January 17, 2020

What women want in Cannabis: Shopping trends among female cannabis consumers

Shopping trends among female cannabis consumers
Written by
Liz Connors
Published on
January 17, 2020
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Many aspects influence a customer’s decision making, and one of those factors is gender. Decades worth of scientific research shows observable differences in how men and women behave as shoppers, each with their own motives, preferences, rationales and considerations.

These gender differences extend to how men and women shop for cannabis. The proof can be seen in Headset’s Cannabis Data Intelligence, which provides insight in the year-over-year differences between the sexes and their cannabis shopping patterns.

Categorical differences between sexes

Women may not consume as much as men, but they still make up an important one-third of the cannabis market. Flower and vapor pens are the most popular categories with both genders.

Yet female shoppers buy less of each, and prefer edibles, topicals and tinctures, and sublinguals. Men on the other hand buy significantly more concentrates.

Cannabis category share by gender
Cannabis category share by gender

This may be due in part to women’s interest in cannabis from a wellness perspective. Jennifer Chapin, founder of Kikoko, told Quartzy recently that women in their 40s, 50s and beyond are looking to use lower-dose cannabis products that address concerns such as sleep, anxiety and sexual pleasure.

That kind of thinking gels with where women are spending their money. From 2017 to 2018, a smaller portion of women’s total cannabis wallet went to concentrates and pre-rolls. So where did that money go? According to Headset’s data, their spend increased in tincture & sublinguals, topicals and vapor pens.

Cannabis growth in female-only category share of wallet
Cannabis growth in female-only category share of wallet

Give me calm, give me chocolate

Similarly, the theory of women trending towards wellness makes sense when looking at the specific products they bought in 2018. Women over-indexed for the popular Humboldt Apothecary 3:1 Calm CBD Tincture, which contains 3 mg of CBD for every 1 mg of THC.

Women also purchased Papa and Barkley’s 3:1 Releaf Balm, meant to target areas of muscle pain and inflammation. It’s notable that these two products are marketed for their healing and calming effects.

But women also over-indexed for Milk Chocolate Blueberry Terra Bites by Kiva, which contain 5 mg of THC per bite. Despite the stereotype, there’s no real science proving women crave chocolate more than men. They just admit to it more.

In the end, while no single product or category is exclusive to one sex, it seems more women are engaging in some of the more nuanced methods of cannabis consumption, especially with low-dose cannabis products. One can only wonder what other trends we may see as the cannabis industry continues to expand its community and more recreational use states come online.

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