Interest in CBD as a product that (according to marketers’ claims) can cure a range of ailments, from cancer to anxiety, has been on the rise for months. But up until recently, the public health community didn’t know how much. A recent study finally poses an answer. According to research published in JAMA Network Open, roughly
Interest in CBD as a product that (according to marketers’ claims) can cure a range of ailments, from cancer to anxiety, has been on the rise for months. But up until recently, the public health community didn’t know how much.
A recent study finally poses an answer. According to research published in JAMA Network Open, roughly 6.4 million Americans every month search online for information on CBD. This outpaces every other health product, the study authors say.
“CBD has become insanely popular,” said co-author Dr. John W. Ayers, vice chief of innovation in the Division of Infectious Disease and Global Public Health at UC San Diego, in a statement. “Three years ago, there was essentially no one searching about CBD online, but now there are an estimated 6.4 million unique searches each month.”
The researchers obtained this estimate based an analysis of Google search queries that mentioned “CBD” or “cannabidiol” within the U.S. from January 2004 through April 2019. CBD search queries grew by 125 during 2017, an additional 160 percent during 2018, and researchers predict it will to grow 180 percent by the end of 2019. CBD searches increased across all states, ranging from a 211 percent increase in Oklahoma to a 605 percent increase in Alabama.
Interest in CBD outpaced other top search terms by: 749 percent for acupuncture by 749 percent, 517 percent for apple cider vinegar, 338 percent for meditation, 63 percent for vaccination, 59 percent for exercise, 13 percent for marijuana and 12 percent for veganism.
The most important takeaway from the research is for health providers, study authors stress.
“At this time there are no known benefits for taking CBD over-the-counter,” explained Dr. Davey Smith, a physician and chief of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health at UC San Diego. “Some consumers might forgo seeing a physician or taking medications with known, tested and approved therapeutic benefits in favor of CBD and thereby become sicker or succumb to their illness.”
Added Dr. Eric Leas, an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health and lead author of the study: “There are already documented cases of CBD products unknowingly containing potential poisons because there are no government regulations that oversee the manufacturing of CBD.”
For more information on talking to your patients about CBD, visit our guide.
Trends in Internet Searches for Cannabidiol (CBD) in the United States, JAMA Network Open.