What Hemp Products Do People Search for Most?

Without a uniform federal system, it can often be difficult to get hard numbers to paint an actual portrayal of data in the cannabinoids industry, particularly related to sales. Different publications produce their own numbers based on different metrics, but there are holes where a lot of data should be. One metric of late comes from kush.com, and seeks to answer the question of what hemp products its consumers search for most.

What hemp products do people search for most? Well, we have no formal answer to that, but kush.com pulled together some data from its site to show us what its customers are searching for. Is it helpful? You be the judge! We cover everything under the sun in the world of weed, and you can follow along by signing up to the THC Weekly Newsletter, for a daily dose of industry news. Plus, get direct access to deals on products like vapes, edibles, and other paraphernalia, and on cannabinoid compounds, as well. Check out our 420 deals to get the most out of April 20th, and to ensure a blissful and sky-high holiday!


What is kush.com

Before getting into what information was released, best to have an idea of who released it. The company kush.com specializes in supply chain solutions that alleviate risk and compliance issues for all transactions. According to the company, over 6,000 professionals currently use its service. “Kush builds bridges between producers, processors and retailers with a carefully curated network of verified and vetted buyers and sellers.”

Aside from that, kush.com’s main purpose is as a standard marketplace, which sells CBD products, ‘hemp-derived’ products, and other cannabis products. Kush.com goes by the standard industry line in terms of its products’ legality. It says that all products are federally compliant by being hemp-derived and having less than .3% THC. However, as we’ve gone over in many posts, none of these products are made without synthetization, meaning they are illegal, as has been backed up by the DEA.

Shopify already banned such products a couple months ago, likely at the behest of the US government, in an effort to curb an industry it otherwise has no control over. While kush.com doesn’t seem to be pulling shadier tactics, like using brand names of other companies to sell products, or putting dispensary logos on products, it is wholly part of what is already a questionable industry.

As such, all information coming from them should be taken with a grain of salt. However, even salty information is sometimes best if nothing else exists. The following is kush.com’s breakdown of what hemp products people search for most on its site. Maybe it’s not the information we technically want the most, but its the crumb that’s been dropped down to us for now.

What did kush.com do?

According to kush.com, it collected sales data from thousands of customers to see what they’re searching for, which included 200,000 search results. The searches come from the last few months, with nothing more said about time frames. All searches are the result of people looking for products directly on the company site, and the results do not include standard Google searches. Therefore, this metric is only related to kush.com directly.

This is also not sales data, just to be clear. None of what’s to follow indicates a direct sale, so if sales were put up against searches, it could show some very different information. These are only search results, and though they may show interest in a product, they are not indicative of company revenue.

Last thing to know is that kush.com was specifically looking at searches for different Hemp Finished Goods. ‘Hemp Finished Goods’ relates to products that come from hemp, and in this case, can mean all products from vapes to oils to edibles to lotions, and so on.

What hemp products do people search for most?

Kush.com’s search results show that the most searched for hemp products are vapes, with 28.7% of searches relating to these items. Second up was edible candy, which accounted for 18.1% of searches. Dabs and concentrates took the third spot for most searched-for hemp items, with 13.1% of searches, and packaged flowers found themselves in fourth place with 10.6% of searches pointed in that direction.

The rest of the search results go as follows: 9.8% for pre-rolls, 5.2% for tinctures, 4.6% for drinks, 3.3% for lotions, 3% for edibles, 2.3% for capsules and tablets, .8% for pet treats, and .6% for bath bombs. It should be noticed that many of the categories overlap. For example, edibles got 3%, but drinks got 4.6% and candy got 18.1%, which equal 22.7% together. Or you can put together flowers and pre-rolls for 20.4% of search results.

hemp products

Vapes, edibles (particularly candy), and flowers were the most searched for finished hemp products on kush.com’s site. If nothing else, vendors on kush.com can use this to determine the best way to list products. After all, if selling infused chocolates, it looks like more people will search under ‘candy’ than ‘edibles’, making it easier to get to consumers by listing the product as ‘candy’.

It bears repeating, this has nothing to do with sales information, and though the data could be similar, searches don’t predict sales. It could be that kush.com had its highest sales in flowers, not in vapes. Or that only 1% of clients went on to buy a tincture, though over 5% of search results indicate interest. If kush.com had released accompanying sales data, we’d be able to more closely investigate how close these aggregated searches are to final sales data, but for now, this is the most we’ve been given.

Of course, that’s also one of the bigger questions of this hemp-derived industry in general. Just how big are sales? The cannabinoid market is a very controversial one, but its also a very below-board one, which means not many companies are willing to release their data. Or I assume that’s why it’s been so problematic finding data.

For whatever the reason is, answering the simple question of how much money do these companies bring in, has been a black hole, with infographics like this offering the most anyone wants to give. Did we really learn a lot here? Not really. Apart from vendors possibly getting insight on how to list products, we aren’t increasing out knowledge base with anything interesting.

Other questions it raises

Apart from how this relates to sales data, there is also the question of what particular goods were searched for. Like, in the category of vapes, what percentage of the searches were for delta-8 products, how many were for CBD, and how many for HHC? It could be that one of these categories clearly dominates, or that they rather evenly share the field. It would be very useful to know what products in each category are searched for most.

The same goes for a category like ‘candy’. Gummies have grown in interest all over, but how do they compare to chocolate bars? And are other baked goods in this category, or in another? Then there is the question of whether kush.com counted searches in multiple categories. For example, if a person searched for infused sodas, would it count in just ‘drinks’, or in ‘drinks’ and in ‘edibles’? Same question for gummies, and pet treats that are also edibles. And it can be applied to flowers and pre-rolls, as well.

cannabis statistics

I’m also curious, when looking at this kind of data, of how many searches each searcher did. It could be that the majority are just people going through the site, with each searcher checking out tons of different categories before making a purchase, or leaving without purchasing. How many categories did the average searcher check out? If its 10, then this data wouldn’t relate well to sales figures, but if its one or two, it indicates that searchers were more specific in what they were looking for, and probably more likely to buy.

