Most consumers aren’t interested in using or haven’t heard of CBD, according to CivicScience

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Source: Getty
Source: Getty

Related tags Cbd Pain stress

Despite all the buzz around CBD and the near steady stream of product launches across food and beverage categories featuring the ingredient, the majority of Americans have not heard of the ingredient, never used it or have no interest in it, according to new research from CivicScience.

As of the fourth quarter of 2019, only about 35% of Americans have either used or intend to use CBD oil or other CBD products, the consumer research company estimated based on more than 75,000 responses, weighted by US adults, collected through its ongoing, proprietary survey of million of people about thousands of topics.

That leaves 50% of respondents who said they have never used and are not interested in CBD and 15% who still haven’t heard of it.

While these figures may be discouraging to some players in the CBD space, CivicScience also found that awareness of CBD has climbed consistently since it began tracking the data in September 2018 and the amount of people who have tried and liked CBD products have gone up 6% since then.

The other good news for manufacturers including CBD in products is the data shows that consumers who use or intend to use the ingredient come from all backgrounds – suggesting plenty of room marketed development.

That said, the areas with the most potential for growth currently are concentrated on health and wellness, according to CivicScience.

Pain & stress linked to CBD use

CivicScience found that consumers who suffer pain and stress are more likely to use CBD products than those who do not have severe pain or are good at managing their stress.

Specifically, CivicScience found about half of people who report currently experiencing severe back pain have used or intend to use CBD products as do an additional 34% who report suffering mild to moderate back pain and 23% who do not suffer back pain.

This is compared to 19% of consumers with severe back pain who said they have never used and are not interested in using CBD products and 42% of those suffering mild to moderate back pain who said they also planned to abstain. More than half, 54%, of those who do not suffer back pain said they are not interested in the ingredient.

“A similar trendline is seen when Americans were asked about how they handle stress,”​ CivicScience’s Jeff Edelstein noted in a research report published earlier this month. “In 2019, people who said they don’t handle stress well are 35% more likely to use or intend to use CBD products compared to people who said they do alright managing stress.”

CivicScience’s research also revealed a positive correlation between the frequency with which someone visits a healthcare professional and their use or intention to use CBD products. Interestingly, the more frequently respondents visited a doctor, nurse or other health professional last year, though, the less likely they were to be satisfied with CBD.

Among CBD users who did not visit a health professional last year, 74% were satisfied and 26% were not with CBD. This shifts incrementally with increased visits. Of those who visited a health professional one or two times last year, 29% were dissatisfied with CBD, compared to 32% who visited a health professional three to five times and 35% who visited six or more times.

“The apparent dichotomies among usage, intent and satisfaction could mean those who are suffering from illness or chronic conditions are not always finding CBD products extremely helpful in relieving pain or minimizing symptoms,”​ Edelstein notes.

Marketing and retail influence

Whether or not and where consumers show also could influence their decision to try CBD, suggest CivicScience data.

The research found a correlation between Americans who view Target favorably as being 28% more likely to have tried or intend to try CBD products than those who do not like the chain. At the same time, people who like Walmart were 25% less likely to have tried or intend to ty the ingredient than those who dislike the chain.

Similarly, social media could play an influential role in shoppers’ decision to try or avoid CBD, according to CivicScience. It found people were 44% more likely to have used or intended to use CBD products if they had also purchased something based on the recommendation of an influencer or blogger.

Overall, this data suggests that convictions and how consumers view the world may be a better predictor than science of whether a consumer will purchase or try a CBD product, CivicScience concludes.

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