Earlier this year, Project CBD, a California-based non-profit that is dedicated to conducting and publishing research on the medical uses of cannabidiol (CBD) and other components of the cannabis plant, launched the most extensive survey on CBD use globally to date. The survey sought to find information on who is using CBD, why are they using CBD, how are they using CBD, and more. While the survey is still open and Project CBD is continuing to collect information, key findings have been published on the collected data thus far. Below, we summarize the key findings and takeaways from the survey.
Background and Preliminary Results:
The survey launched in early 2019, and by June 2019 over 3,500 participants from over 58 countries had completed it. Survey participants reported using CBD for over 200 medical conditions. The majority stated that they were using CBD for common ailments such as pain, depression, anxiety, sleep problems and hormonal conditions.
The preliminary results showed that CBD is safe and (by self-report) extremely effective in helping with pain and improving mood - regardless of underlying illness or cause of pain or mood issues. The results also showed that CBD is not quite the panacea some claim it to be, and it was not effective in assisting with weight loss for those with gastrointestinal disease, low sex drive for menopausal women, cancer-related diarrhea, or bloating related to PMS. Despite this, survey respondents reported that CBD helped them to feel better overall, likely due to its impact on mood, sleep and pain.
Who is taking CBD?
The majority of respondents were women over the age of 45 from the U.S. However, the researchers noted that this may be an over-representation of who is actually taking CBD, as women are more likely to seek treatment for health issues and even more likely to try alternative forms of treatment.
How are they taking CBD?
The majority of participants reported using CBD from hemp and generally used CBD in the form of oils, tinctures or topical creams/lotions. Less common was ingestion or smoking, which are more common methods for cannabis. Most were taking CBD multiple times a day and in multiple forms.
What are they taking CBD for?
The majority of survey participants reported using CBD for pain (most commonly reported as pain due to inflammation), to improve mood and/or sleep, and/or for general wellness. Only about 10% of respondents reported using CBD for more serious illnesses, such as epilepsy, brain injuries, and multiple sclerosis.
CBD Impact & Efficacy
The survey asked about changes in 6 different symptom areas including: pain, mood, sleep, physical function, energy/motivation, and social functioning. Participants reported improvements in all areas, but the most marked improvements were found to be for pain, mood and sleep.
Forty percent of respondents reported having one of more side effects, but the majority of those reported were mild including dry mouth, tiredness, dry or bloodshot eyes, and increased appetite. Overall, participants in the survey reported few adverse effects, even at high doses of CBD.
To read more about the survey, visit Project CBD's website here.