A recent article on Forbes written by Debra Borchardt discusses the results of the largest survey ever done analyzing cannabidiol (CBD) use, with interesting, albeit not surprising, results.
CBD is a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis
One of the hundreds that the plant contains although second in popularity next to THC. Over the last few decades, cultivators worked on developing strains with more and more THC content – because people wanted to get high. In the last few years, THC began sharing the limelight with CBD, as more studies proved the medical benefits of this lesser-known compound. CBD products are also preferred by patients suffering from different illnesses because it has its own unique medicinal properties without getting you high.
The findings revealed that women had a bigger propensity to start using CBD than men; and once they started, they were also more likely to ditch traditional medicine. The survey, conducted by the Brightfield Group and HelloMD, analyzed 2,400 of HelloMD’s online community then did a deep dive analysis on CBD use and its efficacy. HelloMD is an online community connecting cannabis doctors and patients, while the Brightfield Group studies consumption patterns and trends, providing accurate data for the cannabis industry.
Stereotypical cannabis user
Although the stereotypical cannabis user is a man, the survey showed that 55% of the CBD users were actually women. On the other hand, men preferred THC-dominant products. The survey also revealed that CBD was used mostly for the treatment of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and joint pain. Almost half (42%) of CBD users reported that they stopped using prescription meds, Tylenol, and other traditional medications and completely switched over to the green side. 80% of respondents said they found the CBD products to be “very or extremely effective” while only 3% or less found the products to be ineffective or only slightly effective.
The survey results
However, the survey results also showed that CBD producers have a long way to go when it comes to educating consumers about their products. Despite the fact that there are hundreds of varieties of CBD and hemp products on the market, 8% of consumers admitted that they didn’t know what CBD product they used. The vague legal status of CBD doesn’t help either; although the FDA considers CBD products to be illegal, CBD derived from hemp can easily be found in every state and even online. CBD derived from cannabis is only found in states where medicinal cannabis is available.
The confusion is helping producers
“This confusion is actually helping the producers of these products as consumers are turning to reliable and trusted brands,” according to Dr. Perry Solomon, Chief Medical Officer of HelloMD. The survey found that three brands dominated the market: Care by Design, Bloom Farms, and Kiva Confections; leaving pretty much the rest of the market in the dark. The survey also found that CBD users complained that CBD made from cannabis were more expensive than those derived from hemp.
In the hemp-derived CBD market, Charlotte’s Web takes a significant market share. The strain, developed by the Stanley Brothers, earned nationwide recognition after Sanjay Gupta reported about it on CBB. Following closely after Charlotte’s Web is Plus CBD Oil and Mary’s Nutritionals. Respondents complained that hemp-derived CBD products were less effective than cannabis-derived CBD. All respondents shared the same sentiment about method of consumption – they all preferred to vape, followed second by traditional cannabis use and flowers with edibles as the third choice. The respondents spend between $20 to $80 monthly on CBD products.
Dr. Solomon states that patients who vape feel the therapeutic benefits of CBD quicker than if they opted for an edible. Those who need relief need it fast. However, for insomnia, Dr. Solomon recommends vaping for those who struggle to get some shut-eye. But for those who find it hard to stay asleep, edibles may be more effective. “This landmark survey, in terms of its size and depth, shows the tremendous value that these products have for patients,” says Dr. Solomon. “Hopefully, access for products such as these will help patients all across the country who cannot obtain medication that contains THC.”