The Evolution of Cannabis Packaging

The Evolution of Cannabis Packaging

Since time immemorial, product packaging has played two principal roles. First is to provide both the merchandise and the consumer with protection. It should also act as a way to market the product.

The same can be said for packaging in the cannabis industry. Consumers are unlikely to be compelled to buy products if the labels and packaging are inadequate. Similarly, with the prospects of a legal cannabis market looming closer, weed brands have to use compliant packaging to safeguard the well-being of the product and the consumers.

That said, there have been plenty of shifts with regard to marijuana packaging over the years. The marijuana sector, as a whole, has come a long way from an illegal market in its early days to a billion-dollar industry. Even so, the sector would not have been as triumphant without packaging.

The choices of packaging for weed have differed widely over the years. While some of this is due to preferences, regulatory changes have also been principal factors. Here’s a look at the evolution of cannabis packaging over the years.

Despite its controversial status, cannabis has been in the market for a while. In the mid to late 1800s, weed was legally sold and used in the United States for medical purposes. At first, pharmaceuticals packaged the substance in tin containers. However, they quickly switched to opaque ceramic and glass jars. This transition came after experts discovered that prolonged exposure to light degraded the substance. 

The fun didn’t last long as the push for prohibition saw marijuana criminalized as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act. There wasn’t much activity in the market until the 2010s, when the first legal recreational cannabis markets in the United States started budding. At this point, marijuana packaging became more regulated, often required to include safety features. These regulations birthed various items like child resistant tins

The dawn of packaging regulations also brought forth other packaging items like pop top bottles. Given that child resistance was one regulatory requirement across the board, pill bottles for weed also gained massive appeal in the industry. These packages were affordable and generally got the job done but were somewhat problematic. The airtight seals were rarely effective, causing a poor oxygen barrier that made the herbs dry up. 

The search for a more efficient packaging solution led to the discovery of mylar bags for weed. These packaging items have a multi-layered construct which consists of aluminum foil as the primary barrier and layers of Polyethylene terephthalate film (PET) on the inside. Mylar bags came when cannabis producers introduced modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) solutions like nitrogen gas flush. This creative packaging idea involves filling packaging bags with nitrogen gas before sealing them to replace oxygen, which is the principal cause of marijuana degeneration.

Cannabis enthusiasts also turned to screw cap child-resistant closures, which provide a compelling option for flower packaging. The Coronavirus pandemic also caused a shift in marijuana packaging. The industry adopted induction heat seal foil liners, which provide an airtight, tamper resistant packaging option. 

Although various conditions in the cannabis market have warranted different packaging solutions, glass and plastic jars for cannabis remain the gold standard in the industry. They help maintain the freshness and potency of cannabis products, especially flowers while protecting them from physical harm. Moreover, the introduction of caps for jars helps increase the longevity of the buds. 

Bottom Line 

The packaging you use for your products determines their shelf life and condition. Therefore, cannabis brands and producers should choose an affordable option that works for their goods. Fortunately, numerous suppliers can provide befitting solutions for cannabis brands.

Reading next

Taking A Closer Look At Cannabis Packaging
A Regulatory Overview for Cannabis Packaging for 2022

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