1 in 7 Americans Using CBD Products

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Summer 2019 Results of CBD Poll

A new Gallup poll conducted in June and July of 2019 is shedding new light on CBD usage and popularity across the United States. According to the results, one in seven Americans is currently enjoying the benefits of using cannabidiol, also known as CBD, based products. The poll surveyed 2,543 adults living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, all of whom were aged 18 and older. We’re taking a closer look at who is using CBD products and why, and where this trend is predicted to go in the coming years.

Wait, what is CBD?

CBD products are derived from hemp plants which have been specially bred to contain less than .3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main psychoactive component in marijuana. Using various extraction methods, CBD can be taken from hemp plants and used in a variety of products ranging from beauty to food to health.

Cannabidiol (CBD) has no psychotropic effects- or to put it simply, due to its low levels of THC using CBD will not give you a “high” or have a substantial impact on your brain activity. CBD does, however, provide other therapeutic effects that many have found to be helpful.

Young Americans in the Western U.S. Are Biggest Users of CBD

The poll states that overall, 14% of Americans use CBD products. The largest age group of CBD users fell between the ages of 18 to 29. Within this age range, 20% confirmed their use of CBD products. The poll does not specify which CBD products young Americans are using the most, but typical products range from vape pens to food to lotions.

Responders were also considered according to geographic region. 21% living in the Western United States reported using CBD products. Close behind were 13% in the South, 11% in the East and 11% in the Midwest. The geographic data is most likely due to other pro-marijuana attitudes in the western United States, which helped to open the door to non-THC alternatives.

What are the main reasons people use CBD?

Enlightening results from the survey derive from the reasons that so many adults are using CBD products. 40% of adult CBD users responded they use CBD products for pain, while anxiety was the second most cited reason at 20% and insomnia rang in at third place at 11%. Other reasons cited include arthritis, migraines, stress, muscle spasms, general health, and mental health- which includes PTSD, ADHD, and neurological disorders. As we see from the results, CBD products are offering Americans with chronic pain and other disorders an alternative to addictive and dangerous opioids.

CBD’s popularity is linked directly to the effects it has had on user’s health, though the research and officials have yet to fully weigh in. CBD has been approved for specific usages, including certain types of childhood epilepsy, but the FDA is still concerned with the marketing of CBD products and is currently researching CBD to gather data and more fully understand its level of safety. As users proclaim the positive effects of CBD in managing an array of symptoms and improving quality of life, many feel annoyance at the bureaucratic tie-up in getting more CBD products on the shelves.

Who isn’t using CBD and why?

Insights from the report also display a surprisingly large amount of people unfamiliar with CBD products; in fact, 35% of U.S. adults were not even familiar with CBD products at all. Unfamiliarity with CBD usage increased with each age group, with nearly half of those aged 65 or older reporting they were not familiar with CBD products. Within the largest group of CBD users, ages 18-29, 50% do not use CBD products, while 35% were not familiar with them. Geographically, those not familiar with CBD were found mostly in the East (39%) and the South (36%).

One likely factor behind the number of older adults not using CBD may be connected to the regulations revolving around CBD marketing. The testimonials surrounding the positive effects CBD has on anxiety, appetite, arthritis, and sleep disorders exist across the internet and are plentiful. However, due to FDA regulations, CBD products cannot advertise specific effects and benefits unless they can back it up with conclusive research. Although this research has begun, and the results are promising, it is taking time for science to catch up with users of CBD, and thus misinformation and ignorance continues.

Legalization and the FDA

In late December 2018, President Donald Trump signed the Farm Bill into action which, among other things, legalized the growing of hemp within the United States. Since the late 1930s legislation surrounding the cannabis plant lumped both hemp and marijuana into one. Technically, however, hemp, by definition, has less than .3% THC making it something distinctly different. The bill in 2018 remedied that old definition and made it legal for farmers in the U.S. to begin growing and selling hemp plants.

The bill legalizes the transportation of hemp products across state lines for both commercial and other purposes and removes any restrictions on the selling or moving of hemp-based products. This has been an enormous boost for the CBD industry, which extracts CBD from the hemp plant. Experts believe that the CBD industry will hit $1 billion by the year 2020. If 14% of Americans in 2019 are using CBD products just seven months after the passing of the Farm Bill, we can expect a more significant boom in awareness and usage across age groups in the coming years.

Looking ahead

As the FDA turns its attention the CBD craze, it is expected that more regulations and guidelines regarding CBD legality will hit product producers in 2019. BDS Analytics predicts that U.S. sales of hemp-based CBD products, combined with other THC products, to make the jump from $1.9 billion in 2018 to $20 billion by 2024. Looking ahead, it is likely that with the legalization of hemp that CBD products will be more available to the public at large. With this availability will come more substantiated research and data regarding specific benefits and effects of CBD.

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