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Edibles Keep Pace with Growth of Overall Marijuana Market

The marijuana market in California, Colorado, Michigan, Oregon, and Washington showed strong growth in 2021, but the growth of the edibles market was even stronger. The overall growth of cannabis and cannabis products was 18.4 percent for the year, but the edibles market grew 20 percent.

While the edibles category grew, not all products increased their share. The products that increased their sales the most year-over-year were gummies, up 31 percent, and caramels, chews, and taffy with sales growth of 32 percent for 2021. Brownies and cereal bars grew two percent for the year. However, several other edible product categories saw dips in sales. Cookies shrunk 20 percent, as did candy, lozenges, and gum. Chocolate was down seven percent and mints saw no growth for the year.

Gummies captured 70 percent of total edible sales, with the second-largest product sales figures being chocolate at $150. Clearly, gummies have come to dominate the edibles market in general.

However, even with the strong sales growth, edibles dropped from the third strongest sales category to the fourth, with pre-rolls coming in at third.

Industry executives speculate as to why the edibles category saw such strong sales growth in 2021. Many feel that edibles can be the easiest and most consistent option for new consumers. Industry executives found that consumers 30 to 45 years old entering the cannabis market appear to prefer edibles. Many new consumers are not interested in smoking harsh joints without filters – but everybody eats! Edibles are easy and a discreet way to get high because they don’t make your clothes smell of marijuana. And nobody coughs like crazy when they swallow gummies.

But another factor may be that edibles, particularly gummies and caramels, chews, and taffy, can deliver a measured and consistent dose of marijuana.

Edibles are often preferred by entry-level consumers because they can deliver consistent doses of THC and other cannabinoids. If you know how much you enjoyed one gummy, or a piece of a chocolate bar the last time you partook, you can match that dose precisely.

Faster Acting Edibles

The industry has invested in making edibles that act faster after they are eaten. This may explain one reason for the increasing popularity of edibles. One of the previous perceptions about edibles was that you could eat one and wait for an hour for it to work, get impatient and eat another one, only to find you over consumed. That experience could drive people away from choosing edibles. But a faster-acting edible with a consistent effect can build user confidence in the product. Industry analysts find that older consumers look for edibles that work efficiently at a lower dose.

Gummies look like regular gummy candy, but they are made differently. Adding oil and an emulsifier makes the candy flexible and stretchy. Adding an emulsifier like lecithin when the candy is being cooked, in addition to an infused oil with THC in it, makes edible gummies possible.

But why do people like edible gummies to the extent they capture 70 percent of the edibles market?  They are easy to dose, which means you can know exactly how much cannabis you are getting before you eat them. You can eat them at any time without people suspecting that you are getting high. They stay fresh, unlike baked edibles, and they don’t melt. Chocolates melt readily and therefore do not travel well.

How to Consume Infused Gummies

Gummies look innocuous due to their bright colors a resemblance to regular chewable candies, but it is important to remember they contain a powerful psychoactive chemical. Industry experts believe gummies are attracting many first-time consumers to the cannabis market, which speaks to the need for caution. Gummies are potent and can give newbies a powerful high they may not be ready for. For those consumers, it is important to “go small and go slow.”

“Go small” means starting off with a low dose and seeing what the effect is before consuming more. A five-milligram first dose is recommended by experts.

Go slow and be patient. Smoking cannabis is a more immediate high, but it can take a while for a gummy to dissolve in your digestive tract and get you high – somewhere between 30 and 60 minutes.

Do not consume on an empty stomach. This is more important for newbies. They should drink plenty of water and perhaps eat a meal before their early experiences with gummies or other edibles. The THC gets processed quickly on an empty stomach and may result in a buzz that feels too intense for the inexperienced consumer.

Newbies should try to get their gummies and other edibles from a licensed dispensary. Typically, professional marijuana providers use their own plant material and can publish just how high the dosage is, which is important information for newbies. Moreover, licensed dispensaries lab test their edibles before offering them to consumers. In addition, new consumers should use their edibles in a safe and familiar setting to feel comfortable when using them.

Make Your Own Gummies

Take a few grams of raw flowers and decarboxylate (decarb) them in the oven. This requires breaking up the flowers into smaller, uniform pieces, putting them on a baking sheet with parchment paper. You then bake the cannabis in the oven at 220 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Decarbing marijuana is an essential requirement for making edibles. You will not get high with raw marijuana.

Put the decarbed cannabis in a saucepan with a cup of coconut oil and ½ a teaspoon lecithin, an easy-to-find baking material. Simmer gently for 45 minutes. Remove the plant material from the oil. Add a packet of flavored gelatin and two tablespoons of unflavored gelatin to the pot and simmer gently. You want to stir the moisture continually until the gelatin is dissolved, making sure to not let it boil. Use the eyedropper to fill your candy molds with gummy mixture. Carefully put the full molds in the freezer for 25 minutes.

By making your own gummies, you can have a product that is made precisely and that you can enjoy with confidence.


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