Conclusion

How useful an infographic like this is, is hard to say. Sure, it provides a tiny peak at some information, but if you’re like me, and you want more expressive information on the field, something like this not only falls short, but appears to be more a marketing scheme to get traffic, then an actual scientific output meant to add to the understanding of the overall market. I’m not terribly impressed in the end. I’d be more impressed with real sales data, something that’s never released in this industry.

Whether that’s because these companies don’t want the federal government knowing their true sales information, or a lack of result to meet the built-up facade of sales, I have no idea. But they should be out there, and they’re not, and this offering is a paltry substitute, for real and useful information.

Thanks for stopping by out little site! Welcome to CBDtesters.co, your premiere internet spot for comprehensive independent news covering the cannabis and psychedelics industries. Join us frequently to keep up-to-date on the quickly-moving universe of cannabis and psychedelics, and check out The THC Weekly Newsletter, for a daily dose of industry news.

The post What Hemp Products Do People Search for Most? appeared first on CBD Testers.

Shopify is Banning All THC Products From Being Sold on Their Platform

The once go-to industry payment processor, Shopify, is now banning the sale of all products containing more than 0.3% THC through their platform. That includes alternative cannabinoids like Delta 8 and 10, THC-O, THCP, and so on.  

According to a Shopify email that’s making the rounds, products containing more than 0.3% of any type of tetrahydrocannabinol (0.2% if you’re shipping globally) will be removed from account holders’ online stores. This is in order to comply with FDA regulations.  

Word for word, the email sent yesterday to numerous distributors states: “It has come to our attention that you are using your Shopify account to sell Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products containing more than 0.3% THC. Unfortunately, due to applicable laws and regulations in the United States, Shopify’s policies do not currently permit merchants to offer for sale products containing more than 0.3% THC regardless of compound type (e.g., delta-8, delta-9, delta-10).” 

Cannabis regulations are incredibly complicated and constantly changing, but we’ll continue doing our best to keep you updated every step of the way. Remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter all the latest news and industry stories, as well as exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other products. Also save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP & even HHC / HHC-O products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!


A bit more about THCs 

To quickly summarize, there are about 15 different known tetrahydrocannabinol compounds, some are natural from the plant and some are synthetics. The main ones you’ll see in today’s market are delta 8, 9, and 10, THCV, THC-P, and THC-O. When people think of “THC”, Delta 9 is what they’re thinking of. Delta 9 THC is the main psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant. For decades, Delta 9 has been at the heart of prohibition efforts because lawmakers were too intently focused on its mind-altering properties while completely dismissing all of its many possible uses in the health and wellness sectors.  

As delta 9 ages, a significant portion oxidizes and “degrades”. Most of it turns into CBN (cannabinol), while a small amount turns into Delta 8 THC and possibly, other trace cannabinoids and compounds. As a result of this chemical process, Delta 8 THC remains stable when exposed to air, meaning it could have more potential medical applications than delta 9, although Delta 8 is somewhat less potent. In cannabis plants, delta 8 is only present in trace amounts, so in most of the products you find online or in stores, the delta-8 THC is actually a synthetic converted from CBD, not a plant-extracted compound.   

Then we have delta-10 THC. D10 is a completely synthetic cannabinoid that was discovered on accident. As with many of the nation’s Cannadelics trends, delta-10 THC started in California. An Adelanto-based company, Fusion Farms, bought some outdoor flower to manufacture concentrates. As many already know, California is subject to very large, nearly annual wildfires; and unbeknownst to Fusion Farms, the biomass they purchased was contaminated with fire retardant. Since they were unaware of the contamination, they continued with the extraction as planned but after the distillation process, unusual crystals began to form. These crystals were similar to THC, slightly different from any previously identified cannabinoid. And thus, it was dubbed delta-10 THC.   

THCV, or tetrahydrocannabivarin, THCV is a naturally occurring analog of THC. THCV comes from the precursor cannabinoid CBGVA, which breaks down to into THCVA (tetrahydrocannabivarin acid), which then is decarboxylated to form THCV. What’s interesting about THCV is the way that it interacts with our endocannabinoid system, and the subsequent effects it has on appetite and weight.   

THCP (tetrahydrocannabiphorol), on the other hand, is a special type of THC analog called a homolog. A homolog is a molecule belonging to a series of compounds that differ from each other by a repeating unit. In this scenario, the repeating unit is the alkyl side chain. Delta 9 THC has a 5-term alkyl side chain, which means that it contains 5 total carbon atoms. THCP has an elongated 7-term chain.  

And finally, let’s take a look at THC-O-Acetate, which is referred to as an acetate ester of delta-9 THC. Let’s cover what exactly that means. We know that delta-9 THC is created as a result of the decarboxylation of THCA, but there are different ways that decarboxylation can occur. An acetate ester is a byproduct of a certain type of decarboxylation called LTA decarboxylation, a process that is very different from the standard method of heat/light induced decarboxylation.   

Free Delta 9 THC Gummies

What does the DEA and FDA say about THC? 

First and foremost, all THCs are still technically considered Schedule 1 one narcotics, as per the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). So naturally, this factors into Shopify’s decision. For reference, Schedule 1 narcotics are said to have the highest potential for abuse and addiction, and thus, are under the strictest regulations. That said, natural drugs that we in the industry know to be safe, like cannabis, mushrooms, and peyote, are listed under schedule 1, whereas substances like methamphetamine and heroin are a bit less stigmatized with a schedule 2 category. It really makes no sense, but that’s the way it is.  

Additionally, on Shopify’s page of resources for companies selling “hemp and hemp-derived products”, there is a link to the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency’s (FDA) statement governing the sale of these items. As per their website, “Even if a CBD product meets the definition of ‘hemp’ under the 2018 Farm Bill, it still must comply with all other applicable laws, including the FD&C Act. Furthermore, the FDA has concluded that THC and CBD products are excluded from the dietary supplement definition under section 201(ff)(3)(B) of the FD&C Act [21 U.S.C. § 321(ff)(3)(B)].” 

