Recent Google search rates reflect a record-high amount of interest in CBD (cannabidiol), while federal policy on CBD continues to lag.
Interest in the cannabis-derived compound CBD across the United States has increased significantly and is not slowing down, a new study indicates.
Researchers from the University of California, San Diego looked at Google searches to survey public interest rates of CBD (cannabidiol).
What they found was a soaring interest in CBD by Americans starting around 2015. From 2016 to 2017, interest search rates increased by 126 percent. Then rates increased another 160 percent over the next year (2018).
Researchers are predicting the climb in CBD interest to continue in 2019, estimating a nearly 118 percent increase over 2018. Data from the final month of the research collection period, April 2019, shows Americans Google searched CBD 6.4 million times.
“Thus, our findings suggest that investigation into CBD should become a public health priority to catch up with the public’s interest,” the study’s authors wrote.
It’s not only Google providing evidence of the increased popularity of CBD. A recent report released by Hemp Industry Daily forecasts hemp-derived CBD retail sales will reach over $1 billion by the end of 2019, signifying a 133 percent increase over 2018.
To gather information and observe trends in CBD curiosity, U.C. San Diego researchers looked at Google searches that mentioned “CBD” or “cannabidiol” occurring from within the U.S. The study was based on searches from Jan. 1, 2004, through April 23, 2019. Interest in CBD was stable from 2004 to 2014.
Researchers also compared CBD search rates in April to other health topics. The health topics included acupuncture, apple cider vinegar, meditation, vaccinations, marijuana, and veganism.
“Searches for CBD during April 2019 eclipsed those for acupuncture by a factor of 7.49, apple cider vinegar by 5.17, meditation by 3.38, vaccination by 1.63, exercise by 1.59, marijuana by 1.13, and veganism by 1.12,” the study’s authors wrote.
CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabis-derived compound that naturally promotes balance and wellness through its interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system.
CBD Research and Regulations
As public interest grows for CBD, the federal government has been slow to establish CBD regulation. Bipartisan policymakers have continued to place pressure on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to release formal regulations on CBD.
Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill last December clarified the legality of hemp-derived CBD products, FDA has been tasked with providing the industry with rules and regulations around the manufacturing, marketing, labeling, and sale of hemp CBD products.
In July, FDA announced it was working to expedite the establishment of rules and regulations for CBD products. A progress report is expected by early fall, with full development and implementation of rules established within the next two years.
Policymakers have increasingly urged the federal agency to move more quickly on CBD regulations. Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have called on FDA to take action more swiftly than originally planned. In Sept., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) crafted language that would require FDA to issue temporary regulations on hemp and hemp-derived products like CBD supplements.
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