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74% of Americans Now Use CBD Products

CBD Usage Survey November, 2021

Table 1: Percent of Americans who use CBD, by Year

Year CBD Users CBD Non-users
2019 14% 86%
2020 33% 67%
2021 74% 26%

Story Highlights

74% of Americans use CBD, up from 34% in 2020 and 14% in 2019. This represents an increase of over 200% for the second consecutive year.

40% of Americans now use CBD for stress or anxiety, 35% for pain, 30% for sleep, and 35% for their general health.

EUGENE, OR -- Three out of four Americans say they personally consume cannabidiol- (CBD-) based products according to data from Green Element. As the national sentiment on CBD (and the regulatory landscape) continues to shift, Americans are embracing non-psychoactive CBD products like gummies, oils and extracts to treat inflammation, anxiety and otherwise improve the quality of their lives.

CBD products are derived from chemical compounds found in the cannabis sativa plant family which includes hemp and marijuanna. Popular CBD products include food and drink, cosmetics, pet treats and more. CBD products do not contain meaningful levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which causes the intoxicating effect associated with marijuanna use. Research indicates CBD use offers therapeutic benefits against multiple diseases and common ailments such as anxiety, skin problems, addiction and more.

The popularity of CBD products has exploded in recent years and shows no signs of slowing down. US consumers spent $5 billion on CBD products in 2020; annual sales are expected to grow to 17 billion by 2025. Not bad for a category less than a decade old.

CBD use is growing.

Arguably, CBD entered the national conversation in 2013 when CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta profiled a Colorado girl using CBD to treat her epilepsy. In the years since, CBD awareness has surged: Athletes endorse it; celebrities dispense it to their pets; CBD products have even found their way into the Oscar gift bags.

While the CBD hype is more than considerable, it isn’t only noise. All that awareness does translate into real usage.

Table 2 - Americans' beliefs about CBD health benefits.

CBD has: % Agreement
a lot of health benefits 62.9
some health benefits 27.7
only a few health benefits 5.9
no health benefits 3.5

 

According to the Green Element survey, a whopping three out of four Americans use CBD-derived products.

That’s up more than 200% annually for the second year in a row. In 2020, 33% of Americans used CBD products. Only 14% did in 2019.

The industry’s seemingly overnight success is all the more notable given the currently fragmented regulatory landscape, the persistent confusion and stigma around cannabis, and the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite such headwinds, Green Element data confirms that consumer trust and usage are rapidly increasing year over year. (Table 2).

Table 3 - Percent of Americans who use CBD, by Gender

Gender CBD Users CBD Non-users
female 58% 42%
male 87% 13%

Who is using CBD?

Notably, Gen Zers are not driving the CBD groundswell. Established and affluent adult professionals are among those most likely to be enjoying the benefits of CBD.

The Green Element survey yielded surprising data describing the characteristics of CBD users: Not only are most of us using it, but the higher your income, the more likely you are to be a consumer.

According to The Green Element, six out of ten women answered “Yes” when asked “Do you use CBD products?”

When men were asked the same question, nine out of ten said “Yes.” 

Money matters too.

The Green Element survey found that wealthier Americans are more likely to use CBD products. More than one third (34.4%) of CBD consumers earn $150,000 per year or more. In fact, if you earn at least $150,000 annually, you have a 96% chance of having used CBD.

Table 4 - Percent of Americans who use CBD, by Income

Income Range Percent who use CBD products.
< $25,000 50%
$25,000-$49,999 57%
$50,000-$74,999 62%
$75,000-$99,999 74%
$100,000-$124,999 77%
$125,000-$149,999 85%
>$150,000 96%

 

Users of CBD products are also significantly more likely to be in committed relationships.

According to the survey, 75% of CBD consumers are married. Another 6% are living with a partner.

Only 15% of CBD consumers are single or divorced.

Table 5 - Marital Status of American CBD Users

Marital Status Percent of CBD users.
Married 73.83%
Single 14.23%
Living with partner 6.10%
Divorced 1.90%
Widowed 1.22%
Separated 0.68%
Prefer not to say 0.41%
na 1.63

 

70% of adults younger than 25 use CBD products.

Usage exceeds 80% in the 25—35 and 35—45 age brackets.

Chart 6 - Percent of Americans who use CBD, by Age Range

Age range Percent who use CBD products.
18-25 70.24%
25-34 80.81%
35-44 83.72%
45-54 59%
>54 34%

 

Because marijuana use is legal in many Western states, CBD products have been more available for longer in that region.

