The world of cannabis is changing. Legalisation of medical marijuana and recreational cannabis in many states has created a space for a new breed of entrepreneurs and investors to enter the cannabis business. They are changing the industry from the ground up, and creating new businesses, and startups that will revolutionize the market. With this opportunity, however, comes a new kind of consumer. These consumers are interested in products, not just cannabis. They are interested in products that are both healthy, and advertised to their lifestyle. These consumers are interested in products that are healthy, advertised to their lifestyle. These consumers are interested in products that are healthy, and advertised to their lifestyle. These are consumers for which CBD is the perfect fit.

A lot of people are asking a lot of questions about CBD in the United States. Will I be able to buy it? Can I trust it? Will it be legal? How is it different from THC? What are the health benefits? And what is the best way to use it?

The US CBD consumer market is a massive $2.7 billion industry, and it is projected to continue to grow to $6.3 billion by 2021. This data reveals the US CBD industry is quickly on its way to becoming the largest legal hemp product market in the world. Regardless of your opinion on CBD, you have no doubt heard of the fast pace of growth in this market over the past few years.. Read more about cbd sales 2021 and let us know what you think.

word-image-5645 We are proud to release the CBD Insider 2021 US CBD Consumer Report, the only statistically significant report focused exclusively on CBD consumers in the US. The purpose of our report is to examine Americans’ awareness, exposure, knowledge, and use of CBD, segmented by their current consumption status with respect to CBD. To that end, we expanded our sample of just over 1,000 in our previous report to 3,519 consumers, demographically representative of the U.S. Census. Click here to download the CBD Insider 2021 report on American consumers. Download all charts, diagrams and tables for use on your website here. These respondents fall into one of four categories:

  • Current customer
  • Consumers from the past
  • Potential consumer
  • Uninterested consumer

We figured out how many Americans have used CBD in approximate amounts, what they use it for, how much they use it, and how many of them have chosen to replace their medications with it. We also found answers to pressing questions such as:

  • How do Americans use the CBI?
  • What keeps consumers from trying CBD?
  • Why have some people stopped using it?
  • What can be done to educate consumers and allay their fears?

You’ll find all this and more in the 111 pages of our 2020 Consumer Report. Read the details or get an overview of our key findings in the Key Findings section. We sincerely hope you find the information in this report valuable, interesting and useful.

The CBD Insider 2021 US CBD Consumer Report

Table of contents

  1. Summary
  2. Main results
  3. About CBD Insider
  4. Methodology
  5. PART ONE: CBD in the United States
  6. Awareness and effect of the CBD
  7. Brand awareness
  8. Feelings about CBD
  9. Statements about the CBD
  10. PART TWO: CBI consumer profiles
  11. Modern CBD consumers
  12. Consumers from the past
  13. Potential consumers
  14. Uninterested consumers
  15. PART 3: Cross tables
  16. Consumer status
  17. Age
  18. Paul
  19. Race
  20. Region
  21. Education
  22. Revenue
  23. Military
  24. Disability


U.S. consumers from all demographic groups showed clear interest in cannabidiol (CBD) and optimism about its potential, but the gaps in knowledge identified in our previous report largely remain. A significant portion of respondents still do not know how CBD works, how cannabis extracts differ from one another, and in what amounts they should be taken. In contrast to last year’s data, the majority of current CBI consumers reported using the products for more than a year. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the early 2020s was found to be a highly influential variable in determining how respondents learned about and accessed CBD (online sales and advertising outpaced in-store sales). While marketers, researchers, and third-party sources continue to spread claims about CBD’s effectiveness without any FDA regulation, consumer groups and demographics are in different camps regarding their opinions and beliefs about CBD. Some trends in the data point to the influence of age, gender, and other demographic factors on willingness to try certain products (older respondents, for example, are less willing to try CBD vape), factors influencing purchase decisions, perceptions about where and if CBD brands may advertise, and more. Today’s consumers, and even non-consumers, are demanding that the FDA intervene and regulate CBD to ensure safety, improve quality standards, and ensure that every product is worthwhile. Several themes recurred in the data – themes that have a major impact on perceptions and use of the CBD, now and in the future. Here is a brief summary of some of the key points we found in the data:

  • Just under a third of respondents (32.7%) have used CBD, while 33% admitted to knowing nothing about it.
  • Widespread uncertainty about the safety, efficacy, effectiveness, and other important details of CBD continues to affect consumers’ willingness to try CBD products.
  • As in the previous report, a large number of consumers supplement or replace CBD medications, and this practice is moderately correlated with age and gender.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has led consumers to turn more to online CBD advertising and information, although marijuana dispensaries and retailers still have a significant presence.
  • Edibles, gum, and CBD oil tinctures continue to vie for the most common, most recognized, and most preferred type of CBD product; tinctures were the most common and most recognized in 2021.
  • Consumers continue to use CBD more routinely, i.e. for relaxation and well-being, rather than for pain and discomfort, muscle aches and other purported uses.