So basically, they’re heavily regulated, product containing these compounds cannot even be legally sold as dietary supplements anymore, and Shopify simply does not want to deal with the drama, as is never-ending cycle of cannabis industry payment processing woes in the US. 

More on global regulations – Europe and Canada

In other parts of the world, namely Europe until a very recent ruling, hemp was defined as having less than 0.2% THC, rather than 0.3% like in the US. The change is insignificant in terms of product quality and safety, but it’s a major pain for farmers and manufacturers.  

Under Shopify’s section on “Laws and regulations for selling hemp or hemp-derived products internationally”, it states that, “You can sell hemp or hemp-derived products if it’s legal, and you comply with all marketing laws in your jurisdiction and the jurisdiction of your customers. The products you sell can’t contain more than 0.2% of THC, regardless of the compound type, such as delta-8, delta-9, and delta-10.”

Now Canada. Because cannabis is legal at the federal level in Canada, the regulations for payments and banking are a bit different there. Here is what Shopify has to say about companies selling cannabis products in Canada: 

canada

“In Canada, most hemp-derived products are classified as cannabis. To sell hemp or hemp-derived products in Canada, you must: Be licensed to sell cannabis either at the federal or provincial level, comply with all the requirements set out in the relevant legislation, use Shopify Plus, complete a specific onboarding process related to selling cannabis products in Canada.”  

Shopify Banning THC – Final thoughts

Although highly inconvenient, because companies are scrambling to set up new online shops and find payment processing solutions, if there is one thing to be said about the cannabis industry is that we are adaptive. As of now, it appears that WordPress/WooCommerce will be the next big thing for industry internet retail, so keep an eye out as things continue to unfold.

Product Reviewers Wanted

Welcome all! You’ve made it to CBDtesters.co, your one-stop-shop for the best independent news coverage of the cannabis and psychedelics, currently going on. Drop by the site regularly to stay abreast of the exciting world of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter, so you never miss a breaking story.

Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post Shopify is Banning All THC Products From Being Sold on Their Platform appeared first on CBD Testers.

Are Women Less Likely To Support Cannabis Legalization Than Men?

When it comes to the majority of political issues – including support for social services and government spending, environmental regulation, equal rights, prison reform, mental health, and so on – women tend to lean more liberal than men. One of the few hot-button topics where more women seem to skew conservatively, is cannabis legalization, surprisingly.  

According to a Gallup survey conducted late last year, American support for cannabis legalization is at an all-time high of nearly 70 percent. However, despite the fact that a growing number of adults are in favor of weed reform, it seems that women are somewhat less open to the idea than men. A few other studies and surveys over the year shared similar findings.  

So, what is the reason for this gender gap? Is it related to religion, politics, or parenthood? Or is because, historically, women have always faced greater stigma than men for engaging in what society considers “deviant” behavior? Is it a combination of all these different elements? Let’s explore this further. 

As with most things in this world, cannabis use is not uniform across the board. Opinions vary based on age, religious beliefs, gender, and many other factors. But as a whole, it seems that most people are becoming increasingly supportive of reform efforts, and we’re here to keep you updated on these changes every step of the way. Subscribe to THC Weekly Newsletter for tons more stories like this one. Plus, gain access to exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and much more, along with premiere offers on cannabinoids, like HHC-O, Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP HHC, which will save you lots of $$. You can find them in our “Best-of” lists!


The cannabis gender gap 

Using data from Pew Research Center surveys, researchers from North Carolina State University and Hartwick College conducted a new meta-analysis of their results and tested several different hypotheses to try and see if they could figure out more about this gender gap. They published their results in the Social Science Quarterly.  Although the numbers vary slightly based on the specific survey conducted, on average, just under 70 percent of men support cannabis legalization, while only about 60 percent of women do. The numbers run parallel to gendered patterns of recreational use, in which similar figures have been reported.  

Overall, it seems that among adolescents, males are more likely to use cannabis than females, and that continues into adulthood. These numbers remained constant whether cannabis was legal in the respondents’ areas or not. Additionally, among those who did use cannabis, there were gender-based differences in the way it was being used. Women were more likely to use it therapeutically, and the most common conditions listed were nausea, anxiety, and migraines.  

This makes a lot of sense, when we consider how standard medications are prescribed to women versus men. Statistics show that women are more likely than men to use antidepressants, anti-anxiety, and anti-pain medications, although rates of diagnosis between both genders are practically the same. Women also typically seek medical treatment earlier and more frequently than men, and about 14 percent more women reported taking vitamins and supplements than their male counterparts.  

All-that said, it’s no surprise that among women, especially middle-aged to older women, the idea of using cannabis medicinally is a much easier-to-swallow pill than full-scale recreational legalization. Even so, the gender gap has certainly narrowed over the years and will likely continue to do so. In 2018, 68 percent of men supported cannabis legalization, while only 56 percent of women did. By late last year, these numbers were at 68-61. What’s interesting is that the number of men who support cannabis reform is now remaining stagnant, and the number of women who are flipping the switch is growing.  

The conservative mother theory  

A common assumption when it comes to women and cannabis, is that mothers are more inclined to oppose cannabis legalization efforts. This is, though, just an assumption that’s not rooted in fact whatsoever. It’s true that parenthood is political, and parents tend to support policies that help children and prevent crime. From this perspective it makes sense that mothers who are intent on protecting their children would oppose policies that are lenient toward any type of substance use, not just cannabis.  

Fascinatingly, that appears to not be the case at all. When this theory was tested, it was noted that mothers and fathers were just as likely to support cannabis legalization as men and women without children. When it came to harder drugs with more addictive tendencies, that’s where many began to draw the line, but views on cannabis were fairly liberal.  

