As the cannabis industry continues to grow and evolve, so too do the preferences of its customers. Just like in the fast fashion industry, where trends and styles seem to change on a constant basis, the cannabis industry is seeing a similar trend of continuous change in customer preferences.
The Increasing Variety of Cannabis Products
One of the major drivers of this change is the increasing variety and availability of cannabis products on the market. Gone are the days of just having a few types of flower strains to choose from. As more states and countries legalize the use of cannabis, the stigma surrounding the substance is gradually fading away. This is leading to a wider range of customers, each with their own unique preferences and desires. This diversity of customers is driving a need for even more variety in products, further fueling the cycle of changing preferences.
The "Fast Flavors" Trend and the Trade-Offs
The fast fashion industry is a perfect analogy for the cannabis industry in this regard. Just like how fast fashion brands constantly roll out new styles and trends to keep up with the ever-changing desires of customers, cannabis brands are doing the same with their products. However, this focus on quantity over quality can lead to lower quality cannabis, as the grower may not have the time or resources to properly nurture and care for the plants. Rushing to bring new strains to market can also result in a lack of consistency, as the grower may not have had the opportunity to fully understand and optimize the growing conditions for a particular strain.
Some growers may attempt to take advantage of the "fast flavors" trend by simply repackaging and rebranding the same strain under a different name. This can be done in an effort to make it seem like the grower has a wider variety of strains available, and to appeal to customers who are seeking out new and unique products. However, it is important to note that this tactic is not unique to the cannabis industry. It is a common practice in many industries, including the fashion and food industries, where companies may make slight changes to a product and then market it as a "new and improved" version.
The Impact of THC Testing on Genetic Diversity in Cannabis
The demand for high THC content and shifts in preferences is contributing to the loss of valuable genetics. While some strains may have lower THC content, they may still be of great quality and have unique characteristics that set them apart from other strains. However, due to the market's focus on high THC content, strains with lower THC levels may not sell as quickly or for as much as their high-THC counterparts. This creates a disincentive for growers to cultivate these strains, leading to a loss of valuable genetics over time. As a result, it is important for consumers to consider factors beyond just THC content when making purchasing decisions and to support growers who prioritize diversity and quality over THC content alone.
Losing Genetics: The Costly and Time-Consuming Fight Against Hop Latent Viroid
The hop latent viroid (HpLVd) is a small, single-stranded RNA molecule that infects cannabis plants, leading to similar symptoms such as reduced yield and changes in plant morphology. It is thought to be in over 80% of all grows and is spreading like wildfire. It's even transmittable through seed and many growers are still unaware of its presence!
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for HpLVd, and the only way to remediate infected plants is through a process of tissue culture that can cost upwards of $10,000. As a result, many growers are hesitant to take this step, which means that a lot of valuable genetics are being lost to this viroid.
The presence of HpLVd in the cannabis industry has further complicated the already complex issue of maintaining consistent quality and genetics in cannabis strains. With the loss of valuable genetics due to the remediation process, and the increasing trend of "fast flavors" and constantly changing customer preferences, the industry is facing a significant challenge in maintaining consistency and quality in its products. Learn more about HpLVD.
The Importance of Knowing the Source of Your Cannabis
The same strain of cannabis can turn out very differently depending on the growing conditions and the skill of the grower. This is due to the phenomenon of "phenotypic expression," which refers to the way that a particular strain of cannabis will express itself differently based on the environment in which it is grown. As a result, it is possible that a customer may try a strain and not enjoy it, and then decide to avoid that strain in the future, even though the product they tried may have been of poor quality due to poor growing conditions or techniques. This is why it is important for consumers to be aware of the source of their cannabis and to do their own research on the reputation and growing practices of different farms and brands.
In conclusion, while some consumers may feel nostalgic for the "old school" strains that they used to enjoy, it's important to remember that the cannabis industry is constantly changing and evolving. With increasing legalization and acceptance, as well as a growing variety of products on the market, customers now have a wider range of options to choose from than ever before. As the cannabis industry continues to grow and mature, it will be interesting to see how customer preferences evolve and how the market adapts to meet the needs of its customers.