By Helen Lee
Consuming marijuana in capsule form is of growing interest for many users, particularly those new to cannabis and using for medicinal purposes. Capsules are a familiar way of consuming medicine and provide patients more accurate dosage and provide longer effects as the cannabinoids are released into a user’s system over a longer period of time. The extended effects are particularly beneficial for those suffering from chronic illnesses. Wana Brands was first to develop an extended release marijuana capsule, WanaCapsXR, that claims to provide 12 hours of relief for patients. Capsules provide a means to receive marijuana’s medicinal benefits while avoiding the respiratory risks associated with smoking it. In addition, although many edibles provide the advantage of discreet consumption, capsules also provide cost effectiveness (per milligram). These may be reasons that recreational users make up an increasing percentage of those purchasing capsules.
Overall, capsules make up a very small percent of a state’s total marijuana sales. This is the case in Oregon (0.2%), as well as its neighboring states Washington (0.2%) and California (0.1%). Other categories/subcategories make up a significantly larger proportion of marijuana sales in the Oregon market. However, capsules are far more important in emerging cannabis markets with restrictions on product types, including New York and Minnesota. Furthermore, they are one of the top product types in the emerging hemp oil/hemp CBD space so companies that are performing well in marijuana-derived capsules would be wise to eye interstate expansion into strategic markets or a hemp line to help bolster sales.
Looking at the Others Category in Oregon over time, data collected by Brightfield Group projects that Prerolls will make up an increasing portion of this category, while other subcategories such as Capsules and Tinctures will remain steady.
Despite the benefits for medical patients, Brightfield Group projects capsules sales in the Oregon market will be generated primarily by recreational users in the next few years and increasing even further by the end of 2020.
In terms of cost per milligram, capsules provide a more cost-effective way for those looking to orally consume marijuana. However, these users enjoy the sweet taste that other edibles such as Sugar Candy, Chocolates, and Baked Goods provide over the cost effectiveness of capsules.