Cannabis and CBD Packaging Trends In 2020

Posted by Brandon Henry on

Cannabis and CBD Packaging Trends In 2020

Packaging trends for cannabis and CBD products in 2020 are shifting dramatically. Designs now favor a more modern approach over the dated "psychedelic" look. Branding and packaging are more important now than ever, as the cannabis industry grows exponentially.

Cannabis packaging trends include being compliant, being eco-friendly, being child-resistant, and being innovative.

1. Packaging with Compliance in Mind

Even though packaging for cannabis and CBD products is becoming a lot more creative, products still have to comply with specific regulations and requirements. Manufacturers have the responsibility of making sure they are compliant with all regulations.

Potency: Labeling Requirements

The potency of cannabis and CBD can be noted in two ways. The first way: the information must be no smaller than a 10-point font, bold, framed, and at least one or two font sizes larger than other small label text such as ingredients. The potency label's other option is that the font must be no smaller than 10 points, framed and highlighted with a bright color.

The levels for cannabinoids appear as percentages on the labels. It’s mandatory for all products containing marijuana to include potency statements.

Potency: Testing Claims

Any potency claims regarding both medicinal and recreational marijuana have to be tested. The procedures to test product strength can vary, and there isn’t a strict set of guidelines to follow. But the potency should still adhere to labeling requirements.

Cannabis Edibles Regulations

Edible marijuana, medicinal or recreational, can’t be produced in the shape of people, fruits, or animals. By people, this means cartoon characters, comic characters, or celebrities, to name a few examples. Logos, on the other hand, do not fall under this rule and can be any shape. To avoid breaking the regulations, produce edibles with a geometric or marijuana leaf shape.

Child Resistant (C-R) Packaging: Regulations

Since cannabis is legal in about 28 states, the accessibility to these products has increased. This has led to stricter packaging regulations to protect children, called C-R. C-R technology such as child-resistant caps must be placed on marijuana containers like jars and bottles to prevent children from accidentally swallowing cannabis.

Child Resistant (C-R) Packaging: Trends

These new child-resistant regulations have created opportunities that have not been presented before. It is now on trend to create professional and sleek designs for cannabis products, so designers can work with the C-R regs as an inspiration. Some companies can meet all the C-R regulations and still be functional and look sophisticated. Others have cleverly used hemp leaves to make pouches that lock.

2. Packaging with Design and Branding in Mind

Cannabis products have been known in the past for the use of psychedelic imagery. However, that trend is dying out as a more contemporary style is evolving. Minimalist designs, clean edges, and high-quality graphics attract the modern, professional customer.

New design trends are bringing options like the following:

  • High-quality aspects of every part of the design. These are marketed toward professionals. 
  • Frosted glass and embossing to add texture in line with modern design
  • Shapes with clean edges and clean package designs

Design Focusing on Target Market

Professional designers will be able to create cannabis product containers that help the user distinguish between recreational and medical cannabis. There is a shift toward making medicinal marijuana more accessible, so getting the medical market's attention through design is crucial.

3. Environmentally Friendly Packaging

With cannabis itself being all-natural, manufacturers thought it made sense to keep the packaging that way too. Sustainable and eco-friendly packaging is becoming increasingly popular as more users are shifting their focus to the environment.

Four prominent factors in eco-friendly cannabis packaging will be even more important moving forward: cutting down waste, sustainability, Earth-friendly packaging and non-toxic packaging.

Cannabis packaging will have less packaging waste. Unnecessary shipping and packaging materials will be cut from production. This eco-friendly method is apparent in packaging that offers a minimalist, sleek design and bottles and boxes that are no heavier or more elaborate than they need to be to safely store and ship product.

Sustainable materials like glass, recycled materials, hemp, and cotton will be used more often for packaging. This is already done by many manufacturers. Hemp-based sacs are growing in popularity for recreational cannabis packaging.

Cannabis packaging will be made with Earth-friendly materials that are renewable, biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable. Green or blue glass bottles follow this trend and also offer natural UV filtering.

Lastly, non-toxic design methods are being introduced to cannabis packaging. Plant dyes, biodegradable adhesives, and embossing are all being implemented as eco-friendly options.

4. Packaging Highlighting Sourcing

Users are beginning to become geared more toward organic and all-natural products. For your company, this means being completely transparent about how you grow your cannabis will be beneficial. Including information that states whether the product is organic or non-organic is vital for meeting customers' needs and expectations.

Other information that should be included on the packaging is the common name of the cannabis strain. This is true for both recreational and medicinal products. 

Medical Terminology and Symbols

If you use medical information, it's crucial to use appropriate medical symbols in the packaging design. The market is shifting toward helping users become more aware of the medicinal benefits of medical marijuana. Using correct symbols and terminology will help fully legitimize the product and erase any lingering stigma in the minds of some consumers.

5. Packaging That Pokes Fun: Recreational Marijuana Packaging

Although packaging design trends are now aimed more toward clean and sophisticated looks, recreational marijuana packaging manufacturers and producers are using humor to their advantage.

You can expect to see many cheekier puns and wordplay about cannabis and its users. Words like "stoned" and "munchies" are now used a lot more in titles and in description labels.

The creative way manufacturers and producers use these stereotypes is that they often add supported medicinal evidence after the silly wordplay. They express that they understand what society thinks about cannabis products, but they are here to prove them wrong.


Cannabis and CBD packaging trends in 2020 are geared toward being more eco-friendly, transparent, and child-resistant. With the accessibility and use of these products increasing, producers and manufacturers must stay on top of the trends. They also need to make sure they follow guidelines and regulations closely.

Appealing to the consumer while being compliant with rules is the balance manufacturers and producers must strike when designing cannabis packaging. 

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