Despite many decades of deliberate stigmatization and demonizing, the cannabis plant is fast emerging from the shackling stigma of criminality. What the system once named “the devil’s weed with roots in hell” is fast regaining its original purpose and place in human life as one of the many medicinally rich plants with roots in Divine providence! During those dark days when cannabis was an illegal and “dangerous drug,” smoking was the best-known way of consuming it. However, the wave of legalization has opened new and better alternative ways of consuming the plant.  

Cannabis Trends

Consequently, the traditional portraits of cannabis consumers being “stoned” smoke puffers is steadily disappearing. So how are cannabis consumption trends changing? Why is smoking, the most popular way of consuming the plant, fast fading and going up in smoke? In the remaining sections of this discussion, I will explore the emerging “consumption trends” that are relegating smoking to the peripherals of cannabis consumption. Therefore, I welcome you to accompany me on a discovery journey that will open your eyes to newer and safer ways of benefiting from marijuana. 

The Canadian Case: We start our coverage in Canada, our northern neighbor that set the trend this year as the first developed nation in the world to legalize cannabis for recreational use. Canada is an ideal example because we share a lot with it in the journey toward legalization at the state and national levels. In a recent study Deloitte conducted, it emerged that sales from marijuana smoking will generate up to $5 billion in 2019 alone. Inversely, the same study revealed that Canada will generate between $12 and $22 billion from nonsmoking consumer products. What do these figures tell us? The facts are clear: that people are steadily abandoning the traditional smoking behavior in favor of other alternative consumption methods.   

An Easy Entry Point for Beginners: Another consumer trend that is reducing cannabis smoking is the desire for people to look for easier ways of consuming cannabis. One such way is the consumption of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. For example, consumers find it easier to switch to cannabis via cannabis-infused drinks. Also, edibles manufacturers are creating non-alcoholic drinks that are infused with cannabis to attract non-alcoholic users.  

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A New Health Consciousness: The third consumption trend that is sentencing cannabis smoking to a slow deathbed is the heightened sense of health that is spreading among many consumers. With the consciousness of the plant’s numerous health benefits arising among many users, people are avoiding smoking. For example, numerous users are conscious of the potential long-term health risks potential smoking could expose them to. Consequently, they are resorting to nonsmoking consumption methods to avoid any possible health threat, which is a prudent thing to do. 

The Need to Shed Off Traditional Stigma: How would you feel if someone called you a “stoner?” What images would cross your mind if someone portrayed you as a puffing chimney emitting “dangerous” smoke billows? Definitely, you would feel stigmatized and demonized. Moreover, the moral and social stigma traditionally associated with smoking cannabis complicates this situation, and hence, the need for many new consumers to avoid it. For example, the criminalization of cannabis created stigma among smokers, portraying them as people with a “criminal” propensity because they were “disobeying” the government. Moreover, the branding of cannabis as “the devil’s weed with roots in hell” cast a moral stigma upon smokers, portraying them as “moral outfits, devilish, and fit-for-hell rebels.” 

With the above images still fresh in the minds of new users and the conservative members of our society, many new consumers don’t want to associate themselves with smoking. Instead, they want to consume the plant in a morally and legally responsible manner—at least in the eyes of fellow citizens. Consequently, smoking cannabis is diminishing as different states continue legalizing it across the United States.  

Before the legalization of cannabis for medical and recreational use across the United States, smoking was the most popular way of consuming marijuana. However, its legalization has opened many other consumption avenues that are fast rivaling and even threatening to eliminate smoking in the long-term. This post aimed at showing you some of the emerging consumption trends that are fueling the slow death of cannabis smoking among American consumers. I hope your eyes are now open to see this phenomenon’s underlying currents even as we prepare for and anticipate the federal government to legalize its consumption.