Chicago, September 25, 2019 — With cannabis becoming legal in more states, it’s impossible to ignore the potential ramifications for the food and beverage industry. Cannabidiol (CBD) isn’t just for a select few people. Nearly 20 percent of adults have tried it in states where it’s legal and nearly half of them have used it recently, reports The NPD Group.  And this number is expected to increase quickly as CBD is appearing in snack foods and beverages, consumers are getting more comfortable with the idea, and just as many people plan to try it as are currently using it.

Among those using CBD, food and beverages are major pathways these consumers seek to improve their lives with 40 percent of these consumers seeking to better themselves with food and beverage choices, according to NPD’s
Health Aspirations and Behavioral Tracking Service.  A stat that reflects the increasing use of food as medicine by consumers.

There’s a similar story for medical cannabis, which has the psychoactive THC component. About 20 percent of adults have tried it in states where it’s legal but there is still some hesitation for non-users to try it. Regardless of negative stigmas, there’s a sizable group that have bought into this idea. CBD users overall are more likely to have medical conditions, such as cancer, autoimmune diseases, and ADD/ADHD.

“There is definitely interest on the part of consumers in CBD but its future in the mass market is dependent on legalization, which is now a patchwork of state legislation,” says Darren Seifer, NPD’s food and beverage industry analyst. “Even with the complexities of legalization, consumer acceptance and adoption of CBD as a food and medicine is an important topic for food manufacturers to keep on their radar screens.”