People who use cannabis only occasionally aren’t usually looking to acquire itself from dispensaries, according to a report from New Frontier Data.
The three part study, Cannabis Consumers in America 2023: Exploring the Archetypes, examined the habits and preferences of low-frequency cannabis consumers, which can be divided into three distinct categories.
- Social Nibblers
- Holistic Healers
- Infrequent Partakers
Each category has its own unique consumption habits and sourcing methods.
Infrequent Partakers is the largest category of low-frequency consumers, accounting for approximately 11% of users. These consumers use cannabis recreationally. They prefer to smoke their cannabis, with joints being the favored form. Infrequent Partakers usually get their cannabis from friends.
The second group, Social Nibblers, represent about 8% of all cannabis users, according to New Frontier Data. These individuals, much like the Infrequent Partakers, use cannabis mainly for recreational purposes, often during social gatherings with friends. Social Nibblers most often acquire their cannabis through their social circles, with a preference for non-flower cannabis forms, especially edibles.
Holistic Healers, on the other hand, tend to source their cannabis from brick-and-mortar dispensaries. The group comprises roughly 6% of users. These consumers use cannabis for medicinal purposes to alleviate pain or other health conditions. The report noted that Holistic Healers typically use non-flower forms of cannabis, such as topicals and tinctures.
“Whether it’s a lack of comfort with engaging directly with cannabis retail, or a preference for the convenience and social experience of receiving cannabis from friends, Infrequent Partakers and Social Nibblers source cannabis primarily through friends,” said Molly McCann, senior director of consumer insights at New Frontier Data.
But that’s not the case for Holistic Healers.
“Unlike the Social Nibblers and Infrequent Partakers, Holistic Healers are often seeking out less common product forms, like topicals and tinctures, and can more easily acquire them directly from dispensaries,” McCann said.
The study also suggested that these low-frequency archetypes could be seen as a transitional phase for newcomers or those returning to cannabis use. As these consumers gain experience and knowledge about the various applications of cannabis, they may shift into different consumption categories.