Understanding the U.S. CBD Consumer Q&A with Giadha A. DeCarcer, Founder and CEO of New Frontier Data

Understanding the U.S. CBD Consumer Q&A with Giadha A. DeCarcer, Founder and CEO of New Frontier Data


 At the Joint Blog, our readers have a strong curiosity about the U.S. CBD market, especially when it comes to consumer insights. So we reached out to Giadha A. DeCarcer, founder and CEO of New Frontier Data, to get her take on the U.S. CBD market.

Though CBD seems to be everywhere these days, how many Americans use CBD and how does that compare to the rest of the world?

New Frontier Data recently published “U.S. CBD Consumer Report: Archetypes and Preferences, Volume 1” which shows 86% of American adults have heard of CBD and 1 in 5 Americans have used CBD. The U.S. report follows our study on European CBD consumers in which we found that just over half of respondents (56%) across the E.U. had also heard of CBD, with 16% saying they had tried it.

Why do Americans use CBD?

People use CBD for a variety of reasons. According to our research, three in five (60%) American consumers reported using CBD for some form of unwinding (e.g., relaxation, relieving stress, or anxiety reduction). That said, when asked to identify one primary reason for CBD use, the leading response (41%) was pain management.

There is ultimately quite a bit of overlap in reasons consumers use CBD, particularly when we think about general wellness applications relative to medicinal uses. In general, consumers have indicated using CBD for a range of reasons, to address multiple issues, rather than a single purpose – for example pain management and stress relief and help falling asleep can be commonly incorporated into CBD-consumers’ lifestyles in multifaceted ways.

Who are the most frequent CBD consumers? The most engaged? The highest spenders?

Generally speaking, among those who reported ever having consumed CBD, 40% of consumers said they do so at least once a week. Older consumers tend to use it more frequently than do younger consumers. The majority of consumers (59%) spend less than $50 each month on CBD and CBD products.

At New Frontier Data, we identified five archetypes of CBD consumers based upon their distinct patterns of behavior and consumption. Among CBD consumers, the largest archetype group is the Integrative & Consistent. This group accounts for just over a third (34%) of CBD consumers who have an overwhelmingly positive view of CBD and openly share their views on the efficacy of CBD with others. These consumers spend under $100 per month on CBD products and have found a consistent way to integrate CBD into their wellness regimens.


We also identified a smaller subset of CBD consumers, the Exuberant & Intense. While representing only 6% of CBD consumers, these individuals are some of the most enthusiastic CBD users. The Exuberant & Intense have tried a variety of CBD forms and products, consume multiple times per day, and tend to have other CBD consumers in their own social networks. Additionally, these are some of the highest spenders on CBD, with half spending in excess of $100 a month on CBD products.

How do consumers hear about CBD products and where do they get them?

Consumers hear a lot about CBD from their own social networks. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Americans have had a conversation about CBD, including two-thirds (67%) of those who have not tried CBD themselves. Broadly, people report that these conversations express a positive view of CBD. People are also responding to recommendations from those they know. The overwhelming majority of CBD consumers (84%) say someone they know recommended CBD; even amongst non-consumers, 28% were recommended CBD.

As CBD products are still only available in a limited number of brick-and-mortar locations, most consumers are purchasing CBD products from online retailers. Nearly a third of consumers (28%) say that their primary source for CBD are online outlets; roughly the same percentage (27%) of consumers said that personal connections – friends and family – are their primary sources of CBD.

What should brands know about engaging with CBD consumers in terms of what is valuable to them and what influences their purchasing decisions?

The significant differences in behaviors, intentions and beliefs about CBD between consumer archetypes illustrates that brands should move away from a one-size fits-all approach. Operators need to understand their target consumers’ specific spending habits, preferred ingestion form, and what drives their consumption.  Brands that try to take a monolithic approach to CBD consumers can find their competitive position undercut by companies that are more responsive to current consumer diversity in the marketplace.

How can brands leverage New Frontier Data’s U.S. CBD archetypes?

Consumer archetypes identify not only different patterns in purchasing behavior and engagement, but also differences in expectations and desired experiences. Brands have to determine who their core target market is and how they can best reach those specific consumers. New Frontier Data’s archetypes help brands align key product properties with best suited customer segments, thus optimizing product development, pricing, packaging and even as marketing messaging. Using this type of granular data and actionable intelligence, brands can ultimately craft products that speak to existing and known needs as well as desires, creating an optimal consumer experience.

About Giadha A. DeCarcer:

Giadha A. DeCarcer is the Founder and CEO of New Frontier Data, the leading cannabis Big Data & Analytics reporting provider in over 80 countries around the world. An entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in business execution, management and strategic business development, DeCarcer’s career started in banking, and evolved to include work in technology, data analytics, intelligence collection and reporting, and emerging markets across multiple sectors in both the commercial and government spaces, domestically and internationally.

Having launched and operated four data-driven businesses, including working on disruptive technologies such as the original patent application behind Progressive’s Snapshot and Verizon’s Hum, she is considered an expert in strategic positioning and risk management in emerging high growth markets, as well as a seasoned professional in government and commercial intelligence data collection and analysis. These core skill sets, along with unwavering entrepreneurial drive, have defined Giadha’s career and her vision for New Frontier Data.

About New Frontier Data:

New Frontier Data is an independent, technology-driven analytics company specializing in the global cannabis industry. It offers vetted data, actionable business intelligence and risk management solutions for investors, operators, researchers and policy makers interested in the cannabis space worldwide. New Frontier Data’s reports and data have been cited in over 80 countries and drive over 15 billion in media reach across the world. Founded in 2014, New Frontier Data is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with additional offices in Denver, CO and London, UK.

New Frontier Data does not take a position on the merits of cannabis legalization. Rather, its mission and mandate are to inform cannabis-related policy and business decisions through rigorous, issue-neutral and comprehensive analysis of the legal cannabis industry worldwide. For more information about New Frontier Data, please visit: https://www.NewFrontierData.com.

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