CBD is the latest fitness trend, attracting a surprising consumer demographic

Once condemned an opiate reserved for hippies, college kids, or, by some demonizing standards, degenerates, today marijuana has almost completely scrapped its taboo reputation. The explosion in sales of one variant of the marijuana plant, CBD (cannabidiol), has expanded to industries as diverse as food, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals, and has recently caused a notable stir within the fitness scene. CBD’s alleged healing properties are manifold, from curing cancer, acting as an antipsychotic, and, most notably, relieving anxiety.

Follow Ladders on Flipboard!

Follow Ladders’ magazines on Flipboard covering Happiness, Productivity, Job Satisfaction, Neuroscience, and more!

Don’t confuse CBD with THC

Until recently, marijuana has long been stigmatized for one of its manifold properties: the mind-altering effects of THC. It’s easy to make the mistake of confusing CBD with THC. THC is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, meaning THC substances are what people who want to get “high” seek out. Unlike THC, CBD isn’t known to cause psychoactive effects. While THC and CBD have the same chemical formula, the latter has a slight variance in its compound arrangement that inhibits psycho-symptomatic impact.

For this reason, it’s very much legal, making it a huge draw for consumers.

An unlikely consumer demographic

The legality of CBD, among other reasons, may explain why it’s enticed an unexpected target buyer. CBD’s primary consumers average the age of 40, tend to be highly educated, and are more likely than non-consumers to be employed full time. 66% of CBD consumers in the US agree with the complete legalization of cannabis. Of these 90% believing that marijuana has medical benefits, principally based on the assumption that it relieves pain. People in their 20s still make up the majority of CBD users, but a  surprising 15% of people 60 and older have also reported being frequent users.

CBD and fitness go hand in hand

It’s no secret that cannabinoids remedy a wide range of pain cases, from muscle soreness to crippling chronic pain. CBD, in particular, carries potent anti-inflammatory properties, both when ingested and when applied topically. Because of this, CBD is becoming a holistic alternative as a post-workout aid.

Ladders sat down with Amanda Kloots, fitness guru turned CEO, at the launch of her newest CBD infused product AK! Chill CBD Relief Cream, held at Bluebird London’s midtown Manhattan location.

“CBD is so huge right now. I was training nine hours a day and couldn’t walk the next day. I somehow would have to do it all over again. A friend of mine gave me a CBD product and I started using it every night before bed. Immediately I saw the difference. I knew then that I needed to come up with my own product,” said Kloots. “CBD is a natural way to help your body recover. It’s so nice to use something pure on your body that chemically induced products that we grew up with. CBD has the ability to topically treat the pain from the outside and ingestibles help from the inside. It assists in pain recovery and inflammation in your muscles quickly so the recovery time for athletes is hyper-fast!”

Of the ideation process, Kloots remarked on having a great deal of creative bandwidth to test different variations. “I didn’t want the menthol scent to be too overpowering, so we added touches of lavender.” The end result? An airy, cream-like lotion with a subtle arrangement of palliative essences. When applied, the soothing menthol scented cream relieves muscle soreness immediately, typically lasting up to 4-6 hours after application.

While CBD in lotion-form makes for an easy application, there are various different ways to use it. In a recent Consumer Reports survey, edible CBD was listed as the most popular application choice, with 35% of users claiming this method their favorite. Spray and vaping fall closely behind, with topical rub or cream application clocking in at 21%.

Projected growth

Businesses may be wise to capitalize on this trend, as it’s only expected to escalate in growth over the next decade. A study by BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research projects that CBD sales in the U.S. will surpass $20 billion by 2024. 

If you find this projection alone to be unimpressive, the diverse range of users may prove more shocking. Over a quarter, or approximately  26%, of Americans have tried CBD at least once in the past two years, according to a new survey. Of these, muscle pain accounted for 22% of intended uses, while anxiety relief ranked highest at 38%. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 42% of those who used CBD to treat joint pain were Baby Boomers.

As CBD becomes an increasingly popular remedy of choice for treating joint and muscle pain, it’s not surprising that entrepreneurs within the fitness industry have leaped on the Cannabinoid bandwagon.

“I think we are just on the brink of where we will see CBD go. It is still very new on the scene, but I already see it infiltrating not only the fitness industry but also beauty in a large way.  I think it has a very long term market upside,” said Kloots.

You might also enjoy…