Looking forward into 2020 and beyond, the trend forecast for cannabis concentrates looks promising. Today, the search for the most potent forms of concentrates is old news. Daytime consumption and concentrate microdosing are more appealing to adult professionals. While products that are infused with cannabidiol (CBD) are quite literally flying off the shelves in drug stores, beauty stores and dispensaries—cannabis consumers are beginning to shift interests to the plant’s other compounds, as well as new forms of delivery.
Curt Robbins is an author of more than 500 articles regarding the science of cannabis and hemp. While he no longer uses the moniker Gooey Rabinski, he has authored or helped to develop several cannabis-related, science-based books under that handle. As far as the 710 industry is concerned, Robbins predicts a shift away from the oversaturation of the most popular cannabis compounds. “This may be the year that the industry evolves beyond THC or CBD in marketing [techniques],” Robbins told CULTURE. “I think the turning point is when the average middle class American realizes that the plant is much more than merely a single psychoactive cannabinoid.”
The new trends might include terpenes, precision dosing, emulsion processes and the lesser known compounds that also have various medical benefits. Here’s a rundown of a few trending buzzwords in the world of concentrates.
“This may be the year that the industry evolves beyond THC or CBD in marketing [techniques].”
Experts predict that terpenes will continue to rise in popularity. Many consumers are just beginning to learn about the synergistic effects of combining cannabis compounds—the way nature intended. “The entourage effect, the idea that cannabinoids and terpenes work together synergistically to create additional and greater efficacy is embraced by many, but still—officially—a theory,” Robbins admitted. Robbins helped to popularize #TerpeneTuesday on social media to spread awareness. “Decades ago, it was thought that terpenes merely added aroma to cannabis and hemp and little else,” he said. “Although we need more research, there are literally thousands of research studies that illustrate the medicinal value of terpenes. Most of America knows about one of the more than 400 molecules in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Their mindset is typically limited to THC and thinking of the plant as inherently psychoactive.”
The medical properties of terpenes add a whole new facet to cannabis. “The fact that terpenes offer solid medicinal efficacy, beyond merely an attractive aroma, will allow products to be created that go beyond ‘luxurious bathing’ and other creature comforts to deliver true health benefits and wellness.”
Until recently, it’s been exclusively up to cannabis consumers to control the size of each dose—but that is now changing. Santa Monica, California-based Dosist offers a product that has the capability of delivering even doses every time. Dosist’s pens vibrate when a consumer has inhaled for three seconds, providing similar hits each time. Obviously, it didn’t take long for celebrity-endorsed brands to follow suit. Last May, Snoop Dogg’s venture capital firm Casa Verde Capital invested in Indose, a company that manufactures vape pens capable of delivering precise dosages of THC. The devices have small lights that allow users to control how much THC will be delivered in each hit. They measure THC in increments of 0.5 milligrams, up to 3 milligrams, which is close to an average hit of cannabis, according to the company.
A handful of companies have called cannabinol (CBN) the “most underrated” cannabinoid. THC transforms into CBN via oxidation, or THC’s vulnerability to oxygen. CBN is touted to be useful for treating insomnia and other ailments. With concentrates, higher concentrations of CBN turn the appearance of the concentrate to a rusty color. While a cultivar may be lower in THC, it may have higher levels of CBN, which in effect has its own benefits. “One trend is going to be away from a focus on THC and CBD to the other 111 cannabinoids manufactured by the cannabis sativa genome,” Robbins reiterated. “Some companies will focus on cannabinoids such as CBN to reduce anxiety and act as a sleep aid.”
As Robbins said, the usefulness of CBN is most noticeable in its suggested ability to control and modulate sleep. “A mix of CBN and the terpenes myrcene (the most common in cannabis) and linalool is also good for sleep disorders, which affect 80 million Americans,” Robbins pointed out.
Nano CBD Concentrates
Who says that all cannabis concentrates need to be oil-based? CBD nanoemulsification may sound high tech, but it’s simply a way to describe thousands of tiny globules of CBD oil infused into water through microemulsion. It’s created to optimize drug delivery within the body. The tiny beads of CBD can range from 100-1,000 nanometers, or even as small as 25 nanometers. Nanoemulsions allow the sustained, controlled release of CBD. They can be engineered through high pressure homogenization, among other processes. The rise of nanaoemulsificiation techniques confirm that concentrates don’t necessarily need to be oily. Varying emulsion processes have been used to make CBD and other cannabinoids dissolveable in water for edibles, products and concentrates.