“Being a parent is not a predictor of attitudes on the marijuana support scale,” says Steven Greene, Professor of political science at North Carolina State University, and co-author of the study. “When the demographics-only model is run without the parenthood variable (not shown) and then with the parenthood variable added, the coefficient for gender does not change at all, indicating that being a parent does not account for any of the gender gap.” 

The real cause of the divide  

Numerous different tests were conducted to see if there was a “why” that could be explained. The first analysis looked at gender alone, to establish a baseline, then added different demographic variables to see which ones had the largest impact on cannabis-related opinions. They examined political party affiliation, age, education level, income, race, parenthood, marital status, religious affiliation/commitment, and past use patterns.  

Political party affiliation, age, education, and church attendance were all somewhat significant, with results implying that younger, liberal, higher-educated, and non-religious women were more likely to be in favor of cannabis legalization. Older and conservative women were more inclined to be opposed altogether or more prefered medical legalization only. Race, marital status, and parenthood all proved largely insignificant in all these analyses.  

But all the aforementioned factors were no longer noteworthy when past cannabis use was accounted for. According to the study authors, “Personal use had the strongest influence of all the variables considered, indicating that those who had ever used were more likely to support legalization than those who had never used marijuana, even when considering all the other factors.” 

Familiarity and comfortability  

So, if past use and familiarity are the common denominators in whether someone is more likely to support cannabis legalization or not, the next question is… why are men more often more comfortable with cannabis than women? When we think of stoners, we tend to think of carefree young males, and we’re not entirely off base with that association.  

Statistically speaking, women were less likely to report having ever trying cannabis at all. Approximately 55 percent of men reported having tried cannabis at some point in their lives, compared to only 42 percent of women. Women also reported feeling “uncomfortable” around the plant and in regards to the industry in general.  

Considering how beneficial cannabis can be for women, I personally find these results jarring. Why aren’t more women at least trying it? It’s honestly hard to say, because in my own experience, most of the women I’ve met are cannabis-friendly. Aside from personal preferences, it could stem from historical double standards. Typically, women who engage in risky behavior are judged more harshly than men who engage in similar or even riskier activities. This includes but is not limited to drug use and sexual activity, the two of which are often believed to go hand in hand. 

And in that same vein, women have been (and still are to some extent) restricted in how and when they can express their sexuality. Because the general consensus is that drugs lower inhibitions, and lowered inhibitions can lead to more satisfying sexual experiences, and women have been sexually oppressed since the earliest documented human civilizations, it’s no surprise that women face more stigma for using mind altering substances as well.  

Final thoughts  

It’s important to note that this gender gap, although present, is not very large and getting smaller with each passing day. Researchers believe that this will be a non-issue as soon as a few years down the line.  

“Though it is challenging to accurately predict the future contours of the gender gap in marijuana, we do think our findings here are instructive,” the team wrote. “As marijuana use becomes more common and seen as less risky or deviant behavior, and as marijuana use is framed less as a moral issue (which will presumably be the case as it grows more common and legalized), there is reason to expect the gender gap to shrink.” 

Hello readers! Welcome to CBDtesters.co, your #1 web spot for the best independent news coverage of the cannabis and psychedelics-related industry, relevant to today. Join us whenever possible to stay in-the-loop on the constantly-changing universe of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and sign up for The THC Weekly Newsletter, to ensure you’re always on top of the latest story.

Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post Are Women Less Likely To Support Cannabis Legalization Than Men? appeared first on CBD Testers.

Digital Money and Digital Weed? How Crypto and NFTs are Reshaping the Cannabis Industry

As mainstream, profitable, and technologically advanced as the cannabis industry has become in recent years, the struggle to access financial services is still one of the prevailing issues faced by business owners. It seems as though congress won’t provide any solutions on this front until they’re forced to do so via a federal legalization. But being the adaptive industry that cannabis is, crypto and NTFs are proving to be interesting legal alternatives to operating in all-cash.  

The cannabis industry is complicated enough as it is, add to the mix trying to figure out financing solutions, and it’s enough to make you almost want to give up. Luckily, cryptocurrency and NFTs are offering unique alternatives to what once seemed like a dead-end road. Remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter for more articles like this one and exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and more! Also save big on HHC-O, Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!


Without banking access, cannabis businesses are turning to crypto  

It’s relatively common knowledge that banking is a big problem in the cannabis industry. Because marijuana is still federally illegal and dealing with cannabis cash could be considered money laundering, banks are naturally reluctant about working with the industry. That means everything including loans, lines of credit, payment processing solutions, and even basic bank accounts are off limits for canna-business owners.  

A bill titled the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which passed the House of Representatives last year with strong bipartisan support, would have allowed banks and financial institutions to service the cannabis industry. Unfortunately, the bill hasn’t seen much action since the beginning of 2020.  

The lack of access to financial support has forced many cannabis businesses to deal in all-cash, which is not only inconvenient, but also dangerous. Thieves are aware that dispensaries have both, a lot of cash and weed on hand, and these businesses are targeted and robbed regularly. When this happens, it can be hard to file insurance claims for stolen cash and other products when the amount stolen can’t be proven.  

Additionally, everything from paying rent to managing payroll becomes highly convoluted when you’re dealing with cash, and cryptocurrency can help resolve some of these issues. Cryptocurrency is decentralized digital money that’s stored on a blockchain technology system. Because crypto transactions aren’t regulated in the same way as standard banking exchanges, and the fact that it’s impossible to physically steal cryptocurrency and difficult to hack blockchain wallets as well, it makes sense that a growing number of companies are showing interest.   

