The Evolving Landscape of Cannabis Edibles

Published: August 2019

Abstract: Cannabis has become a global market as increasingly more jurisdictions legalize medical or recreational consumption. Canada and the United States have arguably pioneered this movement, being the first of the G7 countries to actively replace black markets with highly regulated, legal markets. Under this framework, advancements in extraction technology, production scalability, and accessibility to a wide variety of product forms have all been realized.

In the United States, edibles and beverages continue to win over market share from dried flower, which is the traditional form of cannabis consumed through smoking or vaporizing. However, ingestible products such as edibles and beverages are notorious for delivering inconsistent effects, having short shelf-lives, and possessing an undesirable lingering cannabis taste. These shortcomings are due in part to challenges with analytical testing and a limited working knowledge of basic food science principles. Thus, there is an opportunity and need to leverage the expertise and best practices of the food industry to overcome these challenges to improve the taste, stability, consistency, and dose homogeneity of cannabis ingestibles.