CBD Users – Demographic Profile

United States CBD users constitute about 26 percent of the U.S. population, are on average 40 years old, are highly-educated and are more likely to have a full-time job than non-users. Below are detailed demographics of users and some additional demographic data for potential CBD users.


  • According to survey results of 5,000 CBD users carried out by Brightfield Group, early adopters of CBD products were millennials. People in their 30’s and baby boomers are substantial CBD consumers as opposed to Gen Xers (people in their 40s). Baby boomers purchase CBD creams, capsules and tinctures to ease their age-related conditions like arthritis.
  • According to survey results of 2,000 American CBD users that was conducted by High Yield Insights, almost half of current CBD users are under the age of 34 years.
  • Based on report findings by Ease, baby boomers are the majority of all CBD enthusiasts. Also, among boomer American CBD users, females are the majority.
  • According to Ease, the average age of the U.S. cannabis consumer is 31 years.
  • According to a 2019 Consumer Reports (CR) U.S. national survey of CBD users, 26 percent of all American have used CBD in the past two years.
  • Of these users, 40 percent are in the 18-29 age range, 32 percent are in the 30-44 age range, 23 percent are in the 45-59 age range and 15 percent are 60 years and over.
  • According to a 2017 CBD consumers report by HelloMD and Brightfield Group, 31 percent of U.S. CBD users are in the 35-49 age group while both the 26-34 and 50-60 age groups account for 22 percent (each) of the market.
  • According to a BDS Analytics 2019 U.S. CBD consumer report, the average CBD users in America are 40 years old.


  • According to survey findings by Brightfield Group, there is a fairly even split in the number of male and female consumers of CBD products in the United States. However, women constituted a bigger percentage of CBD consumers than men, in the past.
  • A 2018 report published by Ease based on their database of 450,000 CBD users, 38 percent are women (was 25 percent in 2015) while men account for 62 percent of the American CBD users.
  • According to a 2017 CBD consumers report by HelloMD and Brightfield Group, 59 percent of U.S. CBD consumers were women while males accounted for 41 percent of the market.


  • According to a BDS Analytics 2019 U.S. CBD consumer report, on average U.S. CBD users are highly educated.
  • According CBD manufacturer XYZ Group, U.S. CBD users account for 25 percent of the U.S. population and are well-educated individuals.


  • According to a BDS Analytics 2019 U.S. CBD consumer report, U.S. CBD users more likely to be employed full time than non-consumers of CBD.
  • According CBD manufacturer XYZ Group, U.S. CBD users are on average affluent individuals.


  • According to a report by Ease, of the current American cannabis consumers, 3 percent are veterans and 11 percent are people with disabilities.


  • According to a 2018 report by Ease, California was the largest market for cannabis in the U.S. Also, the top neighborhoods for CBD consumers in the Bay Area were South Beach, Mission Bay, Financial District, Haight Ashbury and SoMa. For the Los Angeles Area, the top neighborhoods were Santa Monica, Playa Vista, Little Armenia, West Los Angeles and Venice Beach.


  • According to findings by High Yield Insights on potential US CBD consumers, 40 percent of people aged 21 years and over would be willing to try out CBD products under suitable conditions. Of these potential users, 64 percent are 35 years and older, are 56 percent female and 79 percent (of them) have college education.
  • Data gathered by High Yield Insights, on US potential consumers of CBD, found their key motivations were easier access to CBD products (42 percent), a physician’s recommendation (34 percent), and unbiased research findings (44 percent). Additionally, these people mainly preferred CBD accessible products (like baked goods and chocolates) followed by products resembling popular over-the-counter capsules and pills.
  • According to survey findings from Headset and Nielsen, among American adults over the age of 21 years, 34 percent would be willing to consume legal cannabis while 66 percent were not interested in consuming cannabis (legal or not). Also, 38 percent of men and 31 percent of females were interested in buying legal cannabis. Likewise, 41 percent of people aged 21-34 years were interested in buying legal cannabis while 39 percent of people in the 35-44 and 55-74 age brackets were willing to procure legal cannabis.

CBD Users – Psychographic Profile

U.S. CBD (Cannabidiol) consumers fall into four distinct groups, namely current users, potential users, former users, and non-users. Non-users show less to no interest at all regarding CBD products, including information, whereas new and potential users are more interested in clinical research with evidence concerning the benefits and risks of using CBD products. Elaborate analyses of these CBD user groups are expounded below.


  • Existing and new users are spurring optimism for growth in this segment, as CBD usage is gradually gaining momentum.
  • Veteran users are knowledgeable about the subject and take a relaxed approach to CBD. For instance, 25% of veteran users can differentiate safe and effective products versus 19% of all users; 38% of veterans are confident in the safety of CBD products versus 34% of all users; 67% of veterans are comfortable without professional guidance versus 62% of all users.
  • Currently, 80% of CBD users agree that cannabis can treat physical health problems, 79% agree that cannabis can address psychological health conditions, and lastly, another 83% believe that cannabis can improve overall health and wellness.
  • Only 18% of CBD users are aware of CBD pharmaceuticals. Also, regarding regulation, new consumers are having a hard time understanding the regulations governing CBD. Likewise, only 37% of consumers understand the full spectrum of CBD versus 30% who only understand the entourage effect.


