A Call to Action: New research in JAMA documents CBD’s exploding popularity, and says that studying it should be a public health priority

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Based on Google searches in the United States, interest in CBD has skyrocketed, surpassing even Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian, according to research published this week in JAMA Network.

“CBD has become insanely popular,” said study co-author Dr. John Ayers of UC San Diego. “Three years ago there was essentially no one searching about CBD online, but now there are an estimated 6.4 million unique searches each month.”

Ayers’ team found that the increase in CBD searches occurred in all states and were higher during 2019 in states that had legalized recreational marijuana than in states with medicinal marijuana or marijuana prohibitions.  

National and State Google Searches for Cannabidiol or CBD Since 2014: JAMA Network

Because health search trends are associated with a change in behaviors — CBD searches translate into CBD usage – the study is a call to action. It concludes by saying that “investigation into CBD should become a public health priority to catch up with the public’s interest.”

The paper identifies four areas for immediate investigation: (1) who uses CBD products and why (2) potential drug interactions (3) mislabeled and adulterated products, and (4) misleading marketing practices, because they erode public trust.

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