During the past few years, the demand for cannabis products has increased significantly. Not only in North America, where recreational and medical marijuana was subject to a wave of successful legalisation campaigns, but also on the European continent, where tetrahydrocannabinol(THC)-containing products are still widely illegal.
Although Europe is already home to some of the world’s most renowned cannabis breeders and seedbanks, there now seems to be a new player in town that is dramatically gaining popularity. Due to its medicinal and health-improving properties, cannabidiol (CBD) obtained the pole position in the European cannabis industry.
In order to determine the most successful products of the cannabis market in Europe, I discoursed with four established European cannabis companies, which are happy to share their experiences with Strain Insider readers.
The European cannabis situation
While it is still hard to find any European nations that allow the recreational use of marijuana, a significant number of countries decided to legalise the medical use of cannabis. With Luxembourg being the first EU member state to release a plan for fully legalising marijuana, we can clearly observe a change in the mindset of European citizens.
Sensi Seeds is a world-renowned cannabis brand and known for being a top player in the marijuana seed business. When speaking about the development of the cannabis industry in Europe, David Duclos, the CCO of Sensi Seeds, told me that ‘the taboo surrounding cannabis is fading. This is leading to an increase in interest in all aspects of the plant.’
Being able to look back on a track record of several decades, Duclos enlightened me about the current situation of the company’s best-selling product categories.
According to Duclos, ‘the demand for marijuana seeds has remained steady for the past years, though the amount of competitors has greatly increased.’
‘Legal developments have yet failed to change Europe’s approach to cannabis cultivation but the international debate surrounding the plant’s legality as a whole has greatly increased people’s interest and knowledge-base.’
When being asked about the development of CBD products, Duclos explained that ‘ever since their introduction, the market for CBD has exploded.’
‘Despite the lack of coordinated European legislation, the market has greatly expanded. But the current political situation in Europe is preventing it from growing as fast as it could be. However, countries are establishing their own rules, independently from other European countries.’
Last but not least, Duclos also sees a considerable growth of interest in hemp foods in recent years.
‘The properties of hemp nutrition are becoming increasingly well-known and have solidly placed hemp on the superfoods list. From everyday people looking to add a healthy nut to their diet to body-builders, hemp foods have become a staple in many diets.’
The 5 best selling cannabis products in Europe
1. CBD oils
After speaking with several dozens of Europe-based cannabis companies, CBD oil, also known as CBD drops, can be unquestionably determined as the currently most polarising product on the European cannabis market.
According to Demi Pradolin, who is a community and social media manager at Endoca, the great demand for CBD oil might be a result of the fact that it is subject to a high absorption rate in the human body. Moreover, Pradolin stated that it also represents the most well-known type of CBD products, which makes it popular among novice CBD users.
Strain Insider’s internal data also shows that CBD oil customers are usually willing to spend significant sums on their products. While the average shopping basket value of marijuana seed vendors is only around €25,00, shopping baskets of CBD oil merchants average at almost €100,00.
2. CBD e-liquids
With the rise of e-cigarettes over the past ten years, CBD e-liquids serve as another popular cannabis product in Europe. CBD e-liquids not only come with a great user-experience but they are also seen as a substitute for nicotine-containing e-liquids.
Today, these vaping liquids are available in many different concentrations and tastes, many of which contain actual cannabis terpenes.
PharmaHemp, a reputable Slovenia-based producer and wholesaler of various CBD goods, as well as Nordic Oil, one of Europe’s leading cannabis CBD brands, confirmed to Strain Insider that e-liquids are currently their number two product after CBD oils and extracts.
3. CBD capsules
One of the main downsides of CBD oils and drops can be found in its debatable user experience. Daily users may not be content about the taste of CBD oil, which is usually bitter or spicy. Since medical patients often need to consume their CBD several times a day, capsules are considered to be a great alternative to oils.
‘CBD Oil was always a popular product, and that popularity has been on a steady rise. It did, however, begin to share space with the addition of CBD capsules’, explained Demi Pradolin from Endoca. She further added that capsules are not only tasteless but also a travel-friendly administration method.
4. Marijuana seeds
As our correspondent at Sensi Seeds already mentioned earlier, the demand for marijuana seeds — in contrast to most CBD products — has remained relatively steady in recent times. That being said, the traffic data of Strain Insider shows that the demand is still significant.
Related: CBD Seeds: What You Should Know
Strain Insider’s articles about marijuana seeds represent one of the publication’s most popular categories. In the past six months, tens of thousands of people found Strain Insider while looking for marijuana seeds.
5. CBD cosmetics
Balm, creme, foot rub and body butter — when looking for CBD skincare products, you will inevitably stumble across dozens of types and variations. Although CBD cosmetics are not quite on the same level as oils and extracts, there are several hints that indicate growing popularity.
Related: CBD for Wellness – Viable or Hoax?
‘CBD topicals have had a slower and steadier growth. However, around a year ago, there was a spike over several months, perhaps due to the sudden boom of CBD infused beauty products that hit the market and started getting a lot of coverage in popular magazines and publications’, said Demi Pradolin.
Upcoming cannabis product trends
With more and more European citizens warming up to cannabis products, it seems likely that new trends will develop in the very near future. Here is our final question to our experts and their answers to it: Which cannabis products could gain in popularity during the next 18 months in Europe?
Dannie Hansen, Nordic Oil
‘I think cannabis and CBD will expand into existing markets, such as cosmetics, sports nutrition, skin care and pet care, and create a new generation of products in these markets.’
David Duclos, Sensi Seeds
‘I believe the interest in cannabis products will only increase as the debate surrounding the cannabis plant in general continues. This can be witnessed by the number of articles, political debates, tv-series, etc. that are popping up Europe-wide. CBD products seem to be the fastest-growing market but if Europe were to make a stand and legalise the plant, the entire market would boom.’
Demi Pradolin, Endoca
‘We can’t speak for cannabis, however, CBD flowers are becoming more and more popular, both in countries that just permit hemp products and others that have more liberal cannabis laws. I think that this will be the new focus, along with more “wellness” CBD products, like gummies, skin care products and more.’
Related: The History of Cannabis in Europe
Simon Sinigoj, PharmaHemp
‘CBD Drops, definitely.’
Over to you: Did you expect CBD oil, e-liquids and capsules to be the most successful cannabis products in Europe? What do you think the next big cannabis trend might be? Let us know in the comments.