We often hear the term "canna-curious" going around in the media, often used to describe someone who's new to cannabis or has never tried it before, but is open to it. Defined as an adjective meaning "eager to know or learn something about cannabis," canna-curious describes the growing interest in the plant — no surprise, thanks in large part to the mainstreaming of cannabis as more jurisdictions legalize it.
Shedding light on progressive cannabis culture, Civilized has named "canna-curious" the 2018 Word of the Year. This past year, millions of visitors to Civilized.life wanted to know two things about cannabis: the legal age to purchase it, and how to consume it. "As legalization takes hold, the doors have opened up to a whole new tribe of people, who are making their own decisions based on information, not past history," says Derek Riedle, publisher of Civilized. "They're smart, sophisticated, and doing their research because they want to do it right. That kind of informed curiosity is what's driving the market and the conversation right now. Culture and conversations evolve rapidly, and the canna-curious are leading the pack."
More consumers are coming onboard to support the legalization of cannabis to some degree, according to the 2018 Fall Cannabis Culture Poll (developed by Burson Cohn & Wolfe, PSB Research, and Civilized). A majority believe that legalization has had a positive impact on the economy.
The curiosity around cannabis is spanning generations. We're seeing, for instance, Baby Boomers among the fastest growing demographic of the canna-curious with nine percent of those between the ages of 60 and 64 saying they've used cannabis in the past year, which is twice that for the same demographic in 2006.
However, the term canna-curious isn't limited only to those who have a novice relationship to the plant. In fact, veteran consumers and industry folk can also be canna-curious. In fact, we can broaden the definition of this word-of-the-year to include anyone who may be deeply curious about cannabis: those who want to try strains with higher levels of lesser known cannabinoids, or who may be curious about what strains go best for certain medical conditions.
One who is canna-curious is in a constant state of discovery when it comes to cannabis: Sure, they may be trying it for the first time, or they may be deepening a lifelong relationship to the plant through exploration of its cannabinoids, terpenes, modes of consumption, and so forth. One who is canna-curious may be curious about how cannabis can help them with art, parenting, sleeping, or socializing.
And as legalization spreads, so too will curiosity around cannabis — in all sectors of society and tangential industries like tech, medicine, fashion, and so on. "The great thing about curiosity is that it compels people to get informed," said Riedle. "The transition from canna-curious to canna-informed is the spark that's igniting logical policy discussions that will result in even more markets opening up to cannabis in 2019."