While regional and regulatory conditions play a role, the message is clear: CBD consumption is popular with Americans who are higher earners, married, and in the prime of their careers.

What do people use CBD for?

All of this sustained usage (and spend) prompts the question: What are so many of us getting out of CBD? 

The short answer: A wide variety of benefits.

The Green Element survey found that 97% of Americans believe that CBD products offer health benefits. 63% believe they offer “a lot of health benefits.” 

When asked “For what purpose do you use CBD products?”, the most frequent responses included:

  • Anxiety (41%)
  • Stress (39%)
  • Pain (36%)
  • Skin Care (34%)
  • Sleep/Insomnia (31%)

Other answers included arthritis, digestive issues, inflammation and general health.

A not insignificant 23% use CBD recreationally. Among those recreational users, nearly three out of four are male.

20% of consumers provide CBD products to their pets (70% of these consumers are male).

While nearly four in ten use CBD for pain relief, women are more likely than men to use them for anxiety (25% vs. 14%, respectively).

Men are more likely than women to use CBD products to aid sleeping (15% vs. 8%).

Chart 7 - What do Americans use CBD for?

Purpose % Selected
anxiety 41%
arthritis 25%
depression 31%
gastrointestinal/digestive issues 19%
general health 35%
inflammation 27%
mental health 34%
migraines/headaches 26%
muscle spasms/soreness 30%
pain 36%
pets 19%
recreational 23%
skin care 34%
sleep/insomnia 33%
stress 39%
Other 8%

Though CBD’s therapeutic benefits have been seriously researched for more than half a century, regulation has not kept pace. Because of cannabis’s classification, clinical trials have been hindered.

The 2018 Farm Act recategorized hemp (related but not identical to marijuanna) and allowed for legal pathways to facilitate the commercialization of cannabis-derived products like CBD. Today, CBD is widely obtainable although its legal status varies greatly state by state, and comprehensive federal legislation is expected to be enacted in the near future.

For these reasons, published science has been outpaced by public interest. What is known is that CBD products have demonstrated exciting therapeutic benefits to counteract pain, anxiety and depression. CBD products may also offer value to those suffering from opiod addiction, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease.

Bottom Line

Since the 2018 Farm Act legalizing the cultivation of hemp was enacted, a tidal wave of CBD-based products have hit the market. Usage of CBD products has skyrocketed. Consumers say they use them primarily to treat pain, anxiety and sleeplessness.

Not only are more Americans aware of and using CBD than ever before, but the primary CBD consumers are highly educated and high earners. The most prevalent usage occurs in the 25—44 age range.

The message is striking: While 74% of Americans are using CBD, affluent professionals are most availing themselves of the benefits of CBD.

As CBD awareness, perception and regulation continues to trend positively, older and middle-income Americans will likely be the next groups to embrace the therapeutic and quality of life benefits CBD products can yield.

Survey Methods

All data found within this report is based on an online survey commissioned by Green Element and conducted online by research firm Pollfish. In total, 1,000 adult Americans ages 18 and up were surveyed. This survey was conducted on November 12, 2021. All respondents were asked to answer all questions truthfully and to the best of their abilities.

Data

TABLE 1 -  Do you use CBD products?, by Year

Table 1: Percent of Americans who use CBD, by Year

Year CBD Users CBD Non-users
2019 14% 86%
2020 33% 67%
2021 74% 26%

Table 2 - Americans' beliefs about CBD health benefits.

CBD has: % Agreement
a lot of health benefits 62.9
some health benefits 27.7
only a few health benefits 5.9
no health benefits 3.5

Table 3 - Percent of Americans who use CBD, by Gender

Gender CBD Users CBD Non-users
female 58% 42%
male 87% 13%

Table 4 - Percent of Americans who use CBD, by Income

Income Range Percent who use CBD products.
< $25,000 50%
$25,000-$49,999 57%
$50,000-$74,999 62%
$75,000-$99,999 74%
$100,000-$124,999 77%
$125,000-$149,999 85%
>$150,000 96%

Chart 6 - Percent of Americans who use CBD, by Age Range

Age range Percent who use CBD products.
18-25 70.24%
25-34 80.81%
35-45 83.72%
45-55 59%
>54 34%

Chart 7 - What do Americans use CBD for?

Purpose % Selected
anxiety 41%
arthritis 25%
depression 31%
gastrointestinal/digestive issues 19%
general health 35%
inflammation 27%
mental health 34%
migraines/headaches 26%
muscle spasms/soreness 30%
pain 36%
pets 19%
recreational 23%
skin care 34%
sleep/insomnia 33%
stress 39%
Other 8%