Trends to Watch as Cannabis Moves into the Health & Wellness Market

This post originally appeared on CFN Media Group.

Cannabis hasn’t always had the best reputation in the health and wellness market — with the smoking, red eyes, and the munchies — but these perceptions are quickly fading as researchers focus on the plant’s healing powers. Wellness brands across all major categories — food, beverage, beauty, and more — are starting to embrace cannabis as consumers increasingly seek out its benefits.

More research needs to be done on cannabis to fully understand its health benefits and risk factors, but the studies that have been done show promise. Cannabinoids, like cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), could help address mood disorders, inflammation, chronic pain, and other medical conditions by acting on the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for a lot of neuro-communication in the human body.

The legalization of recreational cannabis across Canada has opened the door to health and wellness companies looking to offer cannabis-based products to consumers. Canada’s unique position as the only G7 nation to fully legalize cannabis also opens the door to export opportunities to reach markets around the world where cannabis has been only partially legalized, including in the United States, Europe, and Australia.

Marketing to Female Consumers

Most cannabis brands are marketing to either a broad audience or primarily male consumers — those looking to relax in the recreational markets or relieve pain in the medical markets. While these strategies have been successful for many companies that have achieved billion dollar valuations, the Cannabis Consumer Coalition (CCC) recently conducted a survey that found women may actually consume more cannabis than men.

BDS Analytics found several reasons that women are turning to cannabis in their survey of more than 1,000 women in late-2017.

The most popular reasons for cannabis consumption were:

  • 40% turned to cannabis as a natural alternative to manage mood swings brought on by menstruation, menopause, or mental health concerns.
  • 39% used cannabis to provide relief from premenstrual pain and cramps.
  • 35% of menopausal women used cannabis to improve their sleep.
  • 32% of menopausal women used cannabis to relieve other symptoms.
  • 27% of women consumed cannabis to enhance their sex life.

Women are also responsible for the vast majority of household spending around the world, including 70 to 80 percent of the budget in the United States, which suggests that they could control how many cannabis products are purchased for the entire household.

48North Cannabis Corp. (TSX-V: NRTH) is one of the only Canadian licensed producers focused exclusively on the female market. Led by cannabis veteran Alison Gordon, the company licensed exclusive genetics from Maripharm B.V. in the Netherlands and cultivates about 2,500 kilograms of ultra-premium cannabis per year in its 40,000 sq. ft. closed-box facility located in Northern Ontario (Canada’s most populous province).

In addition to selling dried cannabis, the company is focused on building a portfolio of iconic, engaging brands, innovative products, and educational experiences targeting the female demographic. They are also working towards offering a white-labeling facility for contract manufacturing that could enable it to build a strong footprint in the health and wellness market, with products targeting nutraceuticals, cosmetics, and more once additional cannabis products are made legal in Canada.

Making Cannabis More Accessible

Many people aren’t all that comfortable walking into a dispensary (or even visiting a cannabis ecommerce website), ordering a bag of cannabis flower, rolling a joint, and smoking it to realize the benefits of cannabis. Moreover, they probably don’t know the difference between OG Kush, Purple Haze, or Gorilla Glue, or how these different strains affect them. This has been a major barrier for cannabis in the health and wellness market.

There are several companies trying to solve these cannabis delivery problems. For example, Dosist has developed an easy dosing pen that makes it easy to consume cannabis for various pre-defined purposes, such as relaxation or pain relief. Other companies are focused on developing cannabis oils, tinctures, edibles, and other products that are easier to consume without the need to start smoking cannabis.

MyDx Inc. (OTCQB: MYDX) has even developed a handheld chemical analyzer designed to measure the key chemicals in a given cannabis sample rather than relying on strain descriptions. After consuming the cannabis, users can input the product’s effects on them to ultimately create a database of cannabinoid effects. This database could help make cannabis a lot more accessible by enabling consumers to look-up strains based on their needs.

What’s Next?

The health and wellness market is rapidly evolving to accommodate cannabis and its numerous potential benefits. Investors may want to take note of these trends by considering public companies that are well positioned in the space. For example, 48North Cannabis Corp. (TSX-V: NRTH) is focused on reaching a unique niche market with an extremely high-quality product while building distribution into the health and wellness space.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.48nrth.com.