The cannabis seeds market is predicted to grow exponentially as state legalization advances in the U.S., as well as in countries across the globe, according to Vancoast Seeds. As a cannabis seed wholesaler, they shared exclusive insight into popular seed trends for 2023 with Leaf Retailer.
Growing Demand for These Seeds
“Popular seeds vary throughout the year as many cultivators tend to choose based on the season, since not all seeds grow well year-round. Right now, feminized seeds are trending in popularity with the following feminized seeds in high demand: White Widow, Purple Kush, and God’s Gift Auto,” Landra De, CEO of Vancoast Seeds and Rocket Seeds, said.
Recently, there has been an increasing demand for Hash Plant and Crown Royal cultivars at Vancoast Seeds. These produce more resin, making them ideal for concentrate production.
According to the data firm Headset, concentrates make up 8.3 percent of the U.S. cannabis market share, but this number is expected to grow as more experienced cannabis users seek higher potency products.
Biotechnology is Being Introduced
According to Matt Haddad, CEO of Trilogene Seeds, many of the bad companies have gotten out of the cannabis space. This is good news for farmers because it is easier to determine who is legitimate, and therefore the quality and consistency of cannabis improve. Biotechnology will also be more popular in 2023, which will help to improve the development of these plants even more.
“One of the things we will be releasing are genetics that have been developed using biotechnology. This is not part of the regular breeding practices we see today. Biotechnology will help solve a lot of issues for growers, such as powdery mildew and other viruses and pathogens impacting the quality of the plant. One thing I think will be a big hit next year are genetics that are developed to knock down those pathways so they are not expressing a powdery mildew and spreading disease,” Haddad said.
What Seed Traits are Trending?
“Though cultivators continue to favor THC percentage when purchasing, we are seeing more demand for auto-flowering varieties, especially at smaller cultivation facilities or in states with significant seasonal changes where multiple harvests are a necessity,” De said. “Commercial cannabis cultivation and home grower trends are similar in that most buyers want something with the highest THC potency.”
Matt Simmons with Elev8 Seeds says one of the trends he has noticed in the past few years is that as more and more consumers have gotten their cannabis from legal retail stores. They are looking almost solely at the THC content. The common reasoning being that they are getting more “bang for their buck.” While THC content is certainly an important factor, many shoppers are finding that there are other factors that are also important.
“One factor is the quality of the high. Many experienced aficionados have tried a strain for its sky-high THC content only to find that the high can be unpleasant or anxiety-inducing. One of my favorite strains of all time is a little-known strain called M2, which was bred using landrace (or indigenous) sativas. Growers usually avoid growing these strains because they take much longer in the flowering process. Consumers have typically avoided pure sativas because the THC content is commonly under 20 percent. The one thing that these pure sativa strains do have, that cannot be found in the more traditionally available strains, is that they have a high that is second to none. A great sativa high is one that invokes the kind of euphoria that you feel when the sun is shining on your face and all is right with the world,” Simmons said.
Popular Cannabis Strains
Two of Vancoast Seeds’ most popular strands are the White Widow and God’s Gift. White Widow is one of the “OG” strains that is still around and thriving. God’s Gift is another great strain that did not get popular until 2005, due to its genetic parents, Grand Daddy Purp and OG Kush. According to De, it is starting to get back on the top after multiple inquiries from their customers requesting the strain. True classics like these are expected to be popular in the new year.
Too Much THC?
Haddad has also noticed that consumers are purchasing strains that have a high THC percentage and are more popular, such as Cookies or Gelato. This can impact the industry in a negative way, since there is so much more to cannabis than getting that “high” feeling, but because of the high THC percentage popularity, many companies are crossbreeding the same cannabinoid and terpene varieties that ultimately limit the genetic diversity and pool all of the different aspects of cannabis that we love and appreciate.
“I think the trends that will grow are the desire for different profiles and different ratios of CBD and THC, but I hope the industry will turn a corner next year and not just shop on THC percentage and popularity,” Haddad said.
How Seed Trends are Reflecting Consumer Retail Trends
“Consumer retail trends are definitely being driven by nostalgia right now, with classic, retro items in high demand,” De said. “Just as fashion styles resurface and recycle, we are seeing the same with cannabis seeds. ‘OG’ strains like White Widow and God’s Gift are making a comeback as more consumers are looking to the oldies but goodies, for an authentic cannabis experience.”
As the customer population expands with new legal cannabis markets, strains that they are familiar with and are also known to produce healthy yields, will become a comfortable and sought after option in 2023. Keep track of these trends and give shoppers what they are looking for in order to see business boom in the new year.