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CBD and Prescription Meds Go Head-to-Head in New Massive Study

A new study will explore the effectiveness of CBD as an alternative to traditionally used prescription medications.

The efficacy of cannabidiol (CBD) as an alternative to prescription drugs will be investigated in a new study by medical marijuana company HelloMD and market research firm Brightfield Group. The study will survey over 150,000 HelloMD community members on their consumption of CBD and perceptions of efficacy.

CBD is a primary compound found in cannabis plants like marijuana and hemp. Previous studies have indicated that CBD holds pain relieving, anti-inflammation, anti-epilepsy, anti-anxiety, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties. The demand for CBD continues to grow as people become increasingly aware of the cannabinoid’s natural health effects. In a recent report, the Hemp Business Journal estimated that the CBD market would surge 700 percent over four years, from $202 million in 2016 to $2.1 billion by 2020.

The HelloMD and Brightfield Group study will feature the largest patient sample size to date to examine CBD patient demographics, applications, psychographics and perceived efficacy.

“There is a 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, chief medical officer of HelloMD, in a press release. “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, meaning it doesn’t cause users to experience a high. When derived from marijuana, CBD is only available to legally obtain in states with medical marijuana laws. When derived from imported hemp, CBD is legal in all 50 U.S. states and in 40 countries.

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Brightfield Group director of research Bethany Gomez believes the survey will offer insight on the identities and purposes of those who use CBD-based products. The survey will also gather information on CBD’s efficacy for various symptoms and conditions in comparison to traditional prescription drugs like opioids.

“Given the growing market share for CBD products, it is time to understand more about the user’s experience,” said Gomez. “Who is using CBD? Are they using Hemp or whole plant or CBD only? Are these products perceived as effective in comparison with THC dominant products, prescription drugs and opioids or over-the-counter medications? This collaboration with HelloMD will move us close to answering these critical questions.”

Previous studies have found that individuals are increasingly using cannabis products as a substitute for prescription drugs. Access to legal cannabis has been linked to a significant drop in medical prescriptions. Earlier this year, researchers from the Bastyr University Research Institute found that people are opting to use cannabis instead of prescription medications for pain, anxiety and depression. A just-published market research report suggests that nationwide legalized medical cannabis would cut into the pharmaceutical industry by $4 billion annually.

The HelloMD and Brightfield Group comprehensive report summarizing the survey’s results will be available for free around mid-June. Earlier this year, HelloMD collaborated with University of California Berkeley to survey 17,000 patients on the topic of cannabis as an alternative to opiates. That study is still pending release.

Learn more about what research has so far discovered about CBD by visiting our education page.

Post by Eve Ripley

Eve is a writer specializing in cannabis education and editorials related to cannabis industry news.

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