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Social Media Data Reveal Anxiety and Pain Ranked Highest for CBD Use

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Written by Lydia Kariuki

You’re probably tired of hearing the overused phrase “cannabidiol (CBD) products are all the rage.” But before you choose to write this off as complete hogwash, consider that CBD sales in Britain surpassed £150m in 2020 alone, indicating a 50% growth from the previous year. A similar trend has been seen in the US despite the global COVID-19 pandemic that has brought most sectors of the economy to a near standstill. It is clear that CBD is still garnering a lot of attention, which is unlikely to dissipate in the near future.

There is definitely a lot of curiosity buying across the globe. Since CBD has often been cited as a “cure-it-all” remedy, many people are experimenting with CBD for conditions that have not responded to traditional treatments. One study that was recently conducted revealed some insights on CBD use.

This study looked at reasons why people are using CBD and the CBD products that are being used the most. Researchers used two different sources, CBD subreddits and FDA submitted comments on CBD, to analyze data on CBD use behaviors.[1] They utilized a relative ranking method based on “frequency of mention” and precise questions asked, as well as trigger phrases. A language-processing method mined the data collected for the period between January 1 and April 30, 2019.

The results revealed that anxiety and pain were the top reasons why people are using CBD, which was consistent across platforms, with stress and nausea following closely behind. CBD oils and tinctures were the most popular products.[1]

Social media analyses have not been used often in scientific research. However, they present a unique new data source that allows for direct, unsolicited feedback about the potential benefit of CBD from a variety of consumers. While these data of course represent anecdotes, there is a clear opportunity to investigate the use of CBD for anxiety, pain, stress, and nausea further in clinical trials.

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Reference

  1. Tran T, Kavuluru R. Social media surveillance for perceived therapeutic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) products. Int J Drug Policy. 2020;77:102688.

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Lydia Kariuki

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