Study: Patients Are Dumping Traditional Medicine For CBD

Women are leading the way when it comes to non-psychoactive marijuana.

CBD
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Staff/Getty Images

More than 40 percent of those who consume high-CBD forms of cannabis stopped using traditional pharmaceutical medications and now use marijuana to treat their symptoms, according to a comprehensive study released on Tuesday.


The survey was conducted by Brightfield Group, a market research firm focused on the legal cannabis industry, in partnership with HelloMD, an online healthcare platform for cannabis. According to the researchers, this is the largest study to date specifically researching CBD usage and its effectiveness for treating a variety of medical conditions including insomnia, depression, anxiety, and joint pain.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the primary cannabinoids found in cannabis. Unlike THC, the primary psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana, CBD is non-psychoactive and is known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, and anti-convulsant properties.


“We are seeing an exponential rise in the interest of CBD products from our patient community—particularly among women,” said Dr. Perry Solomon, Chief Medical Officer of HelloMD. “While we still have much to learn about CBD, we cannot ignore this one fact; the majority of those using CBD product today receive great benefit. This has the potential for far-reaching consequences.”

Key findings from the study include:

  • 42 percent of CBD users stopped using traditional medications and now use cannabis instead.
  • 80 percent of CBD users found CBD be very or extremely effective for treatment.
  • 90 percent of those surveyed said they would buy CBD-only products derived from marijuana.

“This study is exciting because it shows there is potentially a huge barely-tapped market for CBD products that could improve the lives of many people. With further research and public education, CBD could be an effective alternative treatment for many people, particularly at a time when our nation is in the midst of an opioid crisis,” said Bethany Gomez, Director of Research for Brightfield Group.


Women Are The Driving Force

One of the most interesting findings of the research is the CBD habits of women. The study found 58 percent of CBD-only users to be women. Just last year, that number was at 36 percent, according to HelloMD.

The study suggests that women are learning about CBD fast and, perhaps, are more actively seeking cannabis products that will not leave them impaired or “high” (by the psychoactive effects that THC-dominant products have).


When it comes to age, CBD users were similar to cannabis users in general, with the largest group (about 33 percent) between ages 35 and 49, and the 26-34 and 50-64 age ranges each making up 20-25 percent of the market.

Like what you see? Subscribe to our Editor's Choice Newsletter and get the best of The Fresh Toast, chosen by our Editor-In-Chief, delivered right to your inbox!