If there’s one thing that everyone can agree on, it’s that the CBD industry is blowing up. But as an emerging industry, many questions linger about who exactly is using CBD, what they’re using it for, and how well it works. Many claims are bandied about, but how many are backed up by hard data?
We set out to get some answers on CBD users and the CBD market, and some of what we found may surprise you. To get these answers we tracked down and read through all of the largest available surveys on CBD users, with special weight given to surveys that featured nationally representative demographics when the data conflicted.
Our main sources for these statistics were:
- A survey of 2,400 medical cannabis users conducted by marketing & analytics research firm the Brightfield Group
- A nationally representative study of over 4,000 Americans conducted over 24 months by Consumer Reports
- A survey of over 2,000 Americans conducted by Quart & Harris Poll
- A study by New York investment bank Cowen & Co.
Collectively these surveys detail the views on CBD (and usage habits) of more than 10,000 Americans. Bits and pieces can be gleaned from each individual study, but together they provide a striking (and strikingly positive) image of CBD use. On the whole, Americans (especially younger Americans) are well-aware of CBD and view it as an effective treatment for a number of ailments, even as an alternative to pharmaceuticals and OTC medications.
Keep in mind that, while these are the most exhaustive studies currently available, they’re far from definitive, and a clearer picture (with much more data) is sure to emerge as CBD continues its ascent to the top of the health-and-wellness mountain.
Read on to get a clear look at the CBD market — and the CBD user — in 2019.
CBD Demographics Statistics
Summary: CBD is used by all age groups, but is most popular among the young. CBD use is distributed relatively amongst various income groups. Americans are very familiar with CBD, although the overall percentage of people who have tried it is relatively small (17%).
Only 8% of CBD users are aged 65 or older.
This might have something to do with the fact that anxiety is the most common ailment treated with CBD (see below), and millennials are experiencing anxiety at twice the average rate.
In comparison, only 15% of those surveyed age 65 or older had tried CBD.
66% of CBD users surveyed by the Brightfield Group were caucasian.
Compared to only 34% of the population having a college degree.
10. Americans overwhelmingly express support for CBD use, including as an alternative to pharmaceuticals
Of those who are familiar with CBD, over 80% support its use. 56% support using CBD as an alternative to pharmaceuticals.
The gap between the number of people familiar with CBD and the number who have tried it suggests there’s still plenty of growth potential in the CBD market.
Surveys vary on this point; another survey (from Consumer Reports) said that one in seven Americans had tried CBD (which is about 14%, or double the Press Herald number).
CBD Market and Economic Statistics
Summary: CBD markets are experiencing staggering and rapid growth, as interest in CBD grows exponentially. This has led to a proliferation of CBD purveyors, some of whom are less than reliable. The business end of CBD is being spearheaded by women, who have founded the overwhelming majority of CBD businesses.
13. The CBD market is projected to grow to $16 billion by 2025
The CBD market was worth $327 million in 2017 and ballooned to over $1 billion in 2018.
The same report states that CBD gummy sales increased by 925% in just a year.
16. Google Searches for “CBD” have more than quadrupled since 2017
The two top spots on the list? Unicorn cake and romaine lettuce.
18. The number of financial institutions banking marijuana-related businesses (including CBD) increased rapidly in 2018-19
19. Charlotte’s Web is the most popular hemp-derived CBD brand in the US
24. The availability of CBD in the US increased by 80% in 2018 alone
The market reached $519 million.
This statistic was taken from online CBD marketplace Eaze Wellness, which ships CBD products to 41 states across the US.
Statistics on CBD Use
Summary: CBD is commonly used both to alleviate specific ailments and as an overall relaxer/stress-reliever. CBD users rate their experience with CBD very positively (especially relative to pharmaceutical alternatives).
26. People most commonly use CBD for relaxation; anxiety is the most common ailment treated with CBD
This finding is consistent across surveys: a huge majority of CBD users are pleased with the effectiveness of the CBD products they use.
28. 52% of CBD users consider CBD to be “more effective” or “much more effective” in relieving medical conditions than Over the Counter (OTC) products
This is true for both hemp-derived CBD users and marijuana-derived CBD users.
Many people turn to CBD because it is a plant-based remedy with very few side-effects compared to some OTC/prescription medications. .
30. Of those who replaced some type medication with CBD, 36% replaced a pharmaceutical opioid (oxycodone, percocet, etc.)
Given that the opioid crisis is ravaging middle america, this statistic is potentially of huge importance if CBD can replace opioids for a significant number of people.
This is one of the big selling points of CBD, and is consistent across surveys.
32% of millenial CBD users use CBD for stress and anxiety, compared to 12% of boomers. Meanwhile, 42% of boomers user CBD for joint pain, compared to only 15% of millenials (not much surprise there, really).
Only 4% of CBD users are occasional users (use CBD less than once per month).
However, those who use both CBD and THC-dominant products spend significantly less on THC-dominant products than those who use THC products alone.
The gap between the number of people who have heard of CBD and the number who have tried it indicates there’s still a lot of growth potential, especially considering how CBD-friendly young folks are and the generally positive attitudes Americans have towards CBD. Add to that CBD’s broad applicability and the fact that users report overwhelmingly positive experiences, and you’ve got the makings of a true health and wellness juggernaut that’s on its way up.