Article contributed by Nancy R. Fernandez
Cannabis enjoys a long history of human use, with archeological findings suggesting that the plant was in use some 2,500 years ago, particularly in Asia. Back then, cannabis was the most popular in the textile industry.
But while humans have used cannabis from time immemorial, it was not until the mid-19th century that medical researchers began investigating the herb for its medicinal properties. It emerged that extracts from cannabis contain powerful analgesic properties that make them an excellent remedy against acute and chronic pain.
Cannabis also packs immense anxiolytic properties and is therefore effective against stress, anxiety, and depression. You can also use the herb to treat or manage neurological problems like epileptic seizures, inflammatory diseases like cancer, gastrointestinal complications like nausea, to mention but a few. Due to its many therapeutic properties, cannabis is no longer popular only in the medical sector. The herb has since become a craze in the food industry too, and this article shall unpack some of the reasons why you should consider adding cannabis to your catering business.
Benefits of Cannabis in the Foodservice
According to a recent National Restaurant Association survey, three out of four chefs believe that cannabis-infused edibles are likely to emerge as some of the hottest food trends. Some of the world’s biggest brands in the food and beverage industry, such as PepsiCo, Diageo, and Mondelez International, have been keen to join in on the cannabis craze.
But if you’re in the catering business, you could be wondering how you’ll benefit by incorporating cannabis into your range of products.
For starters, cannabis delivers various medicinal effects. As we already pointed out, extracts from the plant can treat pain, anxiety, nausea, inflammation, insomnia, neurological disorders, and many other medical conditions. Cannabis contains phytocannabinoids that work synergistically with the endocannabinoids in your endocannabinoid system, bringing relief from various diseases. Therefore, incorporating cannabis-infused edibles into your foodservice will see your business attract more clients, including those on medical marijuana prescriptions.
Besides the long list of medical conditions that it can treat, the following are other reasons why cannabis is flying high in the foodservice;
1. You can target both medical and recreational cannabis users
Cannabis contains over 480 compounds. The two most widely-studied ones are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
CBD is most famous for its therapeutic effects and is the substance that accounts for many of the medicinal properties of cannabis. So, adding CBD-infused edibles to your restaurant shelf will see you tap into the growing population of medical marijuana users.
On the other hand, THC is generally known for its psychoactive and intoxicating properties. Unlike CBD that mostly comes from Cannabis indica strains, THC is more abundant in Sativa weed. Thanks to its euphoria-inducing properties, THC-infused edibles are excellent at attracting recreational cannabis users.
2. Cannabis is all-natural
In their search for health and dietary supplements, most people often end up with human made products that usually contain worrying levels of potentially hazardous chemicals. That’s why many people on weight loss diets report gaining more pounds in addition to experiencing a host of annoying side effects.
Thankfully, cannabis-infused edibles deliver their medicinal effects without leaving your clients nursing any serious side effects. In most cases, new users only report mild and short-lasting drowsiness or dry mouth.
3. Great for value addition
The inclusion of cannabis as one of the ingredients in your food products is an effective value addition strategy. Cannabis will always make your products stand out, and can be particularly useful during your marketing campaigns.
And the fact that cannabis is still an evolving industry gives you higher control of price dynamics. You’ll be able to capitalize on the presence of weed in your edibles to set competitive prices that guarantee a faster return on your investment.
The best part is that there are numerous kinds of edibles that you can offer your patrons. Examples include cannabis-infused teas, wines, gummy bears, chocolates, baked goods, etc.
Precautions Before Adding Cannabis Based Products to Your Catering Business
Despite its numerous benefits, there are a few things to keep in mind before incorporating cannabis-infused edibles into your foodservice.
First, remember that marijuana laws vary from one country or state to another. In the United States, the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the use or distribution of cannabis products that contain no more than 0.3% of the euphoria-inducing compound, THC. The situation might be totally different in your country.
The following are other things to consider before dealing in cannabis-infused edibles;
- Assess general attitudes towards cannabis among your target demographic
- Choose suitable marketing channels, noting that major online search engines and social networking platforms still prohibit weed-related advertisements
- Establish the position of your restaurant association on the use of marijuana
- Keep abreast of all industry changes
Cannabis has become popular in various sectors of the global economy, and the food and beverage industry has since joined in on the craze. But while there are numerous ways to benefit from adding cannabis-infused edibles to your product line, there are some caveats to be wary of as well. As a proactive investor, it’s prudent to familiarize yourself with marijuana laws in your jurisdiction before dealing in any cannabis products. Most importantly, keep abreast of top industry trends to stay ahead of the competition.