Since cannabidiol (CBD) was legalized by the Farm Bill in 2018, CBD products have become one of the biggest trends in retail, with many consumers turning to CBD for help with various health ailments and their general well-being. “The CBD Effect: A Rapidly Emerging Consumer Trend,” a new report from Acosta, Jacksonville, Fla., revealed CBD usage trends and what retailers and manufacturers can do to capitalize on the increasing demand.

“Health ailments without a ‘one-size-fits-all treatment’ are quite common, and avoiding chemicals when it comes to health and self-care is important across all age groups. CBD sales and projections show consumers are turning to CBD for help, and demand is growing rapidly,” says Colin Stewart, senior vice president, business intelligence. “Consumer CBD sales are expected to reach $20 billion by 2024 — larger than the current annual sales of candy, gum and mints combined.”

Who is using CBD products and why?

Nearly 28% of consumers currently use CBD products daily or as-needed.

Millennials, males and those with 4-year degrees are currently the key CBD demographics. Those who reported daily or as-needed use of CBD include:

  • 56% of Millennials.
  • 32% of Gen X.
  • 15% of Boomers.
  • 48% of men.
  • 49% of those with a bachelor’s degree.

Pain, mental health and general wellness are key reasons for usage, with specific health ailments varying from generation to generation. Millennials most commonly use CBD for anxiety (31%) and general wellness (30%), while Gen X and Boomers use CBD products to help with joint pain (31% and 36%, respectively) and muscle pain (both 23%).

Consumer perceptions and barriers

When asked for their perspective on CBD:

  • 55% of consumers said, “CBD oil is/might be a new miracle treatment.”
  • 35% said, “I’m not sure what to think of CBD oil.”
  • 11% said, “CBD oil is just hype.”

Non-users who are open to trying CBD reported price (26%), lack of studies (18%) and distrust in claims (14%) as the biggest barriers for usage.

CBD already popular with pet owners

One in 10 pet owners reported purchasing CBD products for their pets. Of those consumers, 52% made the purchase based on a recommendation from their vet.

Top reasons for usage were pain (29%), anxiety (32%) and general wellness (29%).

The top pet CBD products include treats/chews (48%), oil (27%), capsules (14%) and topical ointment (9%).