5 Top Trending Cannabis Packaging Design Ideas

5 Top Trending Cannabis Packaging Design Ideas

With the legalization of cannabis growing more commonplace, sales continue to skyrocket across the country. Legal cannabis sales in the US surpassed a staggering $17.5 billion in 2020, with growth figures of about 50% from the previous year.

While this unbelievable uptick sets the stage for lucrative business opportunities, it also creates a more competitive environment. Companies should realize the importance of cannabis packaging designs that stand out in a growing market.

Cannabis packaging isn’t quite as simple as packaging for other products—for one thing, there are legal requirements specific to cannabis that don’t apply to general merchandise. Ideally, you’ll find a packaging company with a knowledge of current legal guidelines that can offer unique packaging designs for your cannabis products.

Is Sustainable Packaging a Priority for Your Business? Learn More Here.

Legal Requirements for Cannabis Packaging and Labeling

Before getting carried away with fun, eye-catching packaging, it’s critical to understand the legal requirements for cannabis packaging to ensure your business is following best practices.

Legally, your cannabis packaging must be:

  • Child-resistant (difficult for kids five years and under to open)
  • Tamper-evident
  • Resealable for products with more than one serving
  • Opaque in the case of edible cannabis products

Manufactured products must be protected from contamination and exposure to any potentially harmful substances and packaged as a finished product before transfer or shipment. Packaging can’t be visually appealing to children or imitate non-cannabis food products.

As for labeling, informational panels must include the following as applicable:

  • Allergens
  • Artificial food colorings
  • Batch or lot number
  • Date of manufacture and packaging
  • Expiration, use-by, or best-by date
  • “FOR MEDICAL USE ONLY” (if THC content exceeds reactional amount) 
  • Government warning statement for cannabis products
  • Ingredients
  • Instructions for use or preparation needed
  • Manufacturer name and contact information
  • Sodium, sugar, carbohydrates, and total fat per serving in milligrams or grams (for edibles)
  • UID number

Once your products meet all packaging and labeling regulations, you’re ready to choose a unique cannabis packaging design. 

Cannabis Packaging Design Ideas

As with any growing industry, competition requires you to seek innovative, creative, and exclusive packaging sure to make your products stand out.

Minimalist Design

Cannabis packaging lends itself well to minimalist designs. A simple and clutter-free aesthetic can project relaxation and tranquility, so it’s become a popular choice for many cannabis and CBD products. 

Minimalist packaging designs fit nicely within a pharmacy or wellness shop, especially if your products address a specific health concern like insomnia, inflammation, or anxiety. Simple designs that highlight a product’s support for a particular symptom or condition can be an effective way to bridge the gap between recreational and medical use.

To keep your cannabis packaging minimalistic, envision simple and functional designs with clean, easy-to-read typography that highlights the product’s benefits. You might reinforce this style with solid blocks of complementary colors, which could even double as your brand colors to strengthen brand identity and awareness.

Vintage or Nostalgic Aesthetic

Another trendy cannabis packaging design leans into nostalgia with a vintage look and feel. Consider your audience and ideal customer, especially age and class status. Vintage aesthetics might include leafy ornamentation, brown paperboard, and text that evokes a certain era of Americana. 

Green Coloring and Values

You know why green is an obvious color choice for cannabis packaging. Not only is marijuana itself green (and colloquially referred to as such), but the color green connotes something natural, organic, and from the earth. Due to audience overlap, cannabis companies prioritize green and environmentally friendly packaging. Eco-friendly packaging might include sustainable or zero-waste packaging, emphasizing keywords like raw and organic and using muted earth tones to highlight the product’s natural origins.

Related Content: Sustainable Packaging for Zero-Waste Products

Lean into Humor

Another natural marketing tool is humor. Evoking humor while being upfront with customers — perhaps leaning into cannabis stereotypes, for example—can be an effective way to make your packaging stand out. Consumers of all generations find humor in reclaiming terms like hippie, stoner, and the munchies. While these terms were once used as insults, new cannabis brands communicate today’s cannabis culture and embrace that change with wordplay, funny imagery, and puns.

Nuggies edibles are a great example of how to laugh at old cannabis stereotypes and highlight how those notions have evolved.

Highlight Grow Methods

Now more than ever, consumers of cannabis products can easily find detailed information about how marijuana is sourced and grown. People are increasingly interested in understanding the intricacies of cannabis, such as the difference between CBD vs. THC, delivery methods, and growing techniques (hydroponic, organic, and others). Each manufacturer has distinct growing methods and sources, which impact how its products affect the consumer experience. 

It’s crucial to be upfront about strains and sourcing on your packaging so that consumers can build trust in your brand. This tactic is especially beneficial if your brand sells a variety of strains, as you can easily provide choices, transparency, and education from the get-go.

Elevate Your Cannabis Brand with Unique Packaging Designs

Consumers are overwhelmed by new cannabis products every day, and they’re drawn to unique, transparent, or even humorous packaging. A professional packaging company with cannabis experience can help you choose packaging that is unique, follows all legal guidelines, and builds brand identity in a crowded market.

As a vendor of cannabis products, you’re already making a significant investment in quality. Let your packaging reflect that commitment. 

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