When we collected feedback on purchase drivers from medical and adult use cannabis consumers in 2018, we noted some intuitive and not-so-obvious patterns. Those who think of cannabis as a wellness solution were much more likely to check CBD contents, for example. (Incidentally, the reverse wasn’t true. THC content topped the list of purchase drivers for people who use cannabis for enjoyment and so-called medical users, with the latter even scoring THC slightly higher than the former.) Other considerations showed little difference – budtender advice, strain, and brand were a wash between the two groups.
(Source: The Medical Cannabis User, High Yield Insights, June 2018)
Looking at the data again also brings to mind some of our other contributions to CBE last year. For example, we talked about the opportunity for building cannabis brands. (The ceiling is high, as the chart would suggest.) We dug into our findings on strains to uncover an uncomfortable truth: despite all the time spent talking about strains, many users can’t name a favorite.
In the coming weeks, you will see us spend the bulk of this space sharing glimpses into the findings of our upcoming study, “The CBD Consumer Experience”. In the report, we delve into the consumer mindset regarding CBD. (If interested, you can sign up for email updates about the report here.) The insights drawn from the CBD Consumer Experience tie back to our 2018 research in surprising ways at times.
As we set about gathering the consumer data, we were curious to know where and how people find out about CBD products. (Considering the headlines CBD has grabbed already in 2019, the better question might have been “where don’t you go for information about CBD products”, but that would’ve been tricky.) Further, we wanted to know how much trust people placed in various sources of information. In 2018, looking at a broad swath of cannabis users, “word of mouth” finished in the middle of the pack of purchase drivers. Similarly, 29% of respondents to our CBD study cited friends and family as a source of information. We went on to inquire about perceived trustworthiness – how much weight do people put on these sources? Someone may be a religious follower of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, where the actress often touts CBD, yet still take the perspective of a celebrity lifestyle brand with a grain of salt.
What jumped out in the numbers? Consumers who shop at licensed dispensaries regard the budtender as the best go-to for trusted information about CBD. While a somewhat low number (27%) of respondents cited “dispensary associates” as a source, the perceived reliability of budtenders outscored all others as the most trusted source of information about CBD products. Thus as we observed last year, particularly in light of the many Boomer consumers exploring or returning to cannabis, the front of the house at a dispensary continues to play a key role.