When really good weed is widely available, how does a business convince customers to buy theirs? The answer is branding, and for many companies, that means a focus on “wellness”.
Some cannabis companies combine the drug with various nutritional supplements and herbs – and ascribe benefits to the resulting products that aren’t necessarily real. These products target health-conscious consumers who are older and more predominantly female than cannabis’ core customer group: young men who want to get high.
Los Angeles, said to be the world’s largest cannabis market, is also the world capital of dietary restrictions. Various wellness-oriented brands infuse weed into the dietary fads, which arrive with the tides. One can buy gluten-free edibles, paleo edibles and cannabis-infused kombucha. Companies pair cannabis with ginseng to promise “focus” or melatonin to promise sleep.
Some companies offer strains like “kosher kush”, although whether religious Jews can consume cannabis is a complicated question. Other brands appeal to users who like to get high before they exercise. Over the course of the day, companies hope consumers might take various cannabis products as a substitute for both headache medicine and an after-work cocktail. And the drug’s effects are nebulous enough that it can plausibly work as both.
Meanwhile, for a few bucks, a smoothie shop will put in a few drops of the marijuana-derived chemical CBD, which doesn’t get people high, but enables companies to make a whole new set of promises. Whereas THC has discernible effects, CBD is essentially the concept of wellness in chemical form: it may be good for you, but it’s impossible to quantify how.
Published: May 13, 2019
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News