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Study: 42% of People Who Use CBD Products Stop Taking Traditional Meds

A large survey found that nearly half of those who take cannabidiol (CBD) products stopped taking prescriptions and traditional medications.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is being used to replace traditional medications, suggest the findings of a new study. In a survey of over 2,400 cannabis users, online cannabis community HelloMD and market research firm Brightfield Group found that 42 percent of those that use CBD stop their use of other medications.

“This study is exciting because it shows there is potentially a huge barely-tapped market for CBD products that could improve the lives of many people,” said Bethany Gomez, Director of Research for Brightfield Group. “With further research and public education, CBD could be an effective alternative treatment for many people, particularly at a time when our nation is in the midst of an opioid crisis.”

According to the researchers, their study is the largest examining CBD usage and the compound’s efficacy to date. CBD is one of the primary cannabinoids found in hemp and marijuana. Unlike the other well-known major cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is non-psychoactive and doesn’t cause a high.

Of the study’s participants, 80 percent responded that they found CBD to be “very or extremely effective.” While there was a vast range of medical conditions that CBD consumers reported using cannabis for, the most common were anxiety (67 percent), insomnia (60 percent), joint pain and inflammation (52 percent), and depression (43 percent). Other conditions included muscle tension or strain, migraines or tension headaches, severe or chronic pain, and nausea.

“About 66% of CBD users indicated that CBD products are either ‘more effective’ or ‘much more effective’ in relieving their medical conditions than are over-the-counter (OTC) products,” the study read. Approximately 52 percent of consumers indicated that their CBD products were more effective than prescription medications.

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The study found that over half of respondents prefer vaping CBD oil cartridges, followed by high-CBD flower, topicals and tinctures. Among CBD consumers, 80 percent responded that they use CBD products at least once a week, while 41 percent said they use them every day. The largest group of CBD users (33 percent) was found to be between the ages of 35 and 49 years. The study also found that a slight majority (58 percent) of CBD consumers are females.

“We are seeing an exponential rise in the interest of CBD products from our patient community – particularly among women,” said Dr. Perry Solomon, Chief Medical Officer of HelloMD. “While we still have much to learn about CBD, we cannot ignore this one fact; the majority of those using CBD product today receive great benefit. This has the potential for far-reaching consequences.”

Seventy-six percent of the study’s participants said they would likely buy hemp-derived CBD products, or have used them in the past and would purchase them again.

In a patent by the National Institutes of Health, CBD is described as a potent antioxidant and as having neuroprotective properties. A research review conducted earlier this year found that CBD might be beneficial for treating opioid addiction by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

You can access the entire summary report from HelloMD and Brightfield Group’s study, “Understanding Cannabidiol,” here.

Learn more about CBD and the research done on its effects, as well as the legal status of the compound in the U.S., by visiting our education page.