uWeed

CBD consumers Switzerland | 2021 Study | uWeed & IG Hemp

Loic Aubonney
Aug 31, 2021

CBD In Switzerland consumer study, in partnership with IG Hemp

In recent years, CBD has been gaining in popularity on the European continent and throughout the world. Unknown to the general public until recently, CBD, or cannabidiol, is increasingly appreciated by consumers. Many of them find it aids physical relaxation and stress reduction. Products based on CBD, a molecule of the Cannabis Sativa, are authorized in most European countries, as long as their THC concentration remains below a certain threshold (1% in Switzerland).

As a result, the number of CBD enthusiasts continues to grow. uWeed, Switzerland’s largest online CBD e-commerce platform, wanted to find out more about them. In collaboration with IG Hemp Switzerland, we interviewed 1170 national CBD consumers to find out more about them. Including, which products they like the most, and what they’re looking for. A few months down the line, here’s what we found out!

Above all, people are looking to relax

In the 21st century, stress is a major issue, with increasing numbers of health professionals sounding the alarm about its impact on our health and general wellbeing. It, therefore, came as no surprise that more than half of our survey respondents use CBD for relaxation (50%) and to sleep better (46%). Studies are currently looking into the potential benefits of CBD to alleviate chronic pain and even the symptoms of sometimes serious diseases. Among our respondents, 26% are looking to alleviate pain, 14% psychological disorders (notably anxiety and depression). 12% wish to alleviate the symptoms of chronic diseases  such as Crohn’s and osteoarthritis.

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However, it is important to remember that there is currently no large-scale scientific data available to estimate the effectiveness of cannabidiol on people’s health. The good news is that most (57%) of our respondents find that CBD has “strong” or “very strong” effects.

CBD enthusiasts tend to have a high level of education

Our survey found that the average CBD consumer tends to have a high level of education. Indeed, almost half of Swiss respondents (41%) have a university or college degree (Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Ph.D.), well above the national average of 31%. However, this does not mean that CBD users are rolling in money: almost 40% have incomes below CHF 50,000 per year. A relatively small proportion (16%) earn a “high” salary, i.e. over CHF 100,000 per year.

This may be explained by the relatively young age of the participants in our survey: 56% are aged between 18 and 40 years old, while 22% are over 50. At the same time, just over half are currently in a relationship, and about a third have started a family.

CBD use tends to be gendered

Not only are more men using CBD than women, but the ways in which they use it differ.  Two-thirds of our survey respondents were male. Moreover, more than a third of men have been using CBD for more than two years, compared to only one in five women. This makes men the early adopters of the cannabidiol market, along with seniors, almost a quarter of whom have been using CBD for more than three years. In contrast, almost half of women have been using CBD for less than six months. Could women be the future of the CBD market? 

At the same time, women report being less familiar with CBD than men, estimating their level of knowledge at 3.3 out of 5, compared to 3.5 for men. Finally, men tend to favor CBD flowers, whereas women tend to opt for oil. 

Consumers are buying and seeking information online

We also found differences between men and women in the way they seek out information about CBD. Women are more likely to ask their family, friends, or professional network for information, while men rely on online publications and social networks. 

In general, CBD consumers seek information around the potential impact of CBD on physiological or psychological health issues as well as general information about the various products on the market. Their main sources are search engines, personal networks, CBD brand sites, and specialist blogs. 

In terms of CBD purchasing habits, the majority (74%) of consumers favor e-commerce, which is not particularly surprising. Since the start of the health crisis, online retail sales have increased significantly. Of these, 58% opt for multi-brand platforms such as this one, 35% go directly to specific brands and 6% buy from marketplaces such as Amazon or Galaxus.  

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Consumption patterns vary depending on the product

Two products alone account for the majority of CBD sales in Switzerland: nearly 60% of respondents had consumed CBD flowers and nearly 50% CBD oil in the previous 30 days. It should be remembered that CBD oil provides a diffuse effect that lasts throughout the day, whereas flowers, which are most often smoked or vaped, have a stronger and more immediate impact. 

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As we have seen above, the consumption of these two products varies according to the gender of the respondent. But there are also differences in terms of the acquisition. People who prefer flowers tend to try several different products, whereas CBD oil consumers tend to stick to one brand once they have found the one they like.  At the same time, CBD oil users tend to buy online rather than from a brick-and-mortar store, unlike flower users. This may be because it is easier to find CBD flowers in physical shops, such as kiosks and petrol stations, than oil. 

Finally, for some people CBD is a social occasion: 40% of Swiss respondents consume dried flowers in the company of others, compared to 15% of those who prefer oil. 

Some people now prefer CBD to THC

We wanted to know what the relationship of CBD consumers was with illicit substances or those considered “drugs”. It should be remembered that CBD-based products are not considered narcotics as long as their THC content remains below a threshold defined by various European legislations.

It turns out that in Switzerland, more than half of CBD enthusiasts do not consume addictive or illicit substances. Among the others, the majority (74%) use tobacco, almost half use illegal cannabis and only one in 10 use other drugs. 

We wanted to know what THC users would do if the latter were to be legalized at the drop of a hat: would they continue to use CBD anyway? It turns out that for more than half of them, the answer was yes: CBD would replace THC instead of complementing it. 

Want to know more about CBD consumers, their habits, and needs? 

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