Study: Cannabis users fueling delivery apps and fast food sales. Pexels

A new study found that daily marijuana users are influencing the consumer economy by playing a key role in driving up sales of frozen food. The study suggests they rely more heavily on delivery apps like DoorDash and Uber Eats compared to the general population.

Little Caesars pizza appears to be a surprising favourite among these delivery orders. The Numerator study, released Thursday and analysing data from nearly 6,000 cannabis users, found a skew towards younger, lower-income consumers.

The study on cannabis use reveals a consumer profile dominated by Gen Z and Millennials. These individuals, typically with lower to middle incomes (under £47000), often cite anxiety and stress management as reasons for using THC products.

In a surprising reversal, Thailand recently banned recreational cannabis use just under two years after decriminalising it. This follows a 2023 study raising concerns about the potential risks of cannabis use for teenagers, pregnant women, and individuals with mental illnesses.

Age and Income Differences Between THC and CBD Users

Interestingly, two-thirds reported using cannabis a few times per week, while 38 percent indulge daily. This demographic also dedicates a larger portion of their grocery budgets to snacks and beverages, particularly favouring sports, energy drinks, beer, frozen meals (sandwiches and pizzas), spirits, and frozen appetisers.

"Daily THC users have even more pronounced spikes in almost every category studied, with notable differences from regular THC users in candy, herbs & spices, frozen potato snacks, and packaged sweet snacks," Numerator said in a press release.

Fueled by frequent use and often higher-priced products, THC users spend significantly more on cannabis compared to CBD-only users. A staggering 31 percent report spending £80 or more monthly, compared to just 7 percent for CBD users.

Their primary sources for these purchases are in-person dispensaries (61 percent), followed by personal acquaintances (29 percent), smoke shops (19percent), and online dispensaries (14 percent).

Frequency of Use: Daily vs. Occasional Consumers

The study highlights a complex relationship between cannabis use and alcohol consumption. While frequent cannabis users reported spending less on alcohol compared to infrequent users, and over a third say they've cut back on drinking since using cannabis, they are still more likely to purchase alcohol overall compared to non-users.

Where Cannabis Users Buy Their Products

According to the study, fast-food chains and delivery services could be reaping the biggest rewards. Compared to the general population, cannabis users were significantly more likely to have frequented limited-service restaurants or used food delivery apps in the three months prior to April.

Interestingly, DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Little Caesars emerged as top choices among these consumers. "These behaviours are even more pronounced among daily THC users," Numerator's analysis found.

In contrast, CBD users, drawn to the compound's purported relaxation properties, skewed older and higher income. Unlike THC users, they primarily sought CBD to manage health issues. Muscle and joint pain, particularly arthritis, are top concerns for this demographic, which often falls within the Boomer generation and boasts middle to high incomes (over £63000).

Their usage patterns differ as well, with 44 percent reporting use a few times per week and 16 percent being daily users. Unlike THC users, who primarily rely on dispensaries, CBD consumers purchase their products from a wider range of sources.

Alternative health stores take the lead at 31 per cent, followed by in-person dispensaries (25 percent), online retailers (19 percent), and even traditional retailers, surprisingly at 16 percent.