Many have called 2018 the Year of the Woman. And the cannabis industry was no exception.
According to a new report by Eaze, an online market place and technology platform for legal cannabis, the number of women buying cannabis in California doubled in 2018 from the year before.
“We see a strong majority of women are using cannabis for wellness reasons like personal care and improved sleep,” said Peter Gigante, head of policy research at Eaze.
The study also found a growth in the use of CBD products — such as face and body creams and bath bombs — among female boomers.
The report draws on data from 450,000 customers, as well as a survey of 4,000 in California.
Calling 2018 a “monumental year,” the report also said the past year saw the “dawn of cannabis wellness” as more consumers turned to marijuana for its potential in improving their health. The number of new cannabis buyers also exploded, increasing by 140 percent from 2017.
Among the findings of the report, a few stood out as signaling significant growth or change in the marijuana market. While the focus was exclusively on California, it’s safe to assume many of the trends are happening or will be happening, in other legal markets.
CBD. The popularity of CBD (cannabidiols) has reached the point where it is creating a new consumer demographic for the industry. CBD consumers grew from 2.6 percent to 4.8 percent of the cannabis market in 2018.
Baby Boomers. Baby Boomers ranked as the most common CBD consumer, accounting for 8.4 percent of all buyers. Female Baby Boomers purchase CBD products the most frequently. For all marijuana-related purchases, Baby Boomers became the fastest growing segment in 2018, increasing by 25 percent.
Women. Overall, the number of women buying cannabis products almost doubled in 2018, increasing by 92 percent. Women now make up 38 percent of all cannabis consumers. They also are more likely than men to purchase edibles.
Weed for wellness
One reason for the rapid growth in cannabis users, especially among Baby Boomers, is the influx of CBD products for wellness. CBD has been linked to treating chronic pain, the aches people experience after workouts, anxiety and depression, and sleep issues.
“The fact that well-known beauty influencers and celebrities are using CBD also contributes to the normalization of cannabis for women too, and we only expect that to continue,” Gigante said.
Customers surveyed reported that they felt relaxation (61 percent), anxiety relief (41 percent), stress relief (41 percent) and pain relief (40 percent).
They also needed fewer pills. Of those who purchased marijuana, 71 percent reported reducing their purchase of over-the-counter medicine and a 35 percent reduced the purchase of prescription drugs.
Among the youngest of the marijuana consumers, Generation Z, 32 percent reported reduction in the use of tobacco. And Millennials reported a 63 percent reduction in alcohol consumption.