Three Barriers Holding Back New Cannabis Consumers
Since cannabis became legally accessible to adult Canadians, more people are open to experiencing its benefits - for medical, health & wellness and recreational use. From pain relief and sleep management to sport and social activity boost, consumers discover cannabis as a natural alternative to other less desired (for health conscious audience) substances. That being said, there’s still a significant amount of people who stay away from using cannabis despite recognizing the benefits. We worked together with DIG Insights to better understand the audience of consumers who currently do not consume cannabis. Amongst this group, we obviously have a proportion who may be interested to consume, but holding off for a reason. Furthermore, there are rejectors, who for the time being, indicate they are not interested in cannabis. Specifically, the research probed for the key barriers which hold consumers back from consuming cannabis. We learned that the main barriers are: lack of control, bad smell and dislike for smoking (mentioned twice), representing four of the top five barriers.
Amongst this group of potential cannabis consumers, 68% agreed that “I would like to stay in Control'' was the number one barrier. What does it mean to stay or be in control in regards to cannabis consumption? It’s the ability to balance yourself, reduce pain or anxiety by taking cannabis without a fear of your daily functioning being interrupted. It’s also enjoying the buzz while socializing with friends without experiencing unwanted paranoia or getting overwhelmed. Fear of being stoned, doing stupid stuff, embarrassing yourself, not remembering what happened last night. No one wants that. We believe that the power to decide what kind of cannabis experience suits you in a specific situation and the ability to create the same consistent and repeatable feeling every time is the key here.
The way to safely consume cannabis and determine the best fit for your body and lifestyle is dosing. Knowing exactly how it makes you feel every time, puts you in the driver's seat.
The idea of dosing is not new to the cannabis community. Stopping after a couple of tokes or eating only half a cookie have been the methods to dose cannabis. That is, of course, if you don’t eat the other half of the cookie. However the main characteristics that make dosing reliable and applicable for even the most sensitive use cases are precision and repeatability.
There are a number of solutions available to provide the answer to cannabis dosing. Very few can claim precision and guarantee the same dose every time. Edibles and Ready-to-Drink products won’t have the flexibility to customize the amount of cannabis, instead offering a fixed number of milligrams, which can be wasteful or risky. Oil drops can be pretty messy and also somewhat inaccurate if you need to count 20+ drops to get a desired dose. We are proud to share that Voyager’s dispensing mechanism maintains high accuracy and repeatability to cannabis consumers.
Tied as the number one barrier, also at 68%, this group of potential cannabis users, indicated “The smell would linger on my clothes” as a barrier. The reasons are pretty obvious. A search on Quora and Reddit provided some interesting details. People use such words as: “obnoxious”, “pungent'' and “gross” describing the smell and compare it to landfills, a toilet or even to a skunk. Many mention that the smell is associated with illegal drug use and add that the smokers are oblivious to people around them. Others are afraid to get high from the smell. Some cannabis consumers said that they feel guilty and are afraid that people will think less of them. Or feel like they are being judged for smelling like a “stoner loser”. The stereotype is still strong. The person wearing the smell can be perceived as lazy, irresponsible and not capable of doing the job. For some people this can mean disapproval from their family and friends, or even be a career killer. The stigma is clouding the reputation of cannabis as people can be perceived as unreliable because they consume cannabis.
There is obviously more to be done to remove the stigma and this is on us to provide education and thought leadership for better understanding of cannabis. The consumers vary from moms to businessmen, to grandparents, etc. and they are nothing like the stoner stereotype. Many of them are also seeking healthier ways to experience cannabis products. Smoke- and smell-free solutions will serve their needs.
Another critical consumer issue with cannabis is unwillingness to smoke. “I don’t like to Smoke” was cited by 61% within this group of potential cannabis consumers. This is obvious as health and wellness campaigns have done a very good job in educating consumers about the health risks related to smoking. Smoking is obviously also a source of smell, cited as the number one barrier. For medical patients it’s hard to imagine a doctor recommending smoking as a consumption platform. While vaping is not the same as smoking, many believe it to be a better choice, even though No Smoking signs now also include No Vaping as an indication it is not healthy to others around you.
The threat of Covid-19 has added more concerns to inhaling methods (bringing your hands to smoke or vape close to your mouth), attracting attention to alternative ways of cannabis consumption.
Edibles, beverages, and pills can be great options for health driven choices. However extra calories, sugars and other unwanted substances in the mix make them less attractive. From this standpoint the safest way to consume cannabis would be pills or capsules. Again, there are trade offs for consideration. Shortfalls are the lack of dosage customization being tied to 2.5 mg increments, the relative expense per mg to vapes and oils being double, and a large proportion of consumers not liking or wanting to swallow a capsule.
Despite the variety of cannabis products available today, the barriers that get in the way of consuming cannabis are not fully addressed. More people could be helping themselves to reduce pain, sleep better, manage their anxiety, etc., if they could have full control over the cannabis effect and avoid the negative health effects and smell of smoking.
Voyager brings a new health and wellness driven solution that doesn’t involve inhaling and is smell- and smoke-free, while allowing peace of mind with precise dosing. On top of that it’s super simple, portable and economical.
If you like to learn more about our solution, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.