Define your weed personality with these cannabis consumer archetypes

cannabis consumer archetypes: people jumping happily in front of cannabis plant background

Long before weed shops were in every strip mall, there was a stoner stereotype known to the world, and cannabis-loving moms or athletes hid their consumption in the shadows. Fast forward, and states are legalizing adult use, bridging safe access to medical patients, and decriminalizing possession one way or another– more types of people smoking weed than ever. With the advent of a new pot era, New Frontier Data thought it was time to get granular and define the modern American cannabis consumer archetypes.

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New Frontier analyzed a conglomerate of cannabis consumer information gathered from over 4,200 self-administered surveys. Analysts considered home state regulations, product preferences, how often they partook, reasons they consume, how they purchase weed, age, and gender. With these things in mind, nine cannabis consumer archetypes came into focus.

Contemporary Lifestylers

A total of 16 percent of consumers can be called Contemporary Lifestylers. These are people who consume frequently, both medically and recreationally. They opt for flower purchased from a dispensary, though half also experiment with extracts and other products. The Contemporary Lifestyler generally opts for cannabis as a means to unwind.

Savvy Connoisseurs

The Savvy Connoisseur is tied for second at 13 percent of the people who partake in pot. This segment skews younger and tends to purchase from dispensaries and unregulated channels, often called the legacy market in the weed world. These customers are searching for specific new flavors and the best prices.

New Frontier identifies this group as big spenders who often supply friends and family with their weed products. The Savvy Connoisseur will consume many forms of cannabis, not sticking to one form or device.

Legacy Lifestylers

Legacy Lifestylers also make up 13 percent of modern weed consumers. They partake frequently and often recreationally, though many turn to the plant for medical purposes, as well. Most smoke flower to take the edge off, and they always buy from the legacy market. These consumers trust their friends and dealers over dispensaries.

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Meet the rest of the smoking circle

Six more consumer archetypes defined by New Frontier explain the rest of the shopping habits of those walking in through the dispensary doors.

Modern Medicinals – 12 percent

Modern Medicinals tend to be older and consume a moderate amount, but not as much as the Lifestylers. These are medical users who mostly buy non-flower products from dispensaries.

Medical Lifestylers – 12 percent

Those that fall into this category light up often and spend big bucks on flower at regulated retailers–half of this group buys other kinds of products, too. They chose cannabis medically but will consume it recreationally or to achieve wellness goals like mindfulness.

Infrequent Partakers – 11 percent

This canna-curious consumer is a bit older and spends less, they rarely stop by the weed shop. The Infrequent Partakers almost exclusively buy flower in the form of pre-rolls to enjoy recreationally as a means to relax.

Engaged Explorers – 9 percent

Engaged Explorers moderately use cannabis to unwind, almost exclusively recreationally. These customers will buy vapes and non-flower options from a dispensary most days over the legacy market.

Social Nibblers – 8 percent

The Social Nibblers don’t reach for weed often, but when they do, it’s edibles for winding down or socializing. This crew will acquire infused munchies from friends and family rather than buying a package at the shop.

Holistic Healers – 6 percent

Medical use is front and center with the Holistic Healers. They tend to be older and use tinctures, topicals, and non-flower forms of cannabis for pain management, but sparingly.

The cannabis consumer archetypes

There are many reasons a person smokes, eats, vapes, or rubs weed on their skin. The number of people buying from the legacy market has decreased since last year, possibly due to large states like New York coming online with legalization.

Modern Medicinals and Holistic Healers are expected to grow in the coming years as the stigma against cannabis as medicine continues crumbling. The Savvy Connoisseur segment decreased in 2023, signaling that as an adult-use market ages, shopping habits inch toward dispensaries over legacy channels.

New Frontier dissected the information at hand, and most cannabis consumers are people who enjoy the plant frequently, but that doesn’t account for everyone. The people who enjoy weed products are now more diverse than ever.

Explorers are trying out new relaxation products alongside the Lifestylers, and Nibblers are accepting gummies from friends. Brands, stores, and those creating movies about stoners should take note that there’s a variety of cannabis consumer archetypes now. There’s a place for everyone in the world of weed, not just heady stoners.

Cara Wietstock is senior content producer of and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.