Cryptocurrency can benefit cannabis businesses in the following ways:  

  • Cash-free transactions: The ability to accept Bitcoin and other digital currencies in lieu of cash payments is a major benefit for cannabis businesses trying to move away from having large sums of money on hand or in their stores, homes, etc.  
  • Lower fees: Regarding the very few financial service companies that are actually willing to work with cannabis, they charge astronomical fees for being some of the only players in the game. Using crypto payments allows cannabis business owners – who are already paying ridiculous amounts of money in taxes, rent, and pretty much everything else – to at least save some money on payment processing fees.  
  • International transactions: For businesses that also sell merchandise, CBD products, and other items that can be shipped internationally, digital currency offers a quick and efficient way to accomplish this.  

Downsides to crypto 

As with everything, there are some downsides to using cryptocurrency in the cannabis industry. For example, crypto is taxed differently than income received through standard business transactions like with credit and debit cards. This is in part because cryptocurrency is a somewhat new concept that still is not being heavily utilized by the general population, but also, because of the volatility of digital currency. 

This can make it very costly and time consuming to manage transaction records because, not only does the business owner need to keep track of every single transaction conducted, but they will also need to make note of the value of cryptocurrency against their local currency at the time of the transaction. This is something that is both time consuming when done correctly, and extremely difficult to go backwards and track if you weren’t doing so at the time the transaction was conducted.  

In addition to being an accounting nightmare, another issue with these value fluctuations is that, if you sell a large number of items for a certain price in bitcoin, then find that the value drops dramatically a short time later, that could mean A LOT of money lost. In that same vein, the opposite could be true and you could end up with way more money than expected if crypto values go up. But ultimately, it’s a gamble that most business owners are not willing to take.  

One option to remedy this issue is to use stablecoins, a type of digital currency comparable to the dollar, euro, or gold – in the sense that its price doesn’t vary so wildly. That provides a bit of stability, and business owners don’t have to worry about their livelihoods being ruined if digital currency one day ends up being worth much less than expected. Also, you can immediately convert your stablecoins into traditional currency after each transaction, so essentially you can use it simply to avoid the cash dilema and transfer it straight to useable money within minutes.  

What about NFTs and digital cannabis strains? 

Now, here’s where things get a bit confusing. The concept of paying for real weed with digital money is becoming relatively understandable (although it begs the question of the true value of money when all of it can be digitalized), but what about using digital money to buy digital weed? Welcome to the complicated world of NFTs.  

To quickly explain NFTs as best as I can: Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs, are used to sell and grant full ownership over digital assets. Non-fungible refers to the uniqueness of the digital asset. Cash money is considered fungible because there is no difference between dollars… as in, a five-dollar bill can be easily exchanged for another five-dollar bill and no one would be the wiser. With NFTs, each one has its own unique metadata and identifier that is recorded on the blockchain, which tracks ownership and makes it impossible for one NFT to be exchanged for another.  

Let’s consider a photograph, for example. First, you upload the image to one of the many existing NFT marketplaces, akin to Amazon or Etsy but for digital products. Then, you need to certify that the asset is original, a process known as “minting” that can usually be done with just a few clicks. And finally, you link your cryptocurrency wallet to your NFT account and list the asset for sale. To buy NFTs, the consumer would convert their money into USD Coins, Bitcoins, or Ethereum and buy whatever they want and can afford from the marketplace. Now, instead of receiving a printed image or downloadable file for limited use, they would be buying complete ownership over that photo. They would even be able to turn around and sell it themselves.

Now back to ‘digital weed’. Dubbed “Lava Coin,” it was created by Jessie Grundy, founder and chief executive of Peakz, an upscale cannabis brand based in Oakland, California. Unlike regular cannabis flower, the digital buds are globally legal and available anywhere in the world. But it’s not weed that you can can actually smoke, so what’s the point? The point, for many, is ownership over something that no one else has. You wouldn’t own a bag of weed per se, but you would own rights that that strain and those particular genetics. How much that’s worth depends on the strain and value placed on it by the industry, but it’s something interesting and distinctive no less.  

“The reason why someone would want digital weed is the uniqueness,” said Grundy, adding that “blockchain-based proprietary genetics would settle at least one eternal question in the weed world: who came up with what strain, with the exact genetics identified, and who did it first.” That is also a very good point but one that applies to cultivators rather than consumers and the general public.

Back to the blockchain  

Blockchain technology is a major factor in the success of both crypto and NFTs, and it’s also beginning to play a prominent role in the cannabis industry in sectors other than finance, such as seed-to-sale tracking. But what exactly is blockchain technology? Blockchain is a system of recording and exchanging information through a digital ledger of transactions. All inputted information is duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems on the blockchain. Every time new transaction is made, or every time a new step is reached in the production/distribution process, a record of that is added to each blockchain of every participant’s ledger.  

Blockchain uses a decentralized database known as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), and it’s managed and updated by multiple participants. So, if this technology is used to track the life of a cannabis plant, each person involved in its production cycle would be adding information to the blockchain at every step – cultivators, labs, extractors, distributors, and so on. Transactions are recorded with an immutable cryptographic signature called a hash, and everyone using the chain has access to these updates.  

This means that it would be immediately noticeable if any block in the chain is tampered with. If someone wanted to hack the blockchain, they would have to change every single block in the chain, across all recorded versions of the chain. The blockchains that are used more heavily are constantly growing and being distributed to more and more users, making them nearly impossible to corrupt as they expand.  

People are also drawn to the dispersed natured of how blockchains are managed. Most standard databases, such as an SQL database, have an individual or group of individuals in charge of data and operations. The concern is that it could lead to conflict of interests where said individuals may hack the ledgers and make changes that could give them monetary bonuses. With blockchains, no single person is running the show, and the entire system operated by the people who use it. The transparency and resiliency to hacking makes blockchains a legitimate disruptor for many industries, including cannabis.  

Final thoughts on cannabis, crypto, and NFTs

Pretty much all the topics mentioned in this article are relatively new concepts and industries. Cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, NFTS, and the entirety of the cannabis industry are all still in their infancy, only having been discussed with more seriousness over the last five years or so. There is a lot of room for growth in all of these sectors, and because one side of it deals with financial transactions and the other side is a metaphorical gold mine, it makes sense that cannabis and digital currency will end up expanding more together.

