A survey examining the profile of the “modern cannabis consumer” by Oasis Intelligence found that 70 percent of respondents were unfamiliar with the terms “terpenes” and “entourage effect” despite a recent industry push to market the terms as points of differentiation.
Oasis Intelligence co-founder Laura Albers told The Fresh Toast that people in the industry “have a real advantage when it comes to understanding the plant from a scientific, regulation and usage perspective that is generally a requirement for those in the space.”
“However, when it comes to the average consumer, we see the needs for education are not about more advanced topics that the industry may prioritize—think terpenes, minor cannabinoids gaining popularity or even the endocannabinoid system.” – Albers to the Fresh Toast
Additionally, the cannabis consumer insight firm found half of consumers use cannabis for medical and wellness reasons, while one in five made no distinction between using cannabis for health and wellness and recreationally.
Nearly half of consumers – 48 percent – last used cannabis with someone else, a partner or a friend, and those bonds seem to drive how consumers get their information as 43 percent of respondents said friends were their “number one” source for getting cannabis information. Moreover, one in four surveyed said their last cannabis purchase was through a family member – which was more than those who purchased via a delivery service; another 22 percent said the recommendation of friends is their “primary driver” to trying a new product.
The company notes that brands and companies “can’t overlook the power of this network effect” and suggested that referral program “could have a significant impact” on harnessing the trust people have in close friends and family. Oasis notes that the study took place right before the coronavirus pandemic and at that time friends and family “were a more likely source for purchasing cannabis than delivery services.”
Slightly more than half of the respondents (51 percent) said they looked to cannabis to treat anxiety, while 44 percent use it to help with depression and another 31 percent for insomnia. Oasis notes that making health or wellness claims about cannabis products runs afoul of federal laws “but the reward will be high” for companies who can both operate within the parameters of Food and Drug Administration guidance, specifically on CBD, “while conveying that they can be trusted for wellness benefits.”