One big business trend in recent years has been the willingness of brands, including some major names, to invest in the legal cannabis industry and now a survey has revealed the extent to which consumers are interested in products containing cannabidiol, or CBD.

Some 40% of American adults aged 21 and over have indicated a willingness to explore CBD under the right conditions, according to High Yield Insights, a research firm which specialises in the cannabis market.

In what it claims is the first study of its kind to quantify consumer interest in products containing CBD, High Yield Insights said many consumers are looking to incorporate CBD into their “wellness regimen”.

“Consumers previously unfamiliar with CBD are rapidly showing interest,” said Mike Luce, co-founder of High Yield Insights. “Now that the federal government is finally taking steps to clear up the hazy legal picture, people see CBD as an entry point to the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.”

The report, entitled CBD Consumer Experience: Part One, is based on responses from 2,000 US adults aged 21+, including 1,500 who reported using CBD products in the previous three months and another 500 who had not.

Among current CBD users, about half were aged under 34 and the majority (54%) have used CBD for less than one year. Perhaps controversially, some of this group also reported using products containing a mixture of CBD and THC, a psychoactive compound whose legality varies from state to state.

The research also explored the opinions of consumers who have indicated interest in trying CBD-based products and found that 64% were aged 35 or older, 56% were female and 79% had been to college.

These potential users suggested they were motivated by easier access to products (42%), the availability of unbiased research (44%) and a doctor’s recommendation (34%). They also expressed interest in accessible forms of CBD, such as chocolates and baked goods.

However, Mike Luce said there was still some way to go for CBD’s legal status to be clarified. “The FDA needs to take further action to clarify its stance,” he said.

“Some states are demanding stores pull CBD products off the shelf claiming that it is an unregulated food additive. With potential users identifying easier access as a chief motivator, such actions go against what the public is seeking.”

Sourced from High Yield Insights; additional content by WARC staff