Hello and welcome! You made it to CBDtesters.co, the #1 internet spot for all the most thought-provoking and important cannabis and psychedelics-related news going on today. Join us whenever you can to stay aware of the quickly-expanding world of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and check out the The THC Weekly Newsletter, so you’re always first to know what’s going on.

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post Digital Money and Digital Weed? How Crypto and NFTs are Reshaping the Cannabis Industry appeared first on CBD Testers.

Alternative Products Expo – The Premier Event for Cannabis Industry Products – Ticket Discounts!  

Formerly known as The USA CBD Expo, the need for rebranding became apparent at last year’s event in Chicago. This event, now The Alternative Products Expo, covers so much more than just CBD. This year, like last, you can expect to learn more about Delta 8, 9, and 10 THC, THC-O, HHC, psilocybin, THCV, CBN, and so many more exciting cannabinoid and alternative products.  

We’ll see you there from March 11th to 13th, at Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Click here to buy your tickets now!

Use the coupon code CBDTESTERS for 50% off all show tickets!! And remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter for more deals on show tickets and exciting new products!  


2022 is expected to be an incredible year for the industry as a whole. Amazing shows, pending legalizations, and so many new products and compounds hitting the shelves. The cannabis trade-show experience is unparalleled. Alternative Products Expo offers attendees the opportunity to build connections, learn about all the latest trends and innovations, and be among like-minded people in a rapidly growing industry.  

This event will include over 50 speakers, more than 300 exhibitors, and thousands of products. Alternative products expo is sponsored by 3chi, Lost 8s, Dimo, Trinity Hemp, Cake, and other big names in the industry. That said, you can expect to find a lot THC (Delta 8, 9, and 10, THC-O, THCP, and THCV), CBN, CBG, CBD, CBC, and pretty much any hemp/cannabis derivative you can think of.  

Another exciting aspect about this year’s expo is the inclusion of psychedelic (or psychedelic adjacent) products. There won’t be any actual psilocybin on the convention floor, since it’s still in legal flux throughout the US, but a lot of companies that have already laid the groundwork to sell such products once they are legal, will be there. Many cities and states have mushroom legislation in the works, and it is prime time to start learning about them and connecting with people in that field.  

Again, The Alternative Products Expo will be held at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from March 11th to 13th. We’re expecting to see over 10,000 attendees, more than 50 speakers, and upwards of 300 exhibitors at the event, and we at CBD Testers are very excited to attend!  

–> Remember to use coupon code TESTERS for 50% off any ticket to any show <– 


Hello and welcome! Thanks for stopping by CBDtesters.co, your #1 web source for cannabis and psychedelics-related news, offering the most interesting stories of today. Join us frequently to stay on-top of the quickly-moving world of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and remember to check out The THC Weekly Newsletterto ensure you’re never late on getting a story.

The post Alternative Products Expo – The Premier Event for Cannabis Industry Products – Ticket Discounts!   appeared first on CBD Testers.

The Emerald Conference: 7th Annual Interdisciplinary Cannabis Science Event – Ticket Discounts Available!

The Emerald Conference (7th annual) is the longest running interdisciplinary cannabis science event, and the place to be for cultivators, extractors, physicians, product manufacturers, and anyone else interested in learning more about all the most important research going on behind the scenes of this multi-billion-dollar industry.  

Science and research are the backbone of the legal cannabis industry, especially in the medical sector. Without cannabis science, not only would we stay lagging on best practices in cultivation, production, and safety standards; but much of the western world would be still in the dark, largely unaware of the therapeutic potential of cannabis.  

For a 10% discount on tickets, make sure to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter, your top source for industry news, all the latest information, and exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other products.  


Over the years, The Emerald Conference has become a who’s-who event of decision-makers in many cannabis industry niches including extraction methodology, analytical testing, research and development, formulations and blends, and clinical research.  

Aside from the connections to be made, the wealth of knowledge and expertise at this event is unmatched. In addition to some incredibly educational presentations and sessions, event curators make sure to provide plenty of time for open dialogue, so attendees can discuss the topics in depth.  

The goal is to “overcome black-market paranoia” through irrefutable scientific data and education of the masses. And the best way to do this is by bringing as many from the scientific community as possible to put things into perspective.  

According to David Dawson, Ph.D. Senior Scientist at Via Innovations, “The Emerald Conference is integral to this process, as its high standards for peer-reviewed work and desire for open collaboration amongst participants sets it apart from the vast majority of cannabis conferences.” 

This year’s conference 

This event is more tight-knit than other conferences, so don’t expect a turnout in the tens of thousands like MJ Biz Con. In my opinion, the low-key environment makes it considerably easier to stay focused. Plus, it’s better for meeting people, learning, and making those lasting industry connections.  

Hundreds of people from around the world are expected to attend. During the event, there will be more than 20 speakers, 25 presentations, and 50 exhibitors and sponsors. Furthermore, there will be 3 scheduled networking events, a welcome reception, and evening reception, and a “mimosa & Bloody Mary bar break”.   

The Emerald Conference will take place from February 27 – March 1, 2022, at San Diego Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, California.  

For a 10% discount on your tickets, subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter for a coupon code! 

The main areas of focus at this year’s event will be pre-clinical/clinical research, cultivation and alternative strategies, extraction and separation, formulation and fill/finish, and analytical testing solutions. 

MJ Biz acquisition  

In January 2020, Marijuana Business Daily purchased Emerald Conference from Emerald Scientific, who established the first event in 2015. The deal highlights the growing importance of legitimate research in the industry, as it continues.  

“When looking at where cannabis is going, we identified science as a pillar of the industry’s future,” says Chris Walsh, CEO and president of MJBizDaily. “With the legalization of hemp and inevitable changes to federal marijuana laws in the coming years, the amount of scientific research is going to balloon – as will the needs of the scientific and business communities. 

