The explosion in CBD use has been highlighted by a new Gallup poll which shows 14% of the American population say they use cannabidiol products.
The report indicates last year’s federal law legalising the hemp form of cannabis as being the main driving factor behind the rise in uptake.
Younger Americans and those in the Western US are most likely to report using these products, which are widely touted for their therapeutic benefits without any psychoactive effects because they contain a low level of THC, says the survey.
Gallup’s research – conducted only last month – found that while 14% of US adults are using CBD products, 50% do not use them and 35% are not yet familiar with them.
Twenty percent of adults younger than 30 said they use CBD, but usage and familiarity decrease progressively in older age groups. Just 8% of those aged 65 and above say they use CBD, and 49% are not familiar with it.
Coincidntally, this same pattern is evident in Gallup data on marijuana usage, where younger adults reported higher use than older adults.
Regionally, 21% of those in the Western US use CBD products, compared with 13% in the South, and 11% in both the East and Midwest.
Marijuana use is legal in many Western states, and CBD products have therefore been available for a longer time to residents of those states.
While the FDA is still researching the uses and effectiveness of CBD products, marketers claim they have a wide variety of medical and therapeutic benefits. CBD users in America cite relief from pain (40%), anxiety (20%), insomnia (11%) and arthritis (8%) as the top reasons for use.
Among men and women who use CBD products, roughly four in 10 of each say they use them for pain relief; but women are more likely than men to use them for anxiety (25% vs. 14%, respectively), and men are more likely than women to use them for help in sleeping (15% vs. 8%).
The report concludes that since the 2018 Farm Act legalising the cultivation of hemp was signed into law last December, many CBD-based products have hit the market, but the large majority of Americans are not yet familiar with them or don’t use them. Those who say they use them do so primarily to treat pain, anxiety and sleeplessness.
Older Americans are less familiar with CBD products and less likely to be using them now. As the FDA begins to regulate CBD products and if they become more mainstream, older Americans may stand to benefit the most from them for the treatment of the aches and pains that come with age.