FinanceCBD Market Report: Brightfield Releases Mid-Year Findings

CBD Market Report: Brightfield Releases Mid-Year Findings


The Brightfield Group, a CBD and Cannabis Data & Marketplace Analytics company, released a mid-year market report for the US CBD Marketplace. The report analyzed the market in 2020, and provided predications for 2021. The report used responses surveyed from 5,000 unique CBD users in the United States, polled quarterly, for it’s US CBD Consumer Insights.

The report underlined a number of key findings:

  • Unsurprisingly, the CBD market was not immune to the market impact of COVID-19.
  • Ecommerce drove CBD growth in 2020, as brands were forced to shift strategy and compete for consumers online.
  • U.S. hemp-derived CBD sales are expected to reach $5.3 in 2021, up 15% from 2020’s $4.6 billion.
  • CBD Pharmaceuticals are forecasted to reach $2.05B by 2026.
  • 18% of consumers not using CBD today openly admit they do not know enough about CBD products.
  • Word of mouth is the most popular outlet for initial CBD awareness among Gen X and Millennials. These generations account for over 2/3rds of CBD users.
  • Only one top brand (Charlotte’s Web) experienced positive purchase funnel growth from Q4 2020 to Q1 2021

We’ll take a deeper look at a few key findings in the report. To download the full report, head to Brightfield 2021 CBD Market Report.

Driving the Market: Pharmaceuticals, Millennials & Gen X, and Legalization

In terms of market drivers, the report looked at a number of key areas:

–> Pharmaceuticals remain a deeply unsaturated marketplace, with the only one drug approved by the FDA, Epidiolex. The report expects more companies to enter the space with more drug approvals, leading to a 4x boom by 2026.

–> Millennials and Gen X represent the majority of CBD shoppers (71% of those surveyed). Their primairly marketing channels differ, where millennials are more likely to be referred to CBD via word-of-mouth and Gen X convert on more traditional marketing channels (radio, TV, and print ads).

–> Legalization remains a major market hurdle. No substantial legalization success has been seen on a federal level, despite efforts of a number of senators. Legal cannabis markets (THC), however, provided a channel for CBD sales, as they were deemed essential businesses during the pandemic.

Brick & Mortar

Brick & Mortar was predictably hit hard during COVID. For smoke & vape shops, there was a 33% decline in reported purchased by shoppers. This stunted CBD discovery in 2020, and forced CBD companies to branch out to eCommerce. Even still shoppers report shopping in Brick & Mortar in 2020. The report underlines that this marketplace is likely to rebound as folks feel comfortable shopping in person again.

Additionally, the report showed a 23% increase in purchases made in speciality CBD shops, and 63% increase in pharmacy settings.

Brand Success & CBD Innovation

Across the board, consolidation in 2019 did not translate to growth in 2020. 2019 saw a flood of CBD companies, with many not being able to survive the combination of saturation and major market changes due to COVID. The report shared that, “The most successful brands are those that effectively captured share of the ecommerce market.”

Innovation doesn’t stop at sales channels.

Minor cannabinoids, synergistic ingredients (herbs, adaptogens), and unique formulations help CBD brands stand out from being just CBD. Adding “functional ingredients” is a growing trend with successful CBD companies. However, this further blurs the line on CBD: is it an industry, or simply an ingredient?

Read the Full CBD Market Report

In addition to the summarized findings above, the report contains a multitude of additional data points and findings. The complete CBD market report is available for download (for free): Brightfield 2021 CBD Market Report.

Jesse Richardson
Jesse Richardson is the Editor in Chief of He has worked in cannabis since 2015, primarily focusing on product development at his tea company. Richardson has also contributed to dozens of online publications as a freelance journalist, and consults with a number of non-profit groups around the country on food distribution.


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