MJ Biz Daily has been partnering with Emerald to put on this conference ever since its second year running, and this partnership is what led to the eventual acquisition years later. MJ Biz is known for putting on excellent events, and the merger has proven to be beneficial for everyone involved. 

Get your tickets now! 

If you’re an industry stakeholder or another interested party that would like to learn more about cannabis science, The Emerald Conference is an event you don’t want to miss.  

Remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter for a 10% percent discount on your tickets to The Emerald Conference – February 27th to March 1st, see you there! 


Hello to everyone..! Thanks for dropping by CBDtesters.co, the #1 internet source for cannabis and psychedelics-related news, offering up current and relevant stories from the industry today. Join us daily to stay on top of the fast-paced universe of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and remember to sign up for The THC Weekly Newsletterso you never miss a single thing. 

The post The Emerald Conference: 7th Annual Interdisciplinary Cannabis Science Event – Ticket Discounts Available! appeared first on CBD Testers.

Episode 385 – A Roll of the Loaded Dice

Mike Liszewski and Kieran Ringgenberg join host Heather Sullivan to talk about the proposed States Reform Act, the ways that states handling cannabis business applications, and the latest news from marijuana social network and listing site Weed Maps. Produced by Shea Gunther.

Cannabis Branding: Smart Marketing or Too Much Waste?

Cannabis legalization appears almost certain to do more good than harm for the world. As an industry takes shape and drug war victims incrementally receive a modicum of restorative justice, we may sometimes overlook the adverse impacts along the way. Waste continues to be a primary concern. 

Legalization across the states leads to an influx in operators and often strict regulations around child-safe packaging. Making matters worse, cultivation from licensed and unlicensed farms can often create significant impacts on water, waste and the land. So much so that a 2021 Colorado State University study found that the state’s indoor and greenhouse grows produced more gas emissions than in-state coal mining.

The waste concerns aren’t exclusive to producers and retailers. Marketing materials contribute a smaller yet still troubling amount—be it copious amounts of fliers at dispensaries or promotional materials wrapped in layers of plastic or cardboard. 

High Times spoke with several cannabis marketing leaders to better understand the issue, its magnitude and why cannabis, a space aiming to revolutionize, often falls into such wasteful marketing practices. 

Marketing Materials A Concern, But Far From Cannabis’s Most Wasteful 

Most respondents believe that marketing and promotional waste isn’t the primary industry concern. However, most also felt it is an issue worth addressing now.

Brett Puffenbarger is one person fed up with superfluous marketing material. Puffenbarger, the director of sales and marketing for FOCUS – Foundation Of Cannabis Unified Standards, told High Times, “I’m really tired of getting handed 150 flyers every time I go to an event.” He added, “I’m even more tired of the 75 inserts I get in a bag,” when visiting a dispensary. 

Justin Johnson, founder and CEO of product platform BudsFeed, has worked in marketing and branding since 2004. Johnson, also the co-founder and CMO of Chill Steel Pipes, believes that only a handful of major companies invest in substantial promotions at this time. 

“While it is probably a large number overall, I think marketing and public relations waste is probably a small percentage of the industry’s overall waste concerns,” he stated. 

Johnson believes much of the marketing waste stems from company growth. He noted that brands need to establish regional managers for ordering promotional materials like bags, pens, stickers and other items.

“For that reason alone, you’re bound to see a lot of waste among MSOs who have individual budgets for different markets and aren’t necessarily ordering swag across the enterprise,” he said, adding that the concern is not unique to cannabis. 

Strict Regulations Lead to Industry Reaction

Lisa Buffo, founder and CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association, said packaging is the primary concern. She cites strict regulations and single-use materials as leading sources of the problem. While waiting on rules to change, Buffo implores consumers, influencers and the media to give companies feedback about its marketing materials. 

“It’s okay to give brands feedback and let them know that you value less waste and would like the brand more if they acted accordingly,” said Buffo. 

New York City-based publicist Melissa Vitale said she hasn’t seen as much waste from cannabis as she has from beauty and wellness PR efforts. “I’ve seen juice companies send an entire cooler of juices to a journalist with a Brooklyn-sized apartment, and they were allergic to most of the juices,” she reported.

While the issue is a concern, she agrees that cannabis isn’t on the level of other major industries. “As much as we joke that PR is the devil, compared to other direct-to-consumer marketing initiatives, PR for cannabis isn’t at a scale large enough to make a massive dent in the industry’s waste concerns,” she stated.

Still, Vitale wants to cut down on waste. Her firm, MAVPR, recently launched PressBoxx, a quarterly box emailed to media professionals featuring her clients in cannabis and sex. 

“Rather than dedicating mailers to individual brands, we specialize in multi-client send-outs that minimize the amount of packages that individual press receive,” she explained. The PR head added that her brands are advised to include products people want to use and avoid branded products that are likely to be re-gifted or thrown away. 

How to Implement Eco-Conscious Marketing

Marketing leaders advise brands to think about the environmental impact of their marketing materials. At the same time, they have to consider if people will use the product rather than be concerned about its production cost. In some cases, that consideration may lead to digital efforts rather than physical materials. 

Johnson sees cannabis transforming into a consumer packaged goods (CPG) business. He added, “Getting your product in people’s hands through sampling and gift boxes has always been a best practice.” Rather than fighting what he sees as inevitable, Johnson said brands need to consider what they create and where it may eventually end up—the landfill. He recommends using compostable packaging. 

He also recommended avoiding branded items people will likely throw away. 

“When making something, brands should invest in an original design people will actually wear proudly and not just a branded piece of garbage,” Johnson elaborated. 

Puffenbarger offered a similar take. He recalled a cannabis brand offering free sunglasses at an outdoor summer event. “By the end of the day… I probably saw a hundred people wearing those sunglasses,” he recalled. He added that the wearable brand exposure almost made the company seem like a primary sponsor of the event. 

Kyle Rosner, director of media relations at cannabis agency 420Interactive, said his company advises brands to rely on emails, newsletters and other digital efforts. 

