We write about vapes with much muscle, and for good reason — the category has been booming for years, and is sure to continue to do so as states around the country embrace legal cannabis sales.
To date, most of the vape insights — vapesights? — have hinged on retail sales at dispensaries. What is being purchased, and for how much? But now thanks to new consumers insights data from cannabis market research firm BDS Analytics we have rigorous data that explores who is buying vapes, and for what reasons they drop money on a vape cartridge of distillate rather than a sack of cannabis snickerdoodles or a half-ounce of Kosher Kush.
For sake of comparison, let’s look both at vapes, which are the most popular subcategory of the broad concentrates market, and gummies, which outsell all other types of edibles. And let’s focus on states, like Colorado and California, where adult-use sales are legal.
The average age between them during the first quarter of 2018 (the time period for all of the observations in this piece) is roughly the same: 38 for vapes and 37 for gummies. But when we explore beyond age, we find more divergences between the consumers.
For example, males comprise 65 percent of vape consumers, with women representing 35 percent. But with gummies, it changes to 57 percent men to 47 percent women. In this instance, we see that while males are the biggest consumers of both vapes and gummies (just as they are the biggest consumers of all cannabis products), their lead shrink in the realm of gummies. The gummy consumer skews a bit more female than the vape consumer.
Another big difference: When people consume their vapes versus their gummies.
For both types of cannabis products, prime time for taking flight is around 6 p.m.: 55 percent of vape consumers point towards that hour as a preferred time to consume, and 37 percent of gummies also crown that hour is the most popular time. That represents nearly a 20 percentage point difference, however, between vapes and gummies. Where do other differences lurk? Most markedly, when consumers first wake up in the morning. Among vape consumers, 30 percent identify “first thing in the morning” as a time to consume, which is roughly the same percentage who choose later in the afternoon.
But with gummies, first thing in the morning is the least popular time: just 7 percent point towards wake-up as a time to pop a gummy. In fact, when comparing times of usage for gummies and vapes, it quickly becomes clear that people find reasons to vape across the day, while gummy use is more limited to between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. And even during the high time for gummy consumption, at 6 p.m., it still lags well behind the percentage of consumers who identify 6 p.m. as the vape hour.
Why do we spend so much time exploring vapes? The data tells the tale. Taking puffs from vapes is relatively popular across the entire day, from first thing in the morning until before bed. Patterns of consumption for gummies, on the other hand, are more of an evening thing.