CBD and THC: Who buys it, and why?

The U.S. cannabis regulatory landscape has evolved dramatically over the past decade. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp production, and nearly 20 states now have legal recreational marijuana. While the market for hemp and marijuana products is expanding, less is known about who uses the various cannabis-derived products, their reasons for use, and their product preferences. We surveyed 963 U.S. respondents to better understand the market demand for CBD and THC products. Using market segmentation based on self-reported consumption of CBD and THC, the individual characteristics associated with CBD and THC consumers were examined, as were the reasons for use and preferences for cannabis products. Results suggest that age, subjective product knowledge, and regulatory preferences for legalized cannabis products were associated with general cannabis usage, while gender was also associated with THC use. We also detected significant differences in reasons for product use and product preferences amongst CBD and THC users. Thus, while the CBD and THC markets were similar in some ways, some differences merit further exploration.

Staples, A.J., McFadden, B.R., & Malone, T. (2022). CBD and THC – Who buys it, and why? Journal of Food Distribution Research. forthcoming.

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