A Breakdown of Consumer Use of CBD by Gender and Age

Written by Asia Mayfield

Cannabidiol (CBD) is hugely popular in the U.S. According to leading sales and marketing agency Acosta: “Consumer CBD sales are expected to reach $20 billion by 2024 — larger than the current annual sales of candy, gum and mints combined.” CBD’s success is driven, in part, by how accessible it is. Because the compound is non-intoxicating, it can be consumed or ingested by people who have no interest in getting high, including sick people and working professionals.

In a report titled The CBD Effect: A Rapidly Emerging Consumer Trend, Acosta used industry data to break down exactly who is buying CBD. They found that Millennials, men, and college-educated consumers top the list of CBD purchasers. Fifty-six percent of millennials surveyed regularly use CBD products compared to thirty-two percent of Gen X’ers and fifteen percent of Baby Boomers.

They also found that many people purchase CBD for health reasons. This is true for buyers of all ages. A 2018 study published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research determined that: “The use of CBD among individuals for both specific health conditions and general health and well-being is widespread… CBD is being used as a specific therapy for a number of diverse medical conditions—particularly pain and inflammatory disorders, in addition to anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders.” (1)

While most research shows that CBD consumption is more common among younger generations, the divide between men and women is less clear. Acosta found that men purchase more CBD products, while the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research study points to women being the biggest buyers. A 2019 Gallup poll determined that men and women purchase CBD at equal rates.

What is clear is that people are becoming more familiar with CBD. As the cannabinoid’s presence in the retail market grows, consumer trends may change as well.

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  1. Corroon, Jamie, and Joy A Phillips. “A Cross-Sectional Study of Cannabidiol Users.” Cannabis and cannabinoid research vol. 3,1 152-161. 1 Jul. 2018

About the author

Asia Mayfield

Asia Mayfield is a freelance writer who focuses on the cannabis industry. She can be reached at