Only 2% of Americans think CBD should not be available to consumers, according to a recent poll by the survey company Gallup.
However, just 39% think it should be freely sold over the counter, while a further 21% believe the oils should be available only by prescription. Another 36% were unfamiliar with CBD oils, and 1% said they had no opinion on the subject.
Among those familiar with CBD, 61% were in favor of over-the-counter availability, with 33% wanting it limited to prescription only. Interestingly, the percentage of those that wanted it banned entirely rose to 4% among respondents who said they were familiar with CBD (the remaining 2% offered no opinion).
Gallup surveyed 1076 adults aged 18 and above in the last couple weeks of May, asking about familiarity with CBD, opinions about its availability, and about its perceived health benefits.
Of those who reported at least some familiarity with CBD, 92% thought it had some form of health benefit. In total, 33% said it had a lot, 45% said it had some, 14% said it had only a few benefits, and 4% said it has no benefit; 3% gave no opinion.
The group least familiar with CBD was those aged 65 and above, of whom 49% said they were not at all familiar. All other age groups had responses of between 30% and 34% for the “not familiar at all category”.
There did not appear to be any gender or party-identification barriers to CBD awareness, Gallup said. It suggested that CBD may benefit from general US sympathy and awareness of the needs fulfilled by CBD as well as medical cannabis—though those two items are distinct.
Confidence in CBD did tend to increase with knowledge of it, Gallup added.
“64% of those who say they are very familiar with it think it has a lot of benefits, compared with 27% of those who are somewhat familiar and 21% of those not too familiar. Still, large majorities of all three groups think it has at least some benefits,” it said.
There are two general takeaways from this poll which are of immediate interest. First, US consumers familiar with CBD appear largely to believe it offers health benefits of some kind. Second, there may be support for over-the-counter availability of CBD, and slightly more restrictively, for prescription-based access.
It may also be worth noting that the majority of Americans are familiar with CBD to some degree. In the language of the poll, this ranges from “very familiar” to “not too familiar”, but it does cover the majority of Americans. A supplementary point, though, is that not many of the respondents considered themselves “very familiar” with CBD regardless of age, which one might have expected to be of more impact.
The nascent industry in North America has been gaining ground across an array of sectors. Notably, CBD has made serious headway into sports. This is despite a tangled legal situation across the states and very little access to banking for American-based CBD businesses.
Public sympathy and support for the burgeoning industry appears solid. As the tangled enforcement situation is ironed out—for example, the US Department of Agriculture has offered a legal opinion stating that states cannot interfere with interstate transport of legally produced hemp, according to the 2018 Farm Bill, and there is growing support for cannabis banking reform—the industry will be positioned to grow rapidly.
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