CBD’s Popularity Is Growing

Millennials especially are interested in cannabidiol products.

March 22, 2022

Sheetz CBD Shop Sign

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—One in three adults has tried a CBD product, according to Morning Consult, while 65% of adults are aware of CBD. Since June 2019, only 1 in 4 adults had tried CBD, and 60% of adults had tried it.

Millennials are particularly keen on CBD products—49% of the generation has tried a CBD product and are roughly twice as likely to have tried both CBD- and THC-infused food and beverage products as adults in general. Six in 10 millennials are interested in both CBD- and THC-infused food and beverage products.

Interest in THC products is just as high as it is for CBD products, and consumers are especially interested in food and beverage delivery methods, according to Morning Consult.

CBD gummies and lotions are the most preferred method of CBD use; however, consumers express similar levels of interest in CBD-infused food. Oils or tinctures, powders, and pills or capsules are the least popular methods. Baby boomers were more likely to express interest in creams or lotions than other categories.

Adults don’t frequently use CBD- and THC-infused food and beverage products, with close to half saying they use them less than once a month. However, millennials are using CBD products more frequently, with roughly six in 10 saying they use each at least once a month.

The top touted benefit of CBD is pain relief, but mental health benefits are important to millennials, with 67% believing that CBD helps reduce anxiety, 46% say it helps with depression and 41% say it reduces PTSD symptoms. Forty-six percent of millennials are very interested in taking CBD to reduce anxiety, and 45% want to use CBD for better sleep.

Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized hemp-derived CBD products, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has maintained that ingestible CBD products cannot be marketed without FDA approval, but so far, the agency hasn’t moved forward with rulemaking. That leaves CBD and other hemp-based products in regulatory limbo.

NACS has created a resource to help retailers navigate the gray areas around the sale of CBD and CBD-related products.

As NACS Magazine recently shared in “What’s New With CBD?”, the U.S. CBD market hit $2.2 billion in 2020 and an estimated $3.5 billion in 2021, according to NielsenIQ. By 2025, U.S. CBD sales will reach $6.9 billion, NielsenIQ projects. For context, the current hard seltzer market is $4.1 billion.

“Over the past years, we’ve seen a growing acceptance of CBD products by both retailers and consumers,” Daniel Yepes, senior marketing director for CBD maker Reliva, told NACS Magazine. “For convenience retailers, CBD is an important revenue stream.”