Relaxing with Cannabis During a Pandemic

Matt Zehner

As the pandemic continues and many of us still work from home - often with family nearby - using cannabis to wind down is more popular than ever. The "Relaxation" positioning has been growing steadily throughout the pandemic and was the top overall positioning as of July. However, are consumers turning to all categories equally in order to enhance their down time? 

image (4)

Inhaling Relaxation

Relaxation is the top positioning across three major categories of cannabis products – vapes, flower, and concentrates. What all these segments have in common is they are composed predominantly (if not solely) of inhalable products. It seems that most of those who want to chill after a long day of work would prefer to do so by either hitting the vape or lighting up a joint rather than taking a capsule. 



Of all of these categories, vapes have the highest relative concentration of items designed to help consumers relax - a trend which only emerged during the pandemic, perhaps because many cannabis consumers are around their family and are balancing their needs to be discrete and to consume some cannabis products to chill. 


Despite its prominence in the inhalable market, relaxation remains a relatively niche positioning in the world of topicals, tinctures, and capsules & tablets. While topicals are naturally dominated by Beauty & Personal Care products, tinctures and capsules are instead topped by the "Medical Conditions" and "Natural" positionings, rooted in their history as the predominant medical cannabis categories, despite the fact that they have the capability to deliver the same mental effect. Tinctures and tablets also take longer to have an effect, so it is also possible that consumers are seeking the immediate relief that come with inhalables as well. 


The Price of Relaxation

Trends regarding Relaxation do not end at product type. The more expensive a product is, the more likely it is to appeal to a consumer’s desire to use cannabis to unwind. While the "Medical" positioning sits above all others for budget products, the Relaxation positioning in the most expensive tier of products (luxury). It has nearly double the products as the second most popular one. Medical users, who presumably use cannabis among the most frequently, tend to spend less on their products while high-end occasional consumers using cannabis during their down time are willing to pay a bit more. 


Understanding consumer purchasing habits allows companies and marketers to ensure their branding and product design aligns with consumer expectations, and also potentially highlights unfilled niches in the market. As lockdowns progress, many consumers will continue to turn to their favorite cannabis products in order to stay calm, cool and collected.


Last Updated: 9/2/2020