You must be 21 years of age or older to purchase our products.

Innovations & Trends in Cannabis Consumption


Innovations & Trends in Cannabis Consumption

Innovations & Trends in Cannabis Consumption

The Brightfield Group frequently asks cannabis consumers what types of products they use most, and each time, cannabis flower tops the list. Flower also has the highest distribution and generates the most revenue. However, even tried-and-true products like dry herb has the opportunity for improvement. This article will explore the advantages of flower use and the latest innovations in the field.

Flower's spending power

Weed Flower's

When it comes to inhalable marijuana, most consumers opt for dry herb and pre-rolls. Two-thirds of cannabis consumers used dry herb, and another 54% of cannabis consumers reported using cannabis in the second quarter of 2023. Flower use peaked at the end of 2022, and while it has declined slightly since then, its use has stayed the same, not declined. In early 2022, the popularity of vape carts almost surpassed that of pre-rolls, but pre-rolls quickly took over and maintained their lead. The use of concentrates peaked in the second quarter of 2022, but usage has been declining since then. 

The opening of several new markets over the past year has increased inexperienced users. For example, new recreational consumers in Missouri or Maryland may need more time to adopt concentrates. At the same time, inflationary pressures are causing some consumers to pull back on spending. Data from the second quarter of 2023 shows that 53% of cannabis consumers agree that they "choose to purchase less expensive cannabis products." Concentrates and vapes, as a more expensive product type, are likely to bear much of the burden of these cuts compared to dry herb.


Pre-ground herb

Pre-ground herb

The hottest new flower product in the Canadian herb market is milled flower. This product is also called "pre-milled" or "pre-ground," and not to be confused with shake and trim, is very convenient. Without the need for a grinder, cannabis nugs are ground, sealed, and delivered to customers ready to smoke. 

Canadian flower consumers are increasingly buying this product. In the third quarter of 2022, 20% of Canadian flower users said they liked pre-ground herb. Now, in the second quarter of 2023, 26% say so. From last year to now, more and more milled flower products have hit the market. For example, in July 2022, Ontario cannabis shops had 24 types of milled flower products, while by July 2023, they had 54 types (10 of which were out of stock!). 

In Canada, the brand offers high-quality milled options. For high THC fans, there are grated 7g packs that test 25%-33%, such as Steel City Green's legendary Larry Grind. Connoisseurs looking for quality can find artisanal cannabis brands that offer buds that are hand-trimmed and milled for as much as $44.95 CAD per 7g. At the same time, price-conscious consumers can enjoy a selection of products from quality brands at affordable prices. 

In addition to differentiating on strains, grinding brands can also get creative with the type of grind they use - does it produce a big, fluffy grind or a finer one? Some ground flower brands inspired by the pre-rolled market began offering "infused milled" products. Live resin, diamonds, shatter, and more can all be mixed with the ground herb to create ultra-high THC experiences for bowls, pipes, and bongs

The product type has not caught on in the same way in the United States. California has a lot of pre-ground brands. Old Pal is one of the only brands that has been able to expand to other states and make big waves. In the U.S., we see more shake (even infused shake, such as High Supply's "super shake"), which tend to be cheaper and lower quality than whole bud. Will well-positioned, high-quality pre-ground herb win the hearts and minds of U.S. cannabis consumers the way it has in Canada? Only time will tell. 


Mixed cannabis strain

Mixing the two strains together is not a new concept - the idea of a "weed salad" happens all the time when consumers "match" cannabis in a bowl or a joint. However, this approach may be tapping into the potential of "entourage effects," in which different components of a plant interact to enhance the psychoactive experience. While more research is needed, mixing the various terpenes found in different strains may help improve the psychoactive experience - which is why "smoking pot with friends is always better". 

One brand has made this concept its mission; Daze Off, which can be purchased from aeriz in Arizona and Illinois, offers pre-rolls, small buds, and vapes with signature strain combos. The brand draws from aeriz's vast library of strains with around 150 different combination possibilities, each with an interesting name. A recent study of product brands by the Brightfield Group showed that Daze Off gained recognition among 12 percent of flower consumers in Illinois after just six months on the market, which is more than several operators that have been in business in Illinois longer. The excellent brand and existing distribution network have largely contributed to the success of Daze Off. Thanks to the brand, the concept of mixed or blended marijuana is sprouting in Illinois. 


Cannabis flower innovation

Innovation means implementing new ideas or improving existing ones. Marijuana is losing its novelty, and just offering the same herb products won't drive sales. This creates a need to improve existing ideas to remain competitive. Milled and blended strains are not new to consumers but are relatively undeveloped in the product market. Providing pre-ground, which eliminates the step of grinding buds, offers convenience to consumers. Although little is known about specific terpenes, the art of blending two or more strains allows connoisseurs to experiment with different flavors and psychoactive experiences. Both fill a gap in the market. Even for simple products like dry herb, competitive brands can succeed by identifying and filling gaps.