Stress, anxiety, and quality of sleep. Those are among the most common reasons individuals turn to CBD, according to a new study published last month.
The study, based on survey data and published in the Journal of Cannabis Research, showed “that CBD users take the drug to manage self-perceived anxiety, stress, sleep, and other symptoms, often in low doses, and these patterns vary by demographic characteristics.”
The authors noted that additional “research is required to understand how low doses, representative of the general user, might impact mental health symptoms like stress, anxiety, and sleep problems.”
“CBD is used for a wide range of physical and mental health symptoms and improved general health and well-being,” they wrote. “A majority of the sample surveyed in this study found that CBD helped their symptoms, and they often used doses below 50 mg. Out of the four most common symptoms, three were related to mental health. Self-perceived stress, anxiety, and sleep problems constitute some of society’s biggest health problems, but we lack adequate treatment options. Further research is needed into whether CBD can efficiently and safely help treat these symptoms.”
The authors said that research “into the effects of low-dose CBD on outcomes like stress, anxiety, and sleep problems have been scarce,” and so they “conducted an online survey of CBD users to better understand patterns of use, dose, and self-perceived effects of CBD.”
The survey sample consisted of 387 “current or past-CBD users who answered a 20-question online survey.”
About 61 percent of the individuals were female, and 72 percent were between 25 and 54 years old. The vast majority of the respondents—77 percent—were based in the United Kingdom.
The Rapid Spread of CBD Usage
CBD use has exploded in recent years, with an increasing number of hemp-derived products showing up on shelves in drug and convenience stores. As the survey data indicated, many individuals have found positive results from CBD in their pursuit of relief from sleep deprivation and anxiety.
And for many who find THC to be a bit too much, CBD is widely seen as a more chill alternative with fewer undesirable or disruptive effects. In fact, a study published late last year found that there is no evidence that CBD alone can impair driving.
“With rapidly changing attitudes towards medical and non-medical use of cannabis, driving under the influence of cannabis is emerging as an important and somewhat controversial public health issue,” said Iain McGregor of the University of Sydney, who was involved in the study. “While some previous studies have looked at the effects of cannabis on driving, most have focused on smoked cannabis containing only THC (not CBD) and have not precisely quantified the duration of impairment.”
CBD is also increasingly recognized as a safer alternative to opioids, prompting some organizations to reassess their drug policies. Last month, the NFL said it was working with its players union on how both THC and CBD could serve as an effective alternative to prescription painkillers for its players. The league said it was “working to improve player health through evidence-based treatment of acute and chronic pain, and to facilitate research to better understand and improve potential alternative treatments.”