Main outputs

Nearly one in three Americans have tried CBD

When taking into account current users (18.2%) and former users (14.5%), nearly a third of all respondents (32.7%) not only had an interest in CBD, but had also used it personally. This large percentage of respondents is almost exactly equal to the percentage of (potential) respondents who are not aware of CBD at all (33%). As anecdotal and survey data accumulate, we expect the number of current and former users to dwarf the number of non-users, but the timing of FDA regulation – if it is implemented – could have a significant impact on the number of consumers who remain hopeful and the number who turn to similar alternatives.

As usual, CBD oils, drops, and tinctures were the most commonly used product type across all consumer groups and the product type that non-users tried most often.

However, chewing gum trails behind CBD oil , with a smaller difference among current users who have tried both products (53.9% for chewing gum vs. 55.3% for CBD oil) than among former users (39.3% for chewing gum vs. 48.7% for oil). With so much uncertainty about the exact dosage of CBD, it’s no surprise that gums containing pre-measured amounts of the compound are becoming increasingly popular. CBD vape is experiencing a more polar growth in popularity, with adoption lagging behind these two frontrunners and falling disproportionately in certain groups (e.g., increasing age and education). Nevertheless, CBD vape products are increasingly in demand in the rest of the industry.

One of the most notable trends we observed was that older age groups were replacing prescribed opioids with CBD more frequently. Among current users who reported having substituted a drug, the 55-64 age group (52.4%) was significantly more likely to have done so than any other group, more than 20% more than the next highest group (45-54 years, 30.8%). Conversely, the second youngest group (25-34) was significantly more likely to substitute CBD for prescribed anti-anxiety medication (68.6%) than all other groups (second highest group: 35-44, 55%). The same trends were observed when respondents were asked about the addition of CBD medications; the addition of anti-anxiety medications seemed to decrease with age, and conversely, the addition of prescription opioids. As respondents (potential users) aged, they were also less likely to cite relaxation, energy, improved mood, concentration and skin texture as reasons for trying CBD, but the number of alternatives to over-the-counter or prescription drugs increased. In a larger study, these results could play an important role in setting parameters for the safe and effective use of CBD for consumers, regulators, and key access points in the health infrastructure.

Knowledge gaps drive consumer behaviour and beliefs in different directions

Widespread knowledge gaps in several key areas regarding the legality, safety, efficacy, and general properties of CBD prevented even current purchasers from expressing their opinions on several survey questions. More than half of those surveyed did not know what type of extract to use, and more than three-quarters of all respondents could not determine a typical serving size of CBD. Similarly, nearly three-quarters of all participants were unable to name a source of CAD information on the Internet. All the data from the four consumer groups showed that the most important and persistent knowledge gaps were in the following areas:

  • Know the cannabis extracts and the differences between them.
  • Legality of the CBD at the state and/or federal level.
  • The amount of CBD they consumed per dose (or the amount they believe all consumers should strive for).
  • Differences between THC and CBD (many respondents think CBD can cause highs).

The cross tabulations showed that white or Caucasian respondents in particular were unaware of the dose size. 41% did not know how many milligrams of CBD they ingested per serving, compared to 26.7% of black or African-American respondents and 22.4% of Hispanic or Latino respondents. In addition, women were more likely to report not knowing where to buy CBD (24.1%) as a reason why they hadn’t tried it yet (13.6% of men reported the same). Because of this uncertainty, potential consumers seem to be waiting for more information before trying CBD (36.3% said they were not sure if they would try it in the near future).

