Illustration: svtdesign (Shutterstock)
Just because the packaging promises a couch-locked high doesn’t mean the weed will deliver it.
Unpredictability is one of the core challenges of shopping for cannabis. It’s incredibly rare to have a completely custom, controlled experience with weed, and even tougher to duplicate it. To people who don’t already enjoy the herb, these variables can seem too great to navigate, which is why marketing has tried to turn a bunch of cannabis plants into unique and innovative products promising to cut through the literal haze.
Many of these newer products are positioned as problem solvers for life’s typical woes, solving for lack of sleep, stimulating your appetite, or solving for general aches and pains. Since cannabis isn’t FDA regulated, manufacturers can’t promise any direct health benefits, but boy do some brands love to infer them.
Overly simplified marketing creates confusion for the consumer, driving myths of CBD can cure-all and THC as your key to a vault of creativity. While the intention is to help people get into and enjoy cannabis, it tends to categorize products into boxes that are too neat to contain all the unknowns of cannabis science as it stands today.
All discussions of weed and its effects are governed by an oft repeated, sometimes unspoken truth: research hasn’t yet caught up to the reality. A 2020 Science review found that two-thirds of the $1.56 billion devoted to cannabis research in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. was spent on quantifying misuse and negative effects. That leaves research into the benefits and potential other uses for cannabis woefully underfunded and battling with big (and often misleading) media headlines about the dangers of the drug. Meanwhile, people with a legit medical need have few options outside of DIY experimentation.
Filling in the gaps
In the absence of science, marketing stepped in to infer that missing piece, and the effects-driven product class was born. As the weed market has shifted away from the traditional tie-dye aesthetic into the slick, modern designs they now favor, the same principles that influence so many of your non-weed purchases are at work.
Considering photographer and author Jordana Wright has written an entire book on harnessing the high to make better art, it’s no wonder cannabis marketers have attempted to highlight its effect on your activities. Unfortunately, Wright told us via email, “cannabis isn’t like the typical pharmaceuticals we’re used to, where your results are fairly predictable.”
That doesn’t mean weed can’t make you feel more creatively energized, but a claim that a particular strain is “good for creativity” is mostly meaningless, since there is no predicting how a given person will react to it. “Ultimately all cannabis products have value,” Wright said, but “whether or not the effects described on the package match your body’s own response remains to be seen. But if there are cannabinoids in a product, it will have some sort of effect.”
To Read The Rest Of This Article By Danielle Guercio on Life Hacker
Published: September 15, 2022
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News