Cannabis is a drug derived from the cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, and hybrid strains. Although cannabis is composed of different cannabinoids, the two main cannabinoids considered to be the most active compounds are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound, and cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive compound. The growth of this market is attributed to the growing number of medicinal applications of cannabis and increasing legalization of cannabis. However, the complex regulatory structure for the use of cannabis is restraining the market growth. MarketsandMarkets expects the global cannabis market to grow from USD 10.3 billion in 2018 to USD 39.4 billion by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 30.7% during the forecast period.
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The concentrates segment, by product type, is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. This is majorly due to the varied number of forms in which concentrates are made available for consumption. Some of these forms are shatter, rosin, wax, crumble, oil, dabs, and tinctures. Additionally, concentrates are more potent in nature in comparison with flowers. While buds have a potency range of about 10% to 25%, concentrates have a potency rate of about 50% to 80%, with a few extracts also boasting of a potency rate of about 90%. Concentrates also enjoy a wide variety of delivery methods such as smoking, vaping, dabbing, ingestion, and tinctures. These delivery methods further aid the market growth of concentrates.
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The THC-dominant segment, by compound, is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The THC strain of cannabis is majorly responsible for the head high feeling associated with the consumption of cannabis, owing to it being the psychoactive ingredient of the plant. This is also the compound that attaches to the cannabinoid receptors in the body to create a feeling of euphoria. THC is also known for its analgesic effects, which stands as one of the major reasons for its consideration as an effective treatment for pain management. It is useful in aiding patients suffering from insomnia, as it invokes drowsiness in consumers. However, the usage of the THC-dominant strains for medicinal purposes could also have a few drawbacks. For instance, their sedative properties may restrict their usage by consumers during the daytime due to the head heavy feeling that is induced by ingestion. Furthermore, over-medication of THC-dominant compounds could cause anxiety, paranoia, or even psychosis. Nevertheless, the THC-dominant strains of cannabis are extensively used for recreational purposes, which form a major application for the segment.
The recreational segment, by application, is projected to grow at a higher CAGR during the forecast period. Uruguay is the only country in South America to have legalized the use of recreational cannabis. The cannabis market is projected to remain concentrated in the US and Canada. Despite its low availability in various countries, the consumption and demand levels remain equivalent to that of medicinal cannabis. As a result, the demand for recreational cannabis is projected to surpass the demand for medical cannabis. For instance, medical cannabis is legalized mainly in 33 states of the US. However, only 10 states in the country have legalized recreational cannabis, and its consumption level is almost equivalent to the consumption level of medical cannabis across the 33 states. Therefore, the legalization of recreational cannabis across other regions could translate into a larger market share for this segment.
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In terms of geographical coverage, the cannabis market has been segmented into 4 regions, namely, North America, South America, Europe, RoW (Rest of the World). Europe is projected to record the highest growth rate during the forecast period. The market in Europe is still in its introductory stage and has significant potential due to its population, which is even higher than the US and Canada combined. However, most market players such as Aphria, Inc. (Canada) and Terra Tech Corp. (US) have an established and well-networked market for cannabis in the Americas, with the majority of their revenues being generated from the US and Canada, making the North American market the most dominant one.
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