Relaxation trumps pain – the number one reason to use CBD

Although CBD has been cited in studies as a potential anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, respondents from all consumer groups and (almost) all demographic groups seem to prefer the stress-reducing benefits of this compound. The difference isn’t huge, but it is noticeable: 60.3% of current users said they use CBD for relaxation and stress relief, compared to 53.6% who use it for pain management. The preference for using CBD for relaxation was significantly greater among women who had not yet tried CBD; 55.2% of them cited relaxation as the reason they would like to try CBD, compared to 40.2% of men. We believe that this rather casual use of CBD (except by the elderly) is the result of inadequate laws and regulations.

Consumers still want FDA to intervene

Finally, CBD consumers of all types still rely on FDA approval and regulation of CBD (34.8%) or a combination of FDA oversight and industry self-regulation (29.7%). This wave of support weakened slightly from the 2019 data (73.9% supported FDA or mixed regulation last year vs. 64.5% in 2021), perhaps because the momentum generated by the 2018 Farm Bill led to increased interest that faded when clearer legislation was delayed until 2020 and beyond. In terms of their status, consumers without interest were more likely to support FDA regulation (46.4%) than all other groups, implying that the lack of regulation was largely due to their lack of interest. Consumers and CBD brands will be able to clearly identify safe and effective uses of CBD due to FDA regulations, which will likely lead to increased interest and consumption.

Price remains a decisive factor

In the survey, former and potential CBD users consistently cited price as one of the main reasons they do not currently use CBD products. In particular, more than half of all potential users (50.3%) and more former users (55.1%) indicated that the price per serving was very important for their purchase decision. Moreover, more than one in five (21.3%) potential users explicitly stated that they had not yet used CBD because of its high cost, while nearly one in three (32.4%) had stopped using CBD because of its high cost. In other words: The price alone can deter someone from making a purchase, whether they have any experience with CBD or not.

About CBD Insider

CBD Insider is an independent publication specializing in news, analysis and market research about the CBD industry. Our mission is to provide consumers with honest, clear and authoritative information about CBD products, companies, brands and industry groups. The publication was founded in 2018 by Ian Eckstein to help consumers make informed decisions when purchasing CBD, highlight CBD companies that are building their brands responsibly, and provide actionable marketing ideas for the CBD industry.


Using a marketplace with a direct link to the most trusted suppliers, we surveyed a demographically representative sample of U.S. residents about their attitudes and practices toward CBD. Participants completed a 15-minute questionnaire and responses were collected from 14 of them. January 2021 to 1. February 2021 collected. A total of 5 251 people were interviewed, but 1 732 were excluded because they were not aware of the CBD, leaving 3 519 eligible participants. As in last year’s report, respondents were divided into groups based on their consumer status:

  • Electricity consumers : Respondents currently using CBD.
  • Former consumers : Respondents who have used CBD but no longer do.
  • Potential consumers : Respondents who do not currently use CBD but would like to do so in the future.
  • Uninterested consumers: Respondents who are aware of CBD but do not intend to use it.

Results were also analyzed by key demographic group, including:

  • Age
  • Paul
  • Race
  • Region
  • level of education
  • Income level
  • Soldier/veteran status
  • Disabled status

Demographic data

More than half (54.8%) of our respondents are 45 years or older. Nearly three-quarters of respondents (73.3%) identified themselves as White or Caucasian, while just over one in five (22.6%) identified themselves as Black or African-American, Hispanic or Latino, and Asian or Asian-American. Approximately 15% of all respondents stated they were of Hispanic origin, and many also identified themselves as white or Caucasian. We divided respondents into the four regions recognized by the U.S. Census Bureau: 23% are from the West, 39.9% from the South, 20.7% from the Midwest, and 16.4% from the Northeast. About half of the respondents stated that they did not have higher education (47.9%). About two-thirds of respondents (67.2%) reported earning less than $75,000 per year. About a third of Americans have tried CBD (32.7%), another third have never tried it but know about it (34.3%), and the final third have never heard of CBD (33%). More than one in ten respondents (11.7%) reported their military status: 1% were military, 0.4% were reservists, and 10.3% were veterans. Just over one-fifth of respondents (20.1%) said they were temporarily (4.2%) or permanently (15.9%) disabled, compared to almost four-fifths (79.9%) who were not disabled.The CBD market has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years, with consumer awareness and understanding of the benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) being heightened by the availability of reliable, researched product information. Consumption of CBD products remains at an all-time high, with most of the global market now home to a number of well-established, well-funded companies. The various CBD products on offer are all manufactured by a few of the most reputable companies in the space, although there are some new players emerging in the market.. Read more about is cbd losing popularity and let us know what you think.

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