Sophisticated Cannabis Consumers Seek Terpenes and Cannabinoids Over Other Flower Factors

Sophisticated Cannabis Consumers Seek Terpenes and Cannabinoids Over Other Flower Factors

Cannabis has become an increasingly commonplace commodity in the marketplace. And as cannabis consumers grow older and more sophisticated, they’re looking beyond just THC potency and low prices. Educated consumers are gravitating toward the lesser-known nuances available in their marijuana flower purchases.

Dominic Cundari is the general manager at ArborSide, a medical and recreational cannabis store in Ann Arbor, Michigan. On a typical day, flower accounts for 50%-60% of the store’s revenue. Cundari says the most popular strains combine “fruity or tropical elements” and “cakey, vanilla-type terpene profiles” with a “sharp gasoline back end, like a Sour Diesel or a GMO Cookies.” 

Flower accounts for 60%-70% of sales at Colorado-based retailer Highland Health. According to general manager Ann DeMarco, they have a lot of customers asking for specific terpene profiles to help achieve certain outcomes. They want “…something to help them sleep, something that will help with pain, something that will help relieve migraines.”

For general or novice consumers, the most significant driving forces are still potency and price. Cundari noted that THC percentages over 30% are consistently the most attractive options for consumers. But as customers come back time and again and become more familiar with the specifics of the numerous strains, many begin to care more about and seek certain terpenes and cannabinoid levels.

DeMarco agrees that THC levels are most important to consumers — especially younger ones. The most prolific purchasers are younger males who are often working with a tighter budget.

“Predominantly, you find people are looking for something that’s just going to get them through their day or through their week without putting a huge hole in their pocketbook,” Cundari said.

Cannabis flower accounts for nearly half of all sales at stores owned by New York-based multistate operator Ayr Wellness. According to Jeff Finnerty, Ayr’s head of marketing, any slippage of flower’s market share — a percentage point or two, most recently — has been offset by gains in pre-roll sales. Flower and pre-rolls combine for 53%-57% of Ayr’s sales. Finnerty believes that portability and convenience are significant reasons for the rise in popularity of pre-rolls, which make up about 8.5% — 10.5%. But, some traditions continue to hold firm.

“Whole flower continues to be the most familiar format — not only to experienced users but folks that are unfamiliar with cannabis,” Finnerty said.

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