As cannabis legalization spreads across the nation, noticeable trends are quickly developing.
One promising development is that cannabis consumers are focusing more on the wellness benefits rather than the euphoria, according to a first-of-its-kind survey released on Wednesday.
Even in states where recreational use has been legalized, nearly half (44 percent) of cannabis consumers are using cannabis for medical purposes, including for pain relief (69 percent) and sleep assistance (65 percent), and to manage anxiety (54 percent), according to a report from High Yield Insights, a Chicago-based consumer behavior research firm.
Medical marijuana patients are twice as likely to check CBD levels when they purchase cannabis, with 47 percent verifying CBD concentrations versus 25 percent of recreational users. Medical users also seek out more convenient and discrete ways to consume, such as edibles, topicals, oils and tinctures. Notably, medical users are twice as likely as recreational consumers to use topicals (22 percent vs 11 percent) and over three times as likely to use tinctures (17 percent vs 5 percent).
“The industry generally understands that the adult use consumer differs significantly from the medical user. We saw an opportunity to quantify this customer segment’s behaviors and preferences in a way to yield deeper understanding and reveal untapped market opportunities,” said Mike Luce, co-founder of High Yield Insights and a 15-year veteran in consumer and market research.
“Flower will always play a significant role, but medical users are seeking solutions that feel familiar and accessible. With edibles, we’re seeing a demand for low- dose, fast-onset options that meet users’ needs for discretion and convenience. CBD-focused companies also have an opportunity for growth if aligned with medical cannabis users’ interest in what today are niche product forms,” Luce added.
High Yield Insights’ report is the first to shed light on micro-level medical industry demographics, product and form preferences. The report provides proprietary intelligence based on exclusive feedback from current medical marijuana users in fully legal states. By limiting results only to current users, the findings best represent the mindset of today’s medical cannabis consumer.