Over half of CBD users report drastic drops in prescription anxiety, antidepressants, pain relief medications
Over 20% consuming alcohol less frequently since adopting CBD
Chicago – Booming interest in products containing cannabidiol (CBD), a therapeutic chemical compound found in cannabis, has resulted in over half of CBD users consuming less prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications and supplements, along with over 20% of CBD users consuming alcoholic beverages less frequently, according to a new study by cannabis consumer insights consultants High Yield Insights (HYI).
The HYI report delves into why and how consumers are incorporating CBD into their health and wellness regimens, resulting in measurable changes to usage habits across numerous consumer package goods (CPG) categories. Following up on HYI’s report on product preferences and demographics of both current and potential CBD users, The CBD Consumer Experience Part Two focuses on current CBD consumers and consumers who indicated interest in CBD.
For current CBD users, challenges with anxiety (63%) and depression (44%) rank highest among mental and emotional health drivers for adopting CBD, while chronic pain in joints (39%) and muscles (33%), together with sleeplessness (30%), were reported as the most common physical conditions motivating usage of CBD. The compound is present in both hemp and marijuana plants and has been proven to alleviate symptoms associated with seizure disorders and is known to address issues associated with anxiety, chronic pain, depression, sleeplessness, and other health conditions. Following recent federal legislation, CBD derived from hemp – and thus lacking the psychoactive compound THC in marijuana – has become more broadly available.
“Current users overwhelmingly believe in the power of CBD. Over 80 percent of our study participants have faith in CBD’s ability to improve overall wellness, including a myriad of physical and mental health conditions. This perception causes ripple effects in other categories like alcohol, as CBD is seen as a healthier alternative for occasions such as winding down in the evening,” says Mike Luce, cofounder of High Yield Insights. “We heard consumers voice greater interest in CBD than other products like vitamins and supplements as well. These substitution effects will spread across many mainstream categories as awareness, interest and usage of CBD products continue to grow.”
The study also uncovered reductions in the consumption of cocktails, beer and spirits, with over 20% of respondents reporting drinking less wine, beer and spirits since adopting CBD. Wine consumers appear most amenable to switching to CBD. Twenty-five percent of current CBD users report drinking wine less frequently.
“It’s not surprising to see alcohol brands investing in the Canadian cannabis industry and the domestic CBD marketplace given the potential for growth or at least capturing substitution dollars in markets that are going to be most affected,” Luce said.
The HYI report also dives deep in to the data, with the creation of numerous custom consumer personas. For example, one such persona is “Millennial Marc,” a group composed of single, younger white men which generally use products containing CBD free of THC. This consumer segment showed widespread drops of beer and liquor in favor of CBD, with 56% reporting drinking both macro and craft beer less frequently, and nearly two-thirds drinking spirits less often.
“All manner of people are experiencing benefits from incorporating CBD into their daily lives. This consumer is not homogenous,” says Luce. “We built the personas to serve as a model for how to think about consumers beyond the typical demographics.”
CBD Consumer Experience: Part Two is the latest in a series of consumer insights reports on CBD published by HYI in 2019. The first study, The CBD Consumer Experience Part One, provides proprietary intelligence based on exclusive feedback from current, former and potential CBD users. By incorporating a broader swath of the public, the findings best represent the mindset of today’s consumer. The CBD Consumer Experience: Part Two identifies how the consumer’s mindset is changing as a result of growing adoption to CBD, outlining how shifting attitudes toward CBD impact usage of prescription and over-the-counter medications, supplements and alcoholic beverages. Both reports draw from a national representative online survey of U.S. adults aged 21+. The survey was fielded January 14-23, 2019, among 2,000 consumers, 1,500 of whom reported currently using CBD products in the past 3 months, and 500 who reported not using CBD products.
About High Yield Insights
High Yield Insights is a Chicago-based market research firm fostering constructive discussions about the cannabis market and cannabis consumers that produce well-grounded strategic decisions. From consumer behavior and product design to market viability, High Yield Insights provides customers with actionable intelligence and strategic recommendations. Founded by leading executives with 30+ years of combined experience working with consumer brands, pharmaceuticals, retail, and financial services, the firm is the first of its kind to focus on micro-level cannabis consumer behaviors and preferences.
Natalie Bauer Luce