Who’s Using Hemp CBD Anyway? Consumer Base Insights

Sales of cannabidiol (CBD) based products are on the rise and consumers are clamoring to get their hands the latest CBD infused goods. With numerous celebrities touting the benefits of CBD the general population is seeking to take advantage of this new line of products as well, but who is the target consumer?

Understanding the consumer base for CBD is crucial for investors looking to enter the industry as well as retailers looking to capitalize on this emerging market. The rapid growth of the CBD market makes it challenging to identify the target consumer segment. Last year, the Brightfield Group surveyed over 3,600 hemp CBD consumers to try and get a glimpse at the current consumer profile for hemp-based CBD products and here is what they found.

Consumer Demographics

There is a fairly even split between female (49.1%) and male (50.7%) users of hemp-based CBD products, although men typically admit to using the product more frequently than women. Of these users, 38.9% reported that they were married, and of those married couples, 60% have children. As CBD gains a stronger foothold as a non-intoxicating substance the stigma around CBD use amongst parents will likely dissipate and more parents will try CBD.

Users of hemp CBD products tended to have a higher annual income with 47.6% earning over $50,000 per annum and only 15.9% earning less than 20,000 per year. This is likely due to the high price point of CBD products, with the average bottle of CBD oil costing $50-$70. CBD consumers with higher incomes have more disposable cash to purchase CBD products and use them on a regular basis. 

Along with higher income levels comes higher education levels. Seventy percent (70%) of CBD users reported having “some college” while 30.7% reported having a bachelor’s degree. This new generation of CBD consumers is educated and has moved away from the typical “stoner” persona of wanting to get high. CBD users are seeking medical relief from CBD products and are typically well educated on how CBD may be of benefit.

With regards to age, the majority (38.2%) of hemp CBD consumers are between the ages of 26 and 35, and report using CBD predominantly to manage stress and anxiety. Millennials are clearly seeking respite from their busy lives and are turning to CBD for relief. Over 35% of consumers in this age range report using CBD at work and another 26.5% use CBD at school. Marketing for the younger CBD consumer should highlight the convenience and benefits of incorporating CBD into an active lifestyle as well as the non-intoxicating properties of CBD. 

Another group that is buying into the CBD market is the aging, baby-boomer population, making up over 25% of all CBD consumers. CBD users between the ages of 46 and 79 report using CBD to alleviate chronic pain as well as improve overall mood. Consumers in this group report that they prefer CBD to numerous pain medications that produce unwanted side effects and are turning to a more natural method of achieving optimum health and wellness. Marketing for this population should focus on health and wellness and the ability of CBD to assist in managing daily aches and pains without the use of traditional painkillers.

Consumer Motivations

It is critical to understand consumer motivations in using hemp CBD in order to provide proper education and targeted marketing. If consumers are happy with the product they are buying they will bring repeat business to the retailer. The Brightfield report noted that 59% of CBD users are seeking relief from anxiety, 45.8% use it to cope with depression, and 40% use CBD to manage pain. Most CBD consumers use the product to manage more than one condition and are seeking a good overall product for this type of use. Consumers who take CBD on a daily basis will likely make bigger purchases as they require more products to fulfill their needs. 

Education is (Always) The Answer

It would be prudent for retailers to provide educational material on CBD to the consumers. There is currently a lack of accessible material and with CBD available on store shelves, customers will be looking for answers to their questions. As more research takes place and dosing information becomes available, Pharmacists and retailers will be better positioned to help their customers make informed decisions on CBD. 

The full report can be downloaded from Brightfield Group’s website.

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