And the survey says…… Why do people use CBD?
When you think of CBD flower, what are your expectations? For those of you new to CBD, the apparent reasons behind choosing CBD products can be as wide-ranging as the number of products available. The CBD industry is clearly going from strength to strength, so what is behind this surge in popularity? Thankfully, we’re not the only ones asking these questions.
A recent Health Canada survey set out to clear a few things up. With the Canadian government leaning towards greater research into the beneficial properties of Cannabis, surveys such as this will help frame Cannabis policy, including CBD, in the coming months and years. The government says that the survey, along with independent scientific advice, is expected to “inform the next steps on a potential regulatory path forward.”
A total of 1,104 responses were gathered during the survey, held online between June and September. The overall thrust is simple- why would Canadians buy low THC products? Bearing in mind that CBD is responsible for a large portion of this particular niche, you can understand why we’re keen to know as well- read on for a breakdown.
Pain and inflammation- 85% of respondents
Studies have shown that CBD’s potential applications as an anti-inflammatory are promising, to say the least. Unsurprisingly pain management, both short-term and chronic, is the number one choice in this survey. People from all walks of life use a variety of CBD delivery methods to deal with pain, from CBD topicals for post-gym aches to high-strength CBD oils for ongoing pains.
Mental Health- 37% of respondents
This is a tricky one- the phrase ‘mental health’ is quite an expansive term and doesn’t take into account the subtle nuances of our own individual needs. That’s not to say that there isn’t progress being made in this area, however. A 2017 study on PTSD cited that CBD is worth further research, as well as increasing evidence to show CBD can benefit those of us with anxiety.
Anecdotal evidence of CBD’s anti-anxiety properties has been prevalent for decades at least, so it’s promising to see science begin to connect the dots more concretely. Many CBD users create a daily routine that is mindful of potential stressors and use various CBD products to help manage the onset of acute anxiety attacks.
Sleep Aid- 34% of respondents
CBD and its effect on sleep have long been debated, making the third place on the survey podium a fitting position. Preliminary research into cannabis and insomnia suggests that CBD may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of insomnia. Interestingly, the same study concluded that THC could impair sleep quality long-term.
CBD definitely has potential in this area, but as always further research is necessary before we start seeing CBD-based sleeping aids hit the shelves. CBD’s potential ability to simply put us in a more relaxed state could also be to thank for a more restful nights sleep, and there is every possibility that future studies will suggest using CBD to help mitigate the negative factors stopping you from sleeping, as opposed to working as a sleeping pill would.
Gastrointestinal issues- 8% of correspondents
Believe it or not, people use CBD for stomach issues as well. What’s surprising here is that one of CBD’s most well-known side effects is a poorly stomach. One particularly damning study suggested that a small percentage of users may experience negative effects, including those that are ‘gastrointestinal in nature’.
So who is to be believed? Again, it’s important to note that new research is published at a breakneck pace and that the above study referred to infrequent side-effects, not a guaranteed trip to the rest-room after every toke. Research focused specifically on the role of Cannabinoids in gastrointestinal mucosal defense stated that the “endocannabinoid system represents a promising target in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases”, with CBD’s interactions creating great interest.
Skin conditions- 6% of respondents
CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties are a definite plus again here, with many people using CBD ointments and topicals to address ongoing discomfort felt by skin conditions. Recent studies have shown promising results, stating that “the topical administration of CBD ointment, without any THC, is a safe and effective non-invasive alternative for improving the quality of life in patients with some skin disorders, especially from an inflammatory background.”
There’s also research suggesting CBD may be an effective tool in the fight against acne. While skin conditions take up a far smaller percentage of the overall answers, it’s clear from the huge range of oils, balms, bath bombs, and topicals available that CBD and skincare is something on a lot of our minds.
Specified for use in animals- 6% of respondents
To be blunt- the jury is very much still out on CBD and pets. There is no direct evidence to suggest that it would be harmful in any way, and there is a growing body of research to suggest it may be beneficial, but there is a long way to go.
Anecdotal evidence from loving pet owners is positive, and there is certainly a huge amount of interest in CBD based pet treats and remedies. CBD and pets is a debate that deserves its own article- luckily for you, we’ve already written one!
General wellbeing- 5% of respondents
Muscle recovery/relaxation- 4% of respondents
Side effects to cancer treatments- 3% of respondents
Neurological disorders- 2% of respondents
Seizures- 2% of respondents
CBD for pain, CBD for anxiety, and CBD for sleep have always been the top three reasons CBD is so well known and loved, so it’s good to see the Canadian Government receiving similar opinions. CBD is used by a wide range of people from all walks of life, and surveys such as this one are a promising sign that CBD’s future is at the very least being considered in a positive light.
Out of the 1104 respondents to the survey, 684 identified as consumers of cannabis. Ironically, this means that 420 respondents did not consume any form of cannabis regularly, but were interested in low-THC products. It has taken some time for CBD to set itself apart from its more popular sibling, and the future looks promising.