2018 was inarguably the year of CBD: Marijuana’s non-psychoactive, less giggly compound showed up everywhere promising everything from pain relief to anxiety reduction, from LaCroix-esque sparkling water and high-end gumdrops to body lotion and bath salts (not that kind of bath salts). But while CBD consumption can undoubtedly lend a chilled-out vibe at the proper dosage, to get high, there needs to be some THC involved, whether it be smoked or otherwise consumed — and it seems to drink your weed will be a significant trend for the year ahead.
Legal marijuana raked in $9 billion in 2017, and with an increasing number of U.S. states legalizing weed for recreational use, that figure is expected to swell to more than $23 billion by 2022. Far from the stereotypical old image of a tie-dye-clad stoner with bloodshot eyes, marijuana use has been transformed into a full-on lifestyle brand: There are weed-laced coffee capsules to start your day, luxury pipes and smoking accessories with hip Instagram accounts to match, subscription boxes catering to the stoner set, cannabis-infused lubes to enhance your sex life, and weed supper clubs where pot aficionados can gather around the dinner table to get high. Legal weed — and the companies profiting from it — wants to permeate every sector of adult life, from replacing your Ambien to set the vibe for your next boutique hotel stay.
The CBD boom catering to anxious millennials will only grow as cultivating industrial hemp (which does not contain THC) becomes legal in the U.S., but massive corporations (like say, Marlboro) are also increasingly looking to cash in on the kind of cannabis that gets you stoned. Big Tobacco and liquor companies worry that as legal marijuana spreads, people will increasingly replace their cigarettes and beer with weed. And while such corporations getting in on the pot gold rush certainly raises plenty of ethical objections from marijuana advocates, big business goes where the money is, and right now it seems the next big thing is weed drinks, with at least one industry analyst projecting the cannabis beverage market to be worth $600 million by 2022.
Makers of nonalcoholic drinks like Coca-Cola and Pepsi have tentatively expressed interest in the space, too, though they’re clearly more reluctant to slap their iconic brand names on adult-oriented products that are still federally illegal in the U.S. (and still have a hefty stigma attached in many parts of the country).
Read the full article at Eater