edibles pricing is said to be cheaper and more standardized than flowers for several reasons. A primary reason is that the production of edibles requires less labor and specialized conditions than flowers.
Large-scale cultivation of cannabis flowers needs a massive amount of space to keep cannabis plants healthy and distanced. Meanwhile, that’s not the case for edibles that require less space. Asides from space, growers also need to be able to produce vast energy for ventilation and lighting, huge raw materials such as nutrients and soul, and adequate water for prior irrigation of the farm. In comparison to edibles production, flower production tends to require more equipment, and cost.
There’s also the aspect of human labor invested in the cultivation and processing of cannabis buds. Flower being an end product is priced and valued higher when it is meticulously pruned and cured which requires more attention and time, hence more resources. On the other hand, cannabis chefs don’t have to invest that much energy and effort into edibles production since the process is more streamlined and easy to automate.
In addition to this, edible manufacturers only come in contact with flowers when delivered to them as processable trim. This is where the biggest price differences lie. Extracts used in producing edibles are usually sourced from less desirable cannabis plant parts, like popcorn and shake buds. As a result, edible manayfactites can purchase plant parts at discounted prices from cannabis farmers.
With cheaper plant parts, edibles manufacturers can produce quality cannabis products, infusing cannabinoids into various digestible forms. Thus, the cheaper and standardized pricing at dispensaries. For many consumers with the right mindset, biological makeup, and tolerance, edibles have become their go-to product preference.
How Edibles are Different From Joints
Lungs are the shortcut to the body’s bloodstream, thus, smoking cannabis gives a quick effect within 10 minutes. This is the primary selling point for cannabis smokers. On the other hand, edibles take more than an hour for the effects to kick in.
But for many patients enough to wait, their patience pays off when those edibles start kicking in. Since cannabinoids are broken down by the liver over time, edible effects can last up to six hours. Meanwhile, for joints, the effects usually last for half the time. In addition to this, the liver digests and breaks down delta-9 THC into 11-hydroxy THC, offering a more powerful high and psychoactive effect.
Is Price the Primary Reason for Increased Edibles Sales?
Given these reasons, the question remains if the price is a big enough factor to influence consumers’ choice to switch to edibles? The truth is sales of edibles have been increasing in cannabis legalized sales and the price can’t be ignored. The price of edibles is generally around $20 – $30 depending on the type of product and quantity. These prices get you 15 to 20 doses of THC in genral on the illicit market, maybe 10 to 12 on the legal market. Meanwhile, an eight sells for about $57 in Illinois and Massachusetts.
The truth is paying less for a product that offers a more potent and longer high will always be a financial draw. It’s safe to assume that some consumers would prefer to have more THC than less regardless of what form it is. Nonetheless, sales of edibles have increased across the United States since the pandemic.
Beyond cost, there are other factors responsible for the sudden increase in the trend of consumers switching to edibles. The first factor is that for first-timers, edibles are an easier entry point to cannabis use. Another factor is stress relief. A lot of Americans are stressed and no longer want to turn to prescription drugs or alcohol for relief, making weed a viable option. While pot has fewer downsides compared to prescription drugs and alcohol, inhaling or smoking pot into your lungs is a deviation from the norm. Meanwhile, chewing and swallowing cannabis (edibles) seems to be the natural order of things.
Another concern for many consumers that may be driving up sales of edibles is the issue of health and safety. Since the CoronaVirus, a lot of people are now wary of behaviors like smoking that may irritate and expose the lung to Viral exposure. So more people are now inclined to go for edibles.
The reason why the sale of edibles is increasing, be it heightened health and safety concerns or price differences remains unclear. However, once the legal cannabis markets grow and stabilize across the United States, it will become apparent if price differences are responsible for flower lovers making short-term economic decisions. Or better still, if the heightened potency and long-lasting effects of edibles have gained new fans across the country.