A new study paints a picture of cannabis users that is not at all like the cliché image of a lazy person sitting on the couch. Today’s typical marijuana user has a college degree, a job, and a firm belief in social justice issues.
They also use cannabis because of wellness issues, not just to get high, according to the study, which involved people from all 50 states. Oasis Intelligence, a cannabis industry consulting business, conducted the study.
The study involved data from 20,000 people. It’s designed to offer insight into who buys cannabis, and why. Laura Albers, co-founder of Oasis Intelligence, told Adweek that “cannabis consumers aren’t what they’ve been painted to be.”
She said that is a key finding during a time when the nation is gripped by economic and social upheaval. The cannabis industry has “the opportunity to transform our economy. And legalization will continue to be a major issue, especially in an election year.”
A Profile of Modern Cannabis Consumers
Oasis Intelligence conducted the study in 2019, before the coronavirus hit the United States. The company currently plans to do a follow up about attitudes of consumers during the pandemic. However, Albers said the current study provides “the most comprehensive profile of the modern cannabis consumer to date.”
In a release about the study, Oasis Intelligence highlighted some of the study’s most important findings.
- Half of all participants users cited wellness as their reason for marijuana use
- Another 19% said they saw no difference between wellness and adult-use
- Family and friends remain the No. 1 source for product recommendations
- More than 70% of those surveyed remain unfamiliar with terpenes or the term “entourage effect,” despite a push by many companies to get market products around these terms
- Almost half (48%) last consumed cannabis with someone else
The most-purchased cannabis products included flower, edibles and THC-infused drinks. The most common reasons for using marijuana include anxiety, depression and insomnia.
Consumers Want To Focus on Cannabis Basics
The survey also found that people lack information on some advanced aspects of cannabis. For example, about three-fourths of those surveyed did not know the terms terpenes, entourage effect and endocannabbinoid system.
However, that did not concern consumers. They report that what they want to know is what kind of products they can get and the ratio between CBD and THC. They report that after friends and family, their No. 1 source of information on cannabis comes from dispensaries and YouTube videos.
For cannabis businesses, the insight from these findings is that education needs to keep focusing on fundamentals “before diving into more niche points of differentiation like terpenes,” according to the news release.
Researchers also said that companies will do well to market products for wellness if they do not promise more than the product can deliver. They advise publishing educational content and testimonials from customers as a powerful way to convey information that buyers want.