Clean products are nothing new. But “clean weed” is a different thing altogether, a new phenomenon that will likely grow more common, at least according to some experts.
The Los Angeles Times reports that clean weed has been making its rounds in San Francisco, becoming one of the most in-demand items in dozens of dispensaries. The product takes its name like many other “clean” products, known for their environmentally friendly processes and for the transparency in their components.
“Clean weed” depends on the maker, but it suggests that the cannabis in question is grown organically, with the least amount of pesticides used. These products shouldn’t need the help of chemicals to be grown.
This label matters more when discussing vape products. Traditionally, vapes are extracted by submitting the THC to a chemical material like butane, ethanol, or CO2. Completing this process without these elements is not easy, but it’s possible, in a more complicated yet cleaner method that submits the cannabis to “a combination of mechanical agitation and changes in temperature.”
When discussing the perks of “clean weed” vs “traditional weed,” the LA Times spoke to Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a primary care physician and cannabis specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, who compared clean cannabis to organic foods, using fruits as an example.
“The regular piece of fruit has a little bit of pesticide on it, but at a level where if it gets through, the government says, ‘This is not going to harm you,’” said Dr. Grinspoon. “I haven’t seen any studies that show you’re less likely to get cancer if you eat organic vegetables, but everybody thinks intuitively they’re healthier. And everybody will pay more for [them], and I think it’s sort of the same situation.”
Now more than ever, consumers seem to be concerned with their health and the things that they put into their bodies. The cannabis industry in particular has been the recipient of a lot of criticism, especially in the case of vapes, which have been linked with a variety of health conditions, most pressingly EVALI, a disease that affects people’s lungs due to chemicals present in some vape cartridges.
It makes sense then for the cannabis industry to try to get ahead of the competition by using any means at their disposal, including the more laborious process of labeling and making “clean weed.” More than making a product that is good for customers, this trend is smart marketing.