Just a few years ago, as vaporizing devices grew smaller and more affordable, cannabis oil packaged in tiny glass containers started to emerge on the budding marijuana market. Nowadays, pot users in states with recreational legalization have become quite fond of these oil cartridges, increasingly opting for cannabis concentrate that seamlessly screws into inexpensive, rechargeable vape pens.
Although many people are still questioning exactly what is inside of these cartridges, and whether it’s a healthier alternative to smoking, the demand for oil continues to rise. For instance, nearly a quarter of the sales made last year by the California cannabis delivery service Eaze was comprised of oil cartridges. Compared to 2015, the company saw their annual sales for cannabis concentrate increase by a whopping 400%.
Other states with recreational legalization have also seen a massive uptick in oil cartridge sales. According to BDS Analytics data, Washington has seen its growth rate for oil “concentrates” increase by 194%, followed by Oregon with 105%. In Colorado, a state with a more established recreational system, there is a 57% growth rate in this increasingly popular category.
Other products such as edibles and pre-rolled joints have also reaped the benefits of the expanding industry. The overall market trend seems to be driven by convenience, as more and more stoners look for faster and more accessible ways to consume their cannabis. With oil cartridges, users can easily take and moderate their pot usage, a factor that likely plays a major role in this recent growth.
Additionally, cannabis vape cartridges are generally inexpensive, easy to transport, and don’t emit the skunky smell that high-quality flower does. However, there is still valid concern about what chemicals are mixed into cannabis oil cartridges, and how the vaping hardware itself interacts with the substance.
The demand for oil cartridges might be rising fast, but this emerging product is still far from the top of the legal cannabis food chain. At the end of the day, sticky icky plant matter continues to rule the market, and still makes up a hefty portion of the $7 billion cannabis industry.