Ordinarily I wouldn’t write again on a subject that I covered only recently – the marketing of cannabis edibles – but a TV talking head mentioned something that I found surprising: we’re seeing a significant decline in interest when it comes to products containing CBD.

What? People aren’t buying CBD? That’s hard to believe. It feels as if it’s everywhere. Even so-called ‘healthy’ dog treats contain CBD!

I double-checked, and it appears to be true. According to industry sources, interest in CBD supplements of all types has dropped to a low point, after years and years of otherwise extremely solid growth — the kind that attracts big investment.

What’s going on? As we might expect, theories abound.

  • One expert blamed it on a backlash. The health benefits of CBD were badly overhyped on various websites, newspaper and magazine articles, and on social media. That led to widespread consumer curiosity and presumably, sales. Now the tide is receding. Users, the expert claims, have discovered for themselves how little actual benefit they got from CBD products. So they’re scouting around for other ‘wellness’ supplements on which to spend their hard-earned cash.
  • A different expert attributes the decline to the absence of THC in CBD-based preparations. It was removed to get around Federal laws. But apparently CBD’s effectiveness was boosted in the presence of THC, and is nowhere near as effective in its absence.

Who knows? Just a few years ago we were hearing that CBD interfered  with the effects of THC, making it less attractive for people looking to get high.

Anyway, the emphasis today, in an era when so many states have legalized recreational cannabis use, appears to be on making sure THC is available in the largest possible number of commercial products. That includes meals — “breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks,” according to one sales exec. He wants us to consider ‘boosting enjoyment’ by adding his company’s THC products to our diets.

The Vox website did a nice take on this phenomenon:

THC, in every snack you can think of

My favorites among the new products were the drinks. A few from the current crop:

  • Levia — THC-infused sparkling water.
  • Vibations — a powdered energy drink, suitable as a mixer.
  • Good Stuff — basically, lemonade with THC.
  • and various cold brew coffees, loaded with THC.

As for alcohol, we now have THC Cider, THC cocktail mix, various THC liquors. It says so right there on the labels.

Have these businesses forgotten that cannabis is a drug?

Maybe they don’t care. Perhaps they’re not worried about that. Not yet, anyway.

A colleague of mine who runs an addiction treatment program insists that from the very beginning, the goal of the cannabis industry has been to “normalize” cannabis consumption in much the same way society has come to accept the widespread use of alcohol and (at least until fairly recently) tobacco. Health and other consequences notwithstanding, including those 95,000 alcohol-related and 480,000 tobacco-related deaths annually.

I guess I see their point. It’s awfully good for their business. Is it good for the rest of society, though?