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MRI-Simmons’ syndicated National Cannabis Study provides unprecedented learning on marijuana users and avoiders

The hemp-derived oil known as CBD is bringing cannabis to the mainstream, from CBD “shots” at coffee shops to edible CBD gummy bears sold at convenience stores. Newly released research from MRI-Simmons shows that people who buy CBD items can be very different from other consumers of cannabis products.

Data from MRI’s National Cannabis Study – the only syndicated nationwide study of cannabis consumption and attitudes – shows that 36 million Americans (ages 18 and above) are cannabis consumers, and 10% of them (3.7 million) use CBD products.

Cannabis as a wellness tool

Half (50%) of “CBDers” say they consume cannabis only for medical purposes – compared to 15% of the overall cannabis population. (See Table 1.) Another 42% of CBDers consume cannabis for both medical and recreational reasons.

Table 1. Reasons for cannabis consumption: CBDers versus

Almost two-thirds (60%) of CBD consumers belong to the Wellness Pot Practitioners segment, one of three groups of cannabis users identified by MRI-Simmons. This segment views cannabis as primarily a health and wellness tool; in fact, one-third of CBD consumers take part in meditation while consuming – and 13% practice yoga.

Showing an activist streak

One-third (34%) of CBD consumers are active members of a group that promotes legalization of cannabis. In addition, 8 out of 10 (81%) CBD consumers agree that the benefits of cannabis outweigh any negative health concerns, and three-quarters (72%) say that consumption is widely accepted in their friend group.

With a median age of 45, CBD consumers skew a little bit younger than the average American. CBD consumers are also highly multicultural; they are roughly 40% more likely than the average cannabis consumer to be Hispanic, Asian, or Native American.

The National Cannabis Study also provides in-depth information on every aspect of cannabis consumers’ lives, including

  • product use
  • media and technology use
  • attitudes about politics, medicine, and hundreds of other subjects

“The CBD consumer is both more mainstream and more politically engaged than the average cannabis consumer,” said Michael Panebianco, Vice President of Sales at MRI-Simmons. “They advocate for the legalization of cannabis, even though some are hesitant about actually consuming it. And their use of products and media are distinct from other cannabis groups. As with all other buyers today, it is essential to know them inside and out and provide messages and products that speak directly to their needs.”

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