Why are specialist vape retailers around the world turning away from CBD online?

More and more vape specialists appear to be moving away from selling CBD vaping products, according to online market data produced by CBD-Intel.

The trend, apparent in the latest round of online market reports, covers numerous countries with no clear common regulatory cause. This leaves the reason why any number of vaping retailers in separate jurisdictions are moving towards an exit from the CBD sector at the same time open to speculation.

For example in the online Austrian market, vape stores are not engaging with CBD. Similar developments can be seen in the Irish, Spanish, German, Italian and US markets. Interestingly an upcoming report from CBD-intel on offline, bricks & mortar vape shop sales shows specialist retailer interest in CBD vaping products has continued largely unchanged since 2019.

The online development comes at an interesting time as British American Tobacco (BAT) continues to experiment with a trial in the UK city of Manchester for what would be a CBD vaping product with potentially massive reach and weight behind it. Though of course such a product would be more likely to be distributed through existing tobacco retailers, such as supermarkets and convenience stores, than through vaping specialists.

Nonetheless, BAT’s interest could be taken to suggest that it is not any problem with consumer demand for CBD vaping products that is at issue but more perhaps that CBD products do not sit well alongside the traditional nicotine vaping products being sold in specialist vape shops, which tend to carry a wider range of nicotine brands and products than would be found in other retail channels.

Or perhaps BAT has not pressed forward with a full launch of its CBD vaping product because there are issues with consumer demand – potentially from alternative CBD product formats. Alternative inhalable CBD products, in particular CBD-heavy hemp flowers, are on the rise in many countries.

And in other markets where flowers may be restricted, it could be that CBD consumers are growing more sophisticated in their purchasing choices, moving away from vaping products which have often, anecdotally, been described as entry-level type items.

Whatever the reason, there does seem to be some growing disconnect between CBD and the vape specialist retail channel. Brands and producers would do well to keep this in mind when considering vape CBD products.

– Freddie Dawson CBD-Intel staff

Photo: Vaper City

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