Researchers are set to investigate whether cannabidiol (CBD) products can serve as effective alternatives to prescription medications. CBD is an all-natural compound, derived from plants like hemp, that has shown in studies to possess pain relieving, anti-seizure, neuroprotective, anti-anxiety, and anti-inflammatory properties.
The study will survey over 150,000 medical cannabinoid community members on their CBD consumption behaviors and perceptions of efficacy. Featuring the largest patient sample size to date, investigators expect the research to offer insight on the demographics, psychographics, perceived efficacy and medical purposes of those who use CBD-based products. It will also gather information on CBD’s efficacy for various symptoms and conditions in comparison to traditional prescription drugs.
According to The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, there were over 4 billion prescription drugs filled at pharmacies in the U.S. in 2016. Prescription drug abuse is on the rise nationally, according to WebMD, with roughly 6.3 million Americans using drugs for nonmedical reasons. CBD could be a safer and just as effective way to manage pain, reduce seizures, and manage anxiety.
CBD and its therapeutic effects have been a main focus to researchers over recent years. Just in the past couple of months, studies have found CBD to reduce seizures in children with severe epilepsy, inhibit and kill cervical cancer cells, and soothe skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
“There is skepticism towards many of today’s CBD products, and a confusion over how to identify which of them actually do anything at all,” said Dr. Perry Solomon, a chief medical officer at the medical cannabinoid company sponsoring the study. “This survey offers an opportunity to establish some baselines around perceptions, concerns, and successes from which we can build on going forward.”
CBD is non-psychoactive, so it doesn’t cause users to experience a high. When the compound is derived from imported hemp, CBD is legal in all 50 U.S. states and in 40 countries, without the need for a prescription or doctor’s recommendation.
The comprehensive report summarizing the study’s results will be published sometime this month.