Approximately 40 percent of U.S. consumers age 21 and older said they would try cannabidiol (CBD), according to a study by High Yield Insights, a market research firm focused on the cannabis market.
A compound of cannabis, CBD is used to reduce pain, lower inflammation, tame anxiety, and promote sleep. High Yield Insights found those most interested in CBD are 35 years or older (64 percent), female (56 percent), and with college experience (79 percent). For new consumers, key motivators include easier access to products (42 percent), availability of unbiased research (44 percent), and a doctor’s recommendation (34 percent). Potential users indicated interest in chocolates and baked foods formulated with CBD in addition to over-the-counter supplements such as pills and capsules.
“We are seeing many consumers looking to incorporate CBD into their wellness regimen,” says Mike Luce, co-founder of High Yield Insights. “Consumers previously unfamiliar with CBD are rapidly showing interest. Now that the federal government is finally taking steps to clear up the hazy legal picture, people see CBD as an entry point to the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.”
Among current CBD users, about half are ages 34 or younger, and just over half have used CBD for less than a year.
“CBD does seem to be benefiting from greater acceptance of cannabis,” Luce says. “Seven in 10 current CBD users have also used cannabis containing THC in some form in the past three months. This indicates that for some users, CBD-only products are serving a complementary function.”
Despite growing interest, many consumers remain confused about CBD, he adds.
“When the federal government enacted the recent farm bill, most interpreted the language as legalizing CBD,” he says. “However, the FDA needs to take further action to clarify its stance. Some states are demanding stores pull CBD products off the shelf, claiming that it is an unregulated food additive. With potential users identifying easier access as a chief motivator, such actions go against what the public is seeking.”
The survey included a national representation of 2,000 U.S. adults ages 21 and older, 1,500 of whom reported using CBD products in the previous three months and 500 who reported not using CBD products.