How Smokeable Hemp is Giving Farmers a Reason to Light Up
With hemp legalization in full effect, the hemp industry is developing its own niches to compete with mainstream and marijuana markets alike. Discover how smokeable hemp cigarettes are being embraced by curious consumers across the country.
Smokeable Hemp Cigarettes Launch in the US
Taking a cue from the European market, which has long embraced smoking low-THC cannabis or hemp, American consumers are starting to demand a different kind of smoking experience from their hemp and cannabis brands.
According to industry analyst for Brightfield Group, Bethany Gomez, her team uncovered the smokeable hemp trend in 2018 as part of their market research among retailers, like smoke shops, spas and natural-food stores. “People kept saying they were carrying pre-rolls, and we said, ‘What, like marijuana pre-rolls?’ And sure enough, they’re selling pre-rolls of hemp,” she said.
According to Brightfield Group’s estimates the American smokeable hemp market grew approximately 250% between 2017 to 2018. While just two percent of the overall CBD market, smokeable hemp was identified as one of the fastest-growing segments of the CBD market in 2019.
Benefits of the Hemp Cigarette Trend
One opportunity recognized by hemp farmers, is the ability to enter the hemp industry by allowing them to produce, market, and sell a CBD product that doesn’t require extraction.
One farmer who took the opportunity presented by hemp legalization, is Charles Peterson, a hemp farmer from North Carolina who also works as head of the National Association of Minority Farmers in Industrial Hemp.
“It’s been a great product for us,” Peterson told reporters, “You get the same taste, the same psychological feeling of smoking a joint, but without the high.”
Not only does smoking hemp relax you, it also exists in a gray area that makes it accessible, even in states that don’t allow medical marijuana. However, the lack of regulations or testing requirements of hemp products does mean that consumers need to be particularly vigilant when it comes CBD and hemp products.
Steven Turetsky, managing director of Colorado hemp producers, Shi Farms, said his company also experimented with smokeable hemp products in 2018. They found such a strong demand for their smokeable hemp cigarettes that Shi Farms has devoted an entire hemp plot to their production in New York. While the regulations around smokeable hemp are ambiguous at best, many hemp producers are opting to voluntarily market to those 18 and older.
Will Hemp Cigarettes Replace Tobacco?
The development of this new hemp industry trend has been particularly noticeable in states that once produced tobacco. As more consumers have tried to curb their addiction to cigarettes and tobacco products, many consumers are looking to CBD’s benefits to help them kick their tobacco addictions.
According to Bob Crumley, CEO of Founder’s Hemp of Asheboro in North Carolina, many of his customers like the option to burn and smoke hemp. “We were not sure how (smokable hemp) would do, and we didn’t sell it until a few months ago,” he said. “But people love it. We can’t even keep up with demand.”
The Growth of CBD Demand to Help with Addiction
In addition to surveying retailers, Brightfield Group also surveyed more than 5,000 CBD users in America. According to their findings:
- Cigarette quitters often replace their cigarettes with smokable hemp or by vaping.
- 24% of CBD users have used smokeable hemp or CBD oil to help stop smoking.
- 41% of quitters have completely replaced cigarettes or tobacco with hemp-derived CBD.
Although these initial reports require further examination and scientific validation, the efficacy of CBD in helping everything from withdrawal symptoms to easing anxiety make it a viable solution for those trying to stop smoking.
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