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Since commercial hemp production was legalized by the 2018 Farm Bill, many have waited with bated breath for the FDA guidance that would allow CBD-infused foods and beverages to be sold through general retail channels nationwide. While approval of CBD as a food additive has yet to come down, CBD still provides a significant value-add for manufacturers in the cannabis industry. According to BDSA Retail Sales Tracking data from California in Q4 2021, Gummies containing CBD are priced ~15% higher than Gummies with THC alone. Here are some top CBD consumption insights and trends from BDSA’s updated Consumer Insights, which are hot off the press. 

Co-consumption with cannabis is common

~65% of all cannabis Consumers (hemp and marijuana-derived cannabinoids) claim they consume both CBD and THC. So very few CBD Consumers shy away from THC products. Even when looking at states that only allow medical cannabis access, ~60% claim to consume both CBD and THC.

Most Consumers cite health and wellness as the main benefits of consuming CBD

The general cannabis Consumer is more likely to describe their consumption as recreational, while Consumers of CBD are more likely to cite health and wellness as their reason for purchasing CBD products. Among all CBD Consumers, pain relief (~50%) and better sleep (~40%) are cited as the top benefits, followed by stress management (~35%), and anxiety management (~35%).

Edibles are the most consumed CBD product

Inhalables have long been the king of the legal cannabis space on the THC side, but CBD Consumers are more likely to look for Edible products, a trend that makes sense given the general preference for Edibles among wellness-oriented Consumers. Around 75% of all CBD Consumers claim past 6-month consumption of Edibles, compared to ~55% who claim past 6-month consumption of topicals, and ~30% who report consumption of CBD Inhalables.

Even with a variety of shopping options available, cannabis dispensaries remain the top source for CBD products

CBD retail channels have proliferated in recent years. Consumers can now access CBD online, at grocery stores, and at specialty supplement retailers. That said, cannabis dispensaries are the most commonly visited retail channel for CBD (when we talk about BOTH hemp and marijuana CBD) with ~55% of all CBD Consumers claiming that they have purchased CBD from a dispensary in the past six months. 

Many CBD Consumers could benefit from education by brands and retailers

With ~10% of all CBD Consumers claiming to have never heard the term “cannabinoids,” and ~30% claiming to have never heard about “terpenes,” brands and retailers can obviously improve their educational outreach. Around 40% of all CBD Consumers cite friends and family as their main source of information on CBD, which is more than any other information source. Thus we can conclude that brands and retailers looking to expand Consumer participation with CBD product formats have a great opportunity to step in to craft a more-informed Consumer base.

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