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It’s natural to wonder what’s driving the latest health trend and who’s buying the most CBD. However, a lot of the research concerning CBD usage can also tell us why specific demographics use CBD. This data helps give insight into how people rely on CBD. This data can also provide researchers with motivation and direction to continue to examine the functions and medical potential of CBD.
The Limits of the Studies
CBD use studies have a limit: by default, individuals self-report on their reasons for using CBD. While this can give a powerful insight into the merit of CBD, studies are limited to only those people who are surveyed or participated in the study. While such demographic survey studies are designed to provide a sample of the broader population, it’s impossible to fully reconstruct the trends and attitudes of millions in a study of a few hundred or thousand.
Additionally, some individuals may not give a complete report for the reasons of their CBD usage, possibly citing one main reason, while many secondary and tertiary reasons drive their use of CBD. Yet, these studies are still a powerful source of information and research that CBD suppliers and consumers can use to understand the CBD market.
Because each study pulls from a different sample of individuals, sometimes the numbers or percentages look different from study to study. To get the most out of each of these studies, look for trends that hold true for various studies rather than the individual sets of numbers.
Male and Millennial
According to a study conducted by the marketing agency Acosta, millennial men with four-year college degrees are most likely to use CBD. According to the survey, 48% of male respondents said they used CBD, while 16% of female respondents said they used CBD.
Millennials, Gen X, Boomers, and Frequency
The same Acosta study also reported that while 56% of surveyed Millennials use CBD as-needed or daily, only 32% of Gen-X respondents and 15% of Baby Boomer respondents could say the same.
Overall, more than a quarter of all survey respondents said they use CBD every day or as needed, but this varies by age bracket.
Why People Use CBD
Several studies examine the primary reasons for which people use CBD, but each study suggests the reasons vary across generations. According to the Acosta study, Baby Boomer and Gen X respondents reported taking CBD to help with joint discomfort (36% and 31%, respectively) and muscle discomfort (23% for each group).
On the other hand, Millennials report taking CBD for general wellness (30%) and anxiety (31%). One in ten survey pet owners said they gave their dogs CBD, and over half of whom said they do so due to a vet’s recommendation.
However, other studies go far more in-depth. In 2018, the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research published an article entitled, “A Cross-Sectional Study of Cannabidiol Users.” The researchers found 2,409 volunteer participants, most of them college-educated, through social media who were willing to talk about how and why they use CBD. Subjects interviewed for this study claimed to use CBD to help mitigate diverse medical conditions, such as stress, trouble sleeping, discomfort, or to enhance their well-being. Discomfort, stress, and enhanced well-being were the top-cited reasons for CBD use.
Among these individuals who reported using CBD for health purposes, 36% claimed that CBD worked very well. Only 4.3% said that CBD worked “not very well.”
What a Gallup Poll Has to Say
An August 2019 Gallup poll surveyed a random sample of 2,543 adults across all 50 US states and the District of Columbia and discovered that one in seven Americans uses CBD-based products with younger adults dominating the market. Here’s the nationwide breakdown of CBD usage:
- All adults: 14%
- Ages 18-29: 20%
- Ages 30-49: 16%
- Ages 50-64: 11%
- Ages 65+: 8%
In addition, the Gallup poll surveyed CBD usage by region of the US with the most CBD use occurring in Western states because more of these states have fully legalized cannabis:
- East: 11%
- Midwest: 11%
- South: 13%
- West: 21%
CBD Usage and Interest by State
The Remedy Review, a popular CBD review site, set about trying to determine CBD usage by state. To do this, they compiled data from brand leaders, Google searches, and internal site traffic to help them generate an accurate picture of different states’ CBD usage and interest levels by state. While the Gallup poll provides a decent picture of CBD usage by region of the US, the state breakdown has a lot more to say about the impact of CBD products on individual states’ economies.
Here’s the ranking they generated of the top ten states most interested in CBD:
- North Carolina
Leading States and Their Roles in CBD Demand
Because interest and demand drive supply and production, each of the top ten states play an important role in the development, science, and sale of CBD. Their agricultural programs and interest in CBD impacts the future demographics of CBD consumption. Here’s the breakdown of how each state contributes to the CBD economy, according to the information provided on Remedy Review.
Oklahoma, due to surging interest in CBD, recently expanded a large hemp festival.
After the Farm Bill passed, Kentucky was one of the very first states to develop a program for hemp cultivation and research. Once farmers discovered how well hemp performed, hemp production surged.
Since CBD products were legalized in Indiana in March of 2018, the state has seen a boom in both CBD popularity and CBD market regulation. The state requires all CBD suppliers to display lab test results to verify the levels of CBD and other cannabinoids present in their products.
Vermont legalized cannabis recently and has played a key role in developing a system of hemp agriculture and CBD sale.
Home to the greatest number of CBD dispensaries and shops, Colorado has been a major name in the CBD game for years. They’re also famous for their well-developed system of hemp agriculture.
California boasts some of the lowest prices of quality CBD extracts, and their hemp crop industry is well-regulated.
Florida, on the other hand, boasts some of the highest-rated CBD shops in the world due to the state’s booming interest in CBD. While pilot programs for hemp production are still in their maiden phases, the state is working to build their hemp economy.
Earlier in 2019, Tennessee hosted the first-of-its-kind Southern Hemp Exposition, where more than 100 CBD products and hemp businesses were a big hit among eventgoers.
Oregon was one of the first states to legalize cannabis. In the wake of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, more farmers are transitioning to hemp to satisfy consumer demands for CBD and hemp products.
North Carolina is one of the nation’s top agricultural producers, and surging interest in CBD products has led farmers to apply for approval in the state’s new pilot hemp program. Like several other states on this list, North Carolina is only just beginning to enter into the world of hemp agriculture. However, the state’s burgeoning interest in consuming CBD and hemp products promises to drive the production of hemp into a prominent position in the state’s economy.
CBD’s Popularity Keeps Rising
Given the information from the studies, the person most likely to use CBD would be a college-educated Millennial male in Oregon, Colorado, or California. Of course, many insiders and outsiders of the CBD industry realize that CBD use extends much farther than this demographic.
There are a lot of reasons for CBD’s popularity spreading along the path that it has. CBD’s higher popularity in the western region of the US versus other regions has a lot to do with the fact that cannabis and cannabis products were legalized in many of the west’s individual states far earlier than in other areas. This factor helps to break down many of the false, negative stereotypes that occasionally surround hemp products.
Due to legislative campaigns over the past decades, Baby Boomers were likely exposed to more of the negative connotations surrounding hemp products, while individuals who have come of age as hemp has been legalized are more likely to try CBD products. While these are generalizations, they have their roots in real data.
Demographics Aside, CBD is for Everyone
While this information can help make you a more educated consumer, it’s important to remember that everyone is unique. Each individual will have their reasons for using CBD and keeping up with the current CBD medical research and science is arguably far more important than keeping up with all the latest usage trends.
However, understanding CBD usage trends has its benefits for CBD users. It helps you understand why other people use CBD and, if you work in a STEM field, it gives you the power to ask questions and enter into new directions of CBD research.
Understanding the demographics, supply, and demand surrounding CBD usage helps you make more informed choices about where you buy CBD or hemp products. Your CBD products should always be lab-tested for quality and safety.
No matter what demographic you find yourself in, high-quality CBD products can help you cope with everyday stress, manage soreness or aches, and restore your inner calm.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Disclosure