By / January 8, 2024

THC Remains the Main Factor Influencing Consumer Purchase Decisions in Cannabis

High levels of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, remain a key factor influencing consumer purchase decisions in cannabis, according to industry operators. However, alongside high THC content, other factors are guiding trends in plant genetics cultivated in the United States.

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Factors Influencing Cannabis Purchase Decisions

In addition to high THC, cannabis industry experts note an increasing influence of the following on cannabis purchase decisions:

  • Terpene profiles in cannabis products.
  • Classic strains crossed with high THC plants.
  • Minor cannabinoids such as THCV and CBN.

Nevertheless, THC potency continues to be paramount for consumer purchase decisions. Reggie Harris, co-founder and CEO of House of Kush in Missouri, reports, “We’re getting signals from some dispensaries that if THC content is below 25%, customers are not interested or they want a lower price.”

Classic Strains Crossed with High THC Varieties

House of Kush focuses on producing classic cannabis strains – cultivars with names recognizable to consumers from the prohibition era, such as Bubba Kush and OG Kush.

Nathaniel “Nutta” Vereen, co-founder of the cannabis brand Tical Official, notes a similar trend. “Blue Dream became popular for a while. Now it seems people are working on crossing classic strains with new cultivars.”

Terpene Profiles Also Influencing Purchase Decisions

Consumers are still interested in cannabis products in indica, sativa, and hybrid categories, despite some doubts about the significance of these labels. Shai Ramsahai, president of Royal Queen Seeds in Barcelona, points out, “High THC concentration is at the top of the important strain characteristics list. We also noticed that consumers in the USA care about terpenes, with limonene and myrcene being the two most sought-after.”

Rebecca Raphael from Curio Wellness emphasizes, “We always want to have myrcene-dominant strains for indica users, something with a more balanced terpene bouquet for hybrids, and limonene, pinene, or terpinolene for sativa strains.”

Minor Cannabinoids with Potential

As research on cannabinoid applications progresses, interest in minor cannabinoids, such as CBN and THCV, is growing. Curio Wellness already sells THCV tablets, and this year plans to introduce flowers with genetics containing about 18% THC and 14%-16% THCV.

Jason Vedadi, founder and CEO of Story Cannabis Co. in Arizona, notes the growing influence of CBN on purchase decisions, especially for its sleep-aid properties.

In the future, he expects even greater discoveries regarding minor cannabinoids and the possibilities of using them individually or in combination with other cannabinoids for personalized effects.

“Trends in the cannabis industry evolve, and understanding the needs and preferences of consumers is key to market development. THC concentration remains at the forefront, but other aspects such as terpene profiles and minor cannabinoids are becoming equally important, shaping the future of this dynamically growing sector.”

Moving forward, the industry will need to understand how these diverse elements influence cannabis purchase decisions and what new opportunities they open for producers and consumers.

Cannabis Purchase Decisions Summary

Innovations in cannabis cultivation are key to tailoring products to changing consumer cannabis purchase decisions. Breeders focus not only on increasing THC potency but also on exploring the diversity of terpenes and minor cannabinoids. Such an approach allows for the creation of unique flavor profiles and effects, attracting different consumer groups.

This year, Abstrax in collaboration with industry leader 710 Labs conducted studies revealing previously undiscovered aspects of cannabis aroma not related to terpenes. These studies uncovered numerous new exotic flavor and scent compounds in cannabis, rarely – if ever – observed, leading to a new understanding of what causes intriguing cannabis aromas and the synergy effect. These compounds, named flavorants, account for aromatic profiles ranging from fruity to sweet, tropical, or chemical.

Market development goes hand in hand with consumer education. The more information consumers have, the more informed their purchase decisions become. Education about the differences between THC, CBD, terpenes, and other cannabinoids helps consumers find products that best meet their needs and preferences.

The future of the cannabis industry and consumer purchase decisions will surely be shaped by further scientific research and technological innovations. The development of new strains, enhanced understanding of the impact of terpenes and minor cannabinoids on the human body, and the evolution of legal regulations will influence the future directions of the market.

The cannabis industry is on the threshold of a new era, where THC potential is important, but other factors such as terpene profiles and minor cannabinoids are becoming equally significant in purchase decisions. As the market evolves, producers and consumers will jointly shape the future of this exciting and dynamically developing sector.

(Featured image by Budding via Unsplash)

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