“Our number one recommendation to brands for effective eco-friendly marketing is to build their email lead list for targeted digital communications and PR,” he said. 

Rosner said iPads at demos set to specific company landing pages have increased signups. The company offers in-store discounts as additional signup enticements while also helping drive in-store sales for the dispensary. 

Despite acknowledging the issue, waste will likely continue to plague the cannabis space for some time. However, the consensus is that now is the time to act. “If you’re not thinking about the environmental impact of your marketing efforts, you’re probably not thinking about the impact of your product,” Buffo opined. 

The post Cannabis Branding: Smart Marketing or Too Much Waste? appeared first on High Times.

Legal Woes: German Marketing of Medical Cannabis

The German medical cannabis market is one of the largest in the world. Indeed, as of 2021, it is not only the largest market in Europe, but also responsible for driving cultivation plans across many sunnier and lower labor cost locales. This is true of both countries in the European Union (EU) and further flung spots, all hoping to export cannabis to a country, which so far has not, by design, been able to domestically source the medical cannabis consumed in the country. 

All well and good—but this is the good news. 

In fact, the pharmaceutical infrastructure that faces medical cannabis companies is far from either clear cut or easy to navigate. Here is why.

Cannabis is Defined by Law as a Controlled Narcotic Drug

The first issue facing all distributors in the German market, is that cannabis, legally, is defined as a narcotic at a federal level. To date, despite a decision on the European level last fall, this also includes low THC hemp—which has led to a number of lawsuits and embarrassing contretemps of late even on the non-medical, commercial level

Beyond this, however, cannabis as medicine is clearly now present in the system—but merely importing and or registering strains and brands (no matter who makes them or where such flower or products come from) is far from enough to get sales.

Unlike the U.S. (for example), pharmaceutical drugs may not be advertised directly to potential consumers (also known as patients).

As a result, cannabis specialty, just like general pharmaceutical distributors, must engage in a strange, highly inefficient and expensive, three-step process to obtain prescriptions that starts but does not, by any means end, with what is euphemistically called “doctor education.”

Step by Painful Step

The first pre-step is actually still quite difficult for all nascent distributors who are not in business at all and wish to jump directly into the cannabis specialty business. Namely, before they can obtain their final licensing and approvals, they must identify a qualified supplier. As there is only one distributor in the country that handles domestically grown cannabis, this means that everyone else has to find companies who want to work with them. 

Five years ago, this meant one of two things. Find a Canadian company who wanted to expand to Europe and Germany or go to Bedrocan, the Dutch cultivator right across the border. As a result of the early rush, Bedrocan also began to limit both the amount of cannabis it was willing to sell, per distributors this way, and then limited the number of distributors it was willing to work with.

The Difficulties and Dichotomies of German Cannabis Prescriptions

Once a distributor has at least one offtake agreement with a certified company and all its licensing and approvals in place, the real struggle begins. To get your strain or brand of cannabis sold in German pharmacies, distributors must do several (expensive and time consuming) things beyond just obtaining the licenses required and obtaining the product. They must educate doctors about their strain or product and find patients to advocate for their brand when they do get in front of a cannabis prescribing doctor. 

For the privately insured, finding a doctor is not a big issue anymore, particularly in the larger cities. “Schmerz zentrums” (pain clinics) are staffed by doctors who are usually sympathetic to patients with a provable, pre-diagnosed condition. If one has private insurance, it is also not necessary to get a referral by a general practitioner. That said, both the doctor visit and the cannabis must be paid for, out of pocket and up front, by the patient. 

For those on statutory or “public” health insurance, the battle is even tougher, starting with finding willing doctors. Once found, however, it is at this point that the doctor must work with the patient to fill out forms and wait for the approval from the regional approvers (not even individual health insurers). Once that approval happens, patients can then ask for the brand of cannabis they want. Assuming the doctor is sympathetic and does so, they must then take this prescription, with the specific brand written on the paper itself, to a specialist pharmacy. These days, such pharmacies can order overnight.

Regardless, none of this is easy. So far, distributors have relied on a variety of methods (including free press, hiring pharma representatives and sponsoring events) to try to reach both the public and prescribing doctors. To add even more complications, the availability of doctors and their willingness to prescribe also varies by state.

For example, the Frankfurt city agency responsible for training new cannabis doctors will not give out the names of doctors they have trained. Further, as admitted to High Times, they understand that most doctors who work with statutory health insurance patients in the state of Hesse are refusing to take on more than two cannabis patients per practice.

The Future of Generic Extracts

Given all of these problems, not to mention the markup that is available, liquid dronabinol, the global generic, 96 percent THC extract, is highly popular in the German market these days. The reason? It is easier to market to both doctors and patients, not to mention obtain approval via health insurance (because of the “generic” designation).

That said, most patients do not want to take this extract, preferring other medications or treatments.

Patient Outreach Remains Critical but Hard

Every distributor in Germany maintains online patient outreach. Indeed, Facebook and other social media groups for patients are relatively widespread. However, this is far from a panacea. As dedicated as patients can be to specific brands, they are most dedicated to finding a regular supply and source of their drug.

This remains, by far, the hardest hurdle to broach, sadly, in a country with insurance coverage of cannabis at least by statute, but where it also took until late last year for the first patient to secure a guaranteed yearlong prescription.

Until any of these dynamics change—via legal challenge or greater statutory reform—marketing any kind of cannabis, and via any source, traditional or not, is an uphill challenge.

The post Legal Woes: German Marketing of Medical Cannabis appeared first on High Times.

Episode 61 – How New York and New Jersey Are Legalizing Marijuana with Evan Nison

Activist and entrepreneur Evan Nison speaks with hosts Jordan Wellington and Andrew Livingston about how their home state of New Jersey as well as New York as legalizing marijuana, as well as some of the work he’s done and is doing through his PR company NisonCo. Produced by Shea Gunther.