  • CBD use motivation is highest among the potential users’ group as compared to the other groups. The availability of independent research on CBD motivates up to 44% of the potential user group.
  • 42% of potential users noted that increased accessibility to CBD products is another huge motivating factor for them to try CBD products, 34% following recommendations from a physician, 29% are motivated due to the effects of Federally “legalized” CBD use, and another 28% due to the need to understand the impact of CBD on long-term health.
  • Adult-use legalization acts as a significant indication that cannabis is being broadly embraced; hence, some potential users are actively waiting for this signal.
  • 43% of CBD users source for information from personal research online, 33% use trial and error method, 29% rely on recommendations from friends or family, 27% rely on dispensary associates, 16% use health store associates, and 11% rely on physician (physical or mental) advice.
  • Contrary to motivational factors, demotivating factors for not adopting CBD use include price tag cited by 37% of respondents in the non-user and former group, 31% show preference for products with THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), 27% indicate that CBD does not work, 16% do not like existing products, and 14% are uncertain of the ingredients.


  • Potential users express interest in exploring new accessible forms such as chocolates and baked goods. 57% of potential users are interested in baked goods, 45% chocolate, 42% capsules, 37% gummies, and 36% candy.
  • Research findings indicate that approximately 40% of adults aged 21 and above continue to express interest in CBD products, and 79% of users have college education experience.
  • Individuals interested in exploring CBD are always searching for “third party” (medical journals, etc.) with evidence.
  • Further psychographic analyses reveal that 65% of current CBD users are more open to cannabis products offered by popular brands in CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods), such as OTC brands, whereas 37% of the current CBD users often “excited” about new cannabis products and solutions from CPG companies.
  • Former CBD users who stopped noted that the price of CBD products and a preference for THC products were their primary reasons for stopping usage.
  • Current and non-users of CBD products continue showing skepticism regarding product efficacy at 27%, while 14% indicated concerns about ingredient sourcing.


  • Users also show an increasing tendency towards researching the diverse ways in which CBD products are made, used, and the assortment of product types available.
  • Most potential users reside in states with legal cannabis programs, while those in states without legal cannabis programs show a tendency of not converting easily.
  • 31% of users prefer to purchase CBD products from CBD brand websites, 31% Cannabis dispensary, 24% online/retailer, 21% natural/health foods store, 17% CBD-specific website, 14% retail store focused on CBD, and 12% other retail stores.
  • Regarding usage frequency based on the top products, 49% use vape pens multiple times daily, 24% once daily, and 27% as needed. Likewise, regarding beauty products, 48% of users use them multiple times daily, 24% once daily, and 27% as needed.
  • CBD content plays a critical role in decision-making about purchasing CBD products. Research findings indicate that 47% of all medical users check the amount of CBD when choosing a cannabis product versus 25%of all adult users.


  • According to a report published by Consumer Reports, individuals who used CBD to address anxiety noted positive results, claiming that it helped them to eliminate over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs, including opioids.
  • Conditions requiring regular medication or therapy are also fueling the adoption of CBD products by individuals in those segments. For instance, individuals with physical health conditions including pain and soreness to psychological health problems like sleeplessness and anxiety view CBD as an alternative solution to their challenges.
  • 44% of new users of CDB products are using them to treat anxiety, 29% depression, 27% chronic joint pain / arthritis, 23% chronic muscle pain, and 21% insomnia.

Barriers to Use – CBD

Barriers and misconceptions about using CBD in the United States include lack of knowledge, pricing, availability, its effectiveness, and its misconstrued similarities to THC.


Misconceptions & Barriers of the CBD Industry

1. Lack of Knowledge

  • Of the people interested in CBD, over 47% of them could not distinguish the difference between hemp or marijuana-derived CBD nor knew there was any difference.
  • Only 29% of the people interested in CBD knew the difference between CBD isolate or full-spectrum CBD.

2. Pricing

3. Availability

  • The 2018 Farmbill Act legalized only certain CBD strains, which are those of the hemp variety.
  • The CBD also has to have a THC content of less than 0.3%.
  • CBD with a THC content higher than 0.3% is only available in 14 states.
  • About 12% of the people claim they could not find marijuana-based CBD in their local shops, while 17.6% of the people claim their vendors do not carry hemp-based CBD.
  • 0.8% of the people claim that hemp-based CBD is not available in their state at all.
  • About 1.6% of the people claimed that they needed a medical card in their state to use any CBD and that they would not qualify for one.

4. CBD is equivalent to THC

  • THC is known for making users feel “high,” which is not the same affect people will get when using CBD only products, and often this feeling is a lack of anxiety or euphoria.
  • Some believe that CBD can turn into THC in the body, but after extensive scientific testing that involved over 14 observed patients, there is no scientific evidence that CBD is capable of turning into THC in or outside of the body.

5. CBD Effectiveness

  • There is little understanding of dosages, with most of the people, approximately 41% are self-medicating with whatever they feel is right.
  • About 35% of the people interested in CBD are sure the product would work for their condition, while 27% of the people claim that CBD has never worked for them at all.
  • It is impossible to set a standardized dose due to the different strains, and lack of uniformity with processing.
  • Because most manufacturers produce endocannabinoids naturally, the effects of various products will vary from person to person irrespective of gender.

6. Not enough evidence

  • There are few clinical trials to determine the effectiveness of CBD and drug interactions.
  • About 14% of the people interested in CBD claim that they are unsure of the ingredients or where they came from.
Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at The Digital Momentum with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.


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