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CANNABIS CORNER: 10% of Market Uses CBD

Traders Magazine Online News, March 26, 2019

John D'Antona Jr.

CBD is almost as famous as ABC.

The hemp-derived oil known as CBD is bringing cannabis to the mainstream, from CBD “shots” at coffee shops to edible CBD gummy bears sold at convenience stores. Newly released research from MRI-Simmons shows that people who buy CBD items can be very different from other consumers of cannabis products. 

Data from MRI’s National Cannabis Study – the only syndicated nationwide study of cannabis consumption and attitudes – shows that 36 million Americans (ages 18 and above) are cannabis consumers, and 10% of them (3.7 million) use CBD products.

Cannabis as a wellness tool

Half (50%) of “CBDers” say they consume cannabis only for medical purposes – compared to 15% of the overall cannabis population. (See Table 1.) Another 42% of CBDers consume cannabis for both medical and recreational reasons.

Table 1. Reasons for cannabis consumption: CBDers versus all cannabis consumers
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Almost two-thirds (60%) of CBD consumers belong to the Wellness Pot Practitioners segment, one of three groups of cannabis users identified by MRI-Simmons. This segment views cannabis as primarily a health and wellness tool; in fact, one-third of CBD consumers take part in meditation while consuming – and 13% practice yoga.

Showing an activist streak

One-third (34%) of CBD consumers are active members of a group that promotes legalization of cannabis. In addition, 8 out of 10 (81%) CBD consumers agree that the benefits of cannabis outweigh any negative health concerns, and three-quarters (72%) say that consumption is widely accepted in their friend group.

With a median age of 45, CBD consumers skew a little bit younger than the average American. CBD consumers are also
highly multicultural; they are roughly 40% more likely than the average cannabis consumer to be Hispanic, Asian, or Native American.

The National Cannabis Study also provides in-depth information on every aspect of cannabis consumers’ lives, including
• product use
• media and technology use
• attitudes about politics, medicine, and hundreds of other subjects

“The CBD consumer is both more mainstream and more politically engaged than the average cannabis consumer,” said Michael Panebianco, Vice President of Sales at MRI-Simmons. “They advocate for the legalization of cannabis, even though some are hesitant about actually consuming it. And their use of products and media are distinct from other cannabis groups. As with all other buyers today, it is essential to know them inside and out and provide messages and products that speak directly to their needs.”

The MRI National Cannabis Study was conducted using a nationally representative sample of over 3,000 respondents on KnowledgePanel*. The resulting dataset was fused to MRI’s top-quality consumer dataset for deep profiling purposes and nationwide universe estimates. Miner & Co Studio – leading researchers in the world of cannabis since 2014 – provided thought leadership and ethnographies to bring the findings to life.

MRI’s Survey of the American Consumer® represents the gold standard in traditional planning and consumer insights. As part of the Survey, MRI conducts over 24,000 in-person, in-home interviews each year in both English and Spanish, capturing an unequaled range of information on US consumers’ media use, buying habits, lifestyles, and attitudes.

* Note: The cannabis survey was conducted on KnowledgePanel while it was owned by GfK; the panel has since become the property of Ipsos.      

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