How Does Christmas Affect and Cannabis Sales?

Christmas Cannabis Sales
The effect the holidays have on cannabis sales has been a topic of heavy debate. Some feel that the family-friendly atmosphere inherent to the Holiday Season would put a damper on sales. In contrast, others feel the general increase in consumerism should impact the cannabis industry. A consumer poll conducted in 2020 puts the debate to rest and may even let us know what we can expect from sales during the holiday season.

Consumer Polls

The consumer poll was conducted by the cannabis and hemp company Glass House Group before the holiday season began. The study found that a significant number of the company's customers planned to give cannabis products as gifts. The top choices among the 630 respondents were flowers, edibles, and pre-rolls. The results suggested that cannabis gift-giving was a significant trend featuring in 2020's holiday season.

Additional Evidence

Consumer research after the holidays supports the above conclusion. For example, data gathered by cannabis technology company Akerna revealed that the 2020 Christmas holiday period (between 18-24 of December) generated $427 million in cannabis and cannabis product sales. The Friday preceding Christmas is generally considered the biggest sales day of the season, but in 2020 Christmas fell on a Friday. Instead, the Wednesday before the holiday showed the most significant increase, with a 76% leap in sales. Generating $87.3 million, it became the third-largest sales day of the year, beaten only by Green Wednesday and New Year's Eve.

New Year's Eve proved to exceed the sales of both its predecessors. While Green Wednesday generated $87.4 million in revenue, New Year's Eve topped the charts with $89.4 million in sales, surpassing Green Wednesday by a considerable margin and taking the crown as the most successful cannabis sales day of the year.

Causes of The Sales Leap

The potential causes for the significant increase in sales, particularly in 2020, have been attributed to a greater wariness of alcohol. Glass House's poll indicated that 64.2% of respondents planned to reduce alcohol consumption in favor of cannabis. In addition, most respondents (67.4%) planned to replace alcohol with cannabis more than they had the year prior. This reason can easily be attributed to the massive sales increases around New Year's. As the Akerna study revealed, consumers bought over twice as many edibles on New Year's Eve in 2020 as they had the previous year.

The shift may indicate the growth of cannabis as a mainstream option for consumers, both recreationally and as a form of stress management. In addition, as cannabis gains wider acceptance as a recreational substance with potentially less harmful effects than alcohol, many people will see it as a preferable alternative. Thus, the movement towards accepting cannabis as a mainstream consumer product will increase.

What These Statistics Mean for 2021

While we can't predict the Holiday Season sales in 2021, the data seems to indicate that sales will experience a significant increase throughout the holiday season and peak on New Year's Eve. Therefore, retailers should prepare to accommodate the increase in sales, and consumers should ensure they get their cannabis products safely and securely from reliable sellers.



An Inside Look at Decarboxylation

An Inside Look at Decarboxylation


There’s a common trope in media depicting cannabis users – a character consumes large amounts of raw cannabis and gets completely high out of their mind. But this scene is pretty far from reality. The effects of raw cannabis are minimal at best. The reason behind this phenomenon? A little chemical process called decarboxylation.

What Does Decarboxylation Do?

Decarboxylation is an important step for efficient production of the major active components in cannabis, for example, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and cannabigerol (CBG). These cannabinoids do not occur in significant concentrations in cannabis but can be formed by decarboxylation of their corresponding acids, the predominant cannabinoids in the plant. The corresponding acid for THC is THCA.

The acidic cannabinoids, such as THCA and CBDA, are thermally unstable and can be decarboxylated when exposed to light or heat via, for example, smoking or baking. THCA is the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis.

But consumers, be it for medical or recreational purposes, are less interested in the acidic cannabinoids. They wish to know the levels of THC or CBD they will consume so that they can be certain they will achieve the desired outcome and got what they paid for.

Therefore, the consumer is best informed about a cannabis product’s potential potency at consumption by knowing the “Total THC” or “Total CBD” values. These refer to the estimated levels of active cannabinoids in the cannabis after it has been prepared for consumption by heating through vaping, smoking, or cooking.

When cannabis is decarboxylated, either through heating or processing, its cannabinoid levels increase.

Cannabinoids are secondary metabolites not critical for the plant’s survival. The plant also needs a combination of fats, carbs, proteins, vitamins, various metabolites, and minerals to survive. As a result, the cannabis plant does not have a natural reason to produce more than 25-30 percent total cannabinoids.

What Happens During Decarboxylation?

Two main causes lead to decarboxylation: time and heat. Drying or curing cannabis crops over a space of time can cause partial decarboxylation, which is why otherwise unprocessed flowers sometimes test for small percentages of THC in addition to THCA.

Exposing the plant to heat by smoking or vaporizing it will cause instant decarboxylation through high temperatures. The THC will reach our lungs and enter the bloodstream rapidly. While we can easily absorb these cannabinoids through inhalation, edibles need to have already undergone a decarboxylation process to allow us to feel the effect of the psychoactive components through our digestive system. This takes more time, usually at least 30 minutes after consumption before the cannabis is digested and the THC released into the bloodstream.

Baking or other methods of heating slowly at lower temperatures also causes the process to occur without disintegrating the plant- allowing us to add it to other products.