Despite the huge public interest in CBD products, and an endless stream of media stoking that fire, there have been limited efforts to figure out exactly how and why people are using this darling compound of the cannabis world.
In early 2019 Project CBD began collecting responses to a survey we designed to figure out who is using CBD, how and why people are using CBD, what kinds of products they are consuming, and whether or not CBD is working for them. The analysis in this report (available in its entirety below) covers an eight-month period and encompasses over 3500 responses.
The survey asked about CBD’s impact on six quality of life measurements: pain, mood, sleep, physical function, energy or motivation, and the ability to socialize. A majority of participants reported some improvement across all measures, but the most significant were in the areas of pain and mood.
Of great interest were the efficacy reports for specific conditions. The survey elicited information about 17 different conditions for which CBD is sometimes used, including:
- ADD or ADHD
- Alzheimer’s disease
- autism spectrum disorder
- brain injury (e.g. stroke, TBI, tumor)
- epilepsy and other seizure disorders
- gastrointestinal disease (e.g. Colitis, Crohn’s, IBS)
- anxiety and other mood disorders
- motion sickness
- Parkinson’s disease
- hormonal conditions (e.g. PMS, menopause)
- multiple sclerosis
- sleep problems
The survey asked what type or stage of disease the person had (e.g., type 1 or type 2 diabetes), and how they felt CBD impacted their symptoms.
This observational study validated some well-established facts about CBD – namely that it has a strong safety profile, and it is very effective at ameliorating pain and anxiety. Participants reported significant improvements in pain and mood regardless of the underlying medical condition.
That said, the study also showed that CBD is not a panacea for all that ails us. Some symptoms were decidedly less responsive to CBD products. For example, CBD was not particularly useful in helping people with gastrointestinal diseases maintain a healthy weight. Nor did it have much of an impact on PMS-related bloating, cancer-related diarrhea and constipation, or low sex drive during menopause.
Nonetheless, CBD was effective in simply making people feel better – most likely because of its positive impact on pain, mood, and sleep.
The survey also found that there were few adverse effects, which is consistent with studies showing that CBD is safe and well-tolerated even at high doses.
Care By Design, a Santa Rosa-based CBD company, provided support for this survey. Project CBD will make the survey data available to researchers. We hope the data generated by this survey can provide guidance for those seeking therapeutic relief and for those curious about where CBD research might lead.