NOV 22, 2020 6:25 PM PST

Public Believes CBD is Cure-All Despite Lack of Evidence

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Many people think that cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, can reduce symptoms from various conditions, from chronic pain to anxiety and cancer. Although some early studies have provided promising results so far, there is still insufficient evidence to prove its efficacy against the vast majority of these conditions. This lack of scientific backing, however, hasn't stopped its widespread adoption. 

In a new study, researchers assessed claimed treatment applications for CBD in public testimonials shared on the Reddit form r/CBD. In total, they analyzed 376 posts between January 1st, 2014, and August 31st, 2019. To find them, they drew a random sample from 3000 posts and filtered them to only include posts which identified the reasons why users take the cannabinoid. 

In the end, the researchers found that 90% of testimonials claimed that they used CBD to treat diagnosable conditions. Psychiatric conditions such as autism and depression were the most commonly cited (mentioned in 64% of testimonials), followed by orthopedic issues, sleep disorders, and neurological conditions. Testimonials also claimed the compound was able to treat addiction, gastroenterological conditions, cardiological, dermatological, ophthalmological, oral health, and sexual health conditions too. 

While their sample is small and may not reflect the views of the wider population, the researchers say that their findings suggest a need to regulate factors linked to CBD being used to treat diagnosable conditions. In particular, they mentioned engaging with healthcare professionals on the usage of CBD and the implementation of public health campaigns. In doing so, they hope to inform patients about the lack of clear evidence showing these treatments work and the necessity to consult medical professionals for evidence-based alternatives. 

"CBD is this generation's snake oil," says Eric Leas, lead author of the paper, "as millions believing to have discovered a new medical breakthrough are actually taking a product without evidence of a benefit."

 

Sources: EurekAlertJAMA Network

About the Author
  • Science writer with keen interests in technology and behavioral biology. Her current focus is on the interplay between these fields to create meaningful interactions, applications and environments.
You May Also Like
SEP 09, 2020
Health & Medicine
Cannabis Legalization Not Linked With Pedestrian Deaths
SEP 09, 2020
Cannabis Legalization Not Linked With Pedestrian Deaths
Changes in cannabis legalization status haven’t caused an uptick in pedestrians being killed by cars, a study has ...
OCT 01, 2020
Health & Medicine
Menopausal Women Find Relief in Cannabis
OCT 01, 2020
Menopausal Women Find Relief in Cannabis
A growing number of women may be using cannabis for managing menopause symptoms, evidence from  the Midlife Women V ...
OCT 06, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Use May Reduce Cancer Risk by 10%
OCT 06, 2020
Cannabis Use May Reduce Cancer Risk by 10%
A recent meta-analysis of 34 studies found that cannabis use may decrease one’s risk of developing certain kinds o ...
OCT 09, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Older Adults Use Cannabis for Common Health Problems
OCT 09, 2020
Older Adults Use Cannabis for Common Health Problems
Researchers from the University of California San Diego have found that older adults tend to use cannabis for medical pu ...
OCT 21, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Exercise Reverses Learning Impairments from Cannabinoid Issues
OCT 21, 2020
Exercise Reverses Learning Impairments from Cannabinoid Issues
While cannabinoids usually get attention for their recreational effects, these molecules play a role in several other pr ...
DEC 23, 2020
Health & Medicine
Holiday Cheer: Americans Swap Alcohol for Cannabis this Christmas
DEC 23, 2020
Holiday Cheer: Americans Swap Alcohol for Cannabis this Christmas
Cannabis users polled by Glasshouse Group — a California-based cannabis and hemp company, which runs several dispe ...
Loading Comments...