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. When the data conflicted, we gave special weight to surveys that featured nationally representative demographics.
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 Demographic Statistics
Summary: CBD use is distributed relatively evenly amongst various income and age groups, though young people are particularly open to CBD use. Americans are very familiar with CBD and have a positive view of it, although the overall percentage of people who have tried it is relatively small (18%).
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.
Of US adults that have tried CBD, 27% live in a Western state (the next most CBD-friendly region is the Midwest which represents 18% of CBD users.
Compared to only 34% of the population having a college degree.
8. 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.
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.
12. 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.
13. Google Searches for “CBD” have more than quadrupled since 2017
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).
19. People most commonly use CBD for relaxation; anxiety is the most common ailment treated with CBD
21. 52% of CBD users consider CBD to be “more effective” or “much more effective” in relieving medical conditions than Over the Counter (OTC) products
23. Of those who replaced some type medication with CBD, 36% replaced a pharmaceutical opioid (oxycodone, percocet, etc.)
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).
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.