CBD is the most popular alternative supplement, according new analysis from UC San Diego that shows that more Americans searched for CBD information online than any other alternative therapy.

From treating acne, mood, inflammation, and even menstrual problems,the list of conditions that CBD is used to treat seems endless.

But how much of it is true, and can we verify that CBD actually works?At the moment, there’s no way to be absolutely certain.

Most of what we know about CBD comes from recent lab studies involving mice – particularly in the case of pain, inflammation, and anxiety. Some human studies exist, but theydon’t provide long-term analysis or offer irrefutable proof of CBD’s healing effects.

One thing worth noting is that practically all the CBD studies that have been published in health journals appear to support the idea that CBD can be used effectively to manage a myriad of ailments.

Although the research by UC San Diego didn’t verify that the increase in online searches resulted in purchase, statistics on the CBD industry show tremendous growth in the past few years, with indication that it could grow even further by 2025.

Acne and opioid addiction are some of the conditions that CBD is now being used to treat, but these are not the only segments that have taken interest in cannabidiol. Pain relief seems to be accelerating the growth of CBD particularly among the elderly.

Why is CBD popular?

We should also mention that other forms of therapy such as yoga, meditation, and marijuana have also seen a spike in online searches, but not as much as CBD has. Without generalizing too much, it seems as if large sections of the population are disillusioned with pharmaceuticals especially because of the apparent risks associated with swallowing pills; and with the rise of anxiety and pain-related ailments, it’s possible a lot of people don’t trust pharmaceutical companies to provide safe, effective medicine for long-term conditions.

Another possible reasonincludes the cost of DIY therapies like CBD oil, which is lower than afull prescription of some medicines like antidepressants and NSAIDs.

There is no indication that CBD is harmful to humans, and it helps that the compound is non-psychotropic (doesn’t cause euphoria).

Is cannabis more popular now that CBD is the new snake oil?

The rise of CBD may havebegun with marijuana enthusiasts, but it quickly evolved into its own unique brand of therapy, withconsumers who don’t even use cannabis. Even though the popularity of cannabis may have led more people to learn about cannabinoids and CBD in particular, it’s likely that both CBD and cannabis have contributed to making both compounds more popular.

In fact, one could argue that CBD has helped to de-stigmatize cannabis and made it more accessible to new audiences.

Why more research is needed for CBD

The health community has been slow to invest in CBD research, although perhaps nobody expected the hemp extract to become mainstream in such a short period of time.

In a paper published in JAMANETWORKOPEN, the following needs to be done quickly to facilitate safety as more consumers take to supplementing with CBD:

  • More studies need to be focused on the epidemiology of CBD, to find out who uses cannabidiol, the reasons why they use the compound, and what could be done to improve accessibility to high-quality CBD products.
  • Health experts should look at the potential side effects of CBD, with special attention to possible drug interaction. A huge number of people taking CBD today are currently on treatment for a variety of ailments ranging from arthritis and other pain-related conditions, to mood problems and neurological disorders. Doctors need information on which drugs could cause problems when taken together with CBD.
  • There is a need to improve safety standards for the manufacturing and packaging of CBD products because of rampant mislabeling; which could easily lead to large-scale poisoning.
  • Advertising for CBD should be standardized, with clear guidelines for manufacturers and vendors to follow to avoid a scenario where false information about CBD erodes consumer confidence even in cases where the compound does offer relief.

In closing

CBD is here to stay. Unless research comes out clearly showing dangers of using the compound – which is unlikely because as part of the active compounds in marijuana, people have been taking it for a very long time without any notable side effects; they just didn’t know about CBD. For now, consumers are encouraged to do their own research before purchasing and using CBD to be sure that they’re getting cannabidiol as a pure, safe compound free of harsh farming chemicals, additives, or heavy metals.