One in seven Americans now uses cannabidiol (CBD), according to a new Gallup Poll. But contrary to popular conception, it’s not senior citizens and baby boomers who are most into THC’s non-psychoactive yet highly therapeutic counterpart; It’s actually young people who are driving the trend. Among those aged 18-29 and those living in the Western United States, the number jumps even higher. A full one out of five Americans under thirty are now using CBD products. And out west, 21 percent of people report using CBD, according to the survey.
If You Know About CBD, You’re Probably Using It
Over the past few years, cannabidiol (CBD) products have exploded in popularity across the United States. No longer just on the shelves of health food stores or boutique cosmetic shops, CBD products have gone full mainstream. You can get CBD at the coffee shop, at the drug store and even at your favorite fast-food chains. And if you’re at all familiar with or have heard about CBD, chances are you’ve tried it. According to the Gallup survey, the group least familiar with CBD products, those aged 65 and above, were the least likely to report using them (8 percent).
Undeniably, more people are in the know every day. And that’s thanks in large part to a landmark piece of federal legislation, the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp nationwide. Hemp plants are a primary source of cannabidiol. And hemp plants’ naturally low THC helps ensure that CBD extracts remain compliant with the 0.3 percent limit on THC content in hemp.
So now that hemp is legal, CBD products are cropping up everywhere. And while the FDA is still researching the many claims to CBD’s medicinal and therapeutic effects, consumers are choosing to see for themselves.
Pain and Anxiety Are Top Reasons for Turning to CBD
At the bottom, CBD’s range of therapeutic applications stems from the way it interacts with the body to reduce inflammation. The potent anti-inflammatory effects of CBD make it well-suited for treating pain, arthritis, muscle soreness, and other physical ailments. But CBD’s calming effects also make useful for soothing tense moods and relaxing worried minds.
The results of the new Gallup survey reflect those pain-relieving and mood-balancing effects. According to the poll, 40 percent of people who use CBD say they do so to treat pain symptoms. 20 percent say they consume CBD to reduce their anxiety, and 11 percent use it to help them sleep. Eight percent said relieving joint pain caused by arthritis was their main reason for using CBD.
Beyond those popular uses, however, the Gallup poll shows that Americans are turning to CBD to treat a wide variety of conditions, from skincare to gastrointestinal issues.
Gender also seemed to play a role in people’s reasons for consuming CBD products. According to the survey, women were nine percent more likely to use CBD to treat anxiety. Men, on the other hand, were seven percent more likely than women to use CBD to treat insomnia or for help sleeping.
How Big Will CBD Get?
At 14 percent, the number of Americans who now report using CBD could soon surpass the number of people who consume THC products. More Americans could be using CBD than THC already, given how fast it’s growing in popularity and how increasingly easy it is to find products that contain CBD.
However, the survey did report that 35 percent of Americans still don’t know what CBD is. And of the remaining 65 percent who do, most of them don’t currently use CBD. But as research continues to emerge to support what caregivers and consumers are saying about CBD, and as FDA-approved products begin to appear, the rest of the U.S. might start to look a little more like the West. Analysts already expect the U.S. CBD market to break through $22 billion in the next couple of years. But there’s no telling how big cannabidiol can get.