CBD is now 'insanely popular' in the US and UK, health experts reveal – Metro.co.uk
The cannabis extract CBD has become ‘insanely popular’ and is generating more online interest than many traditional health products and alternative therapies, health experts have revealed.
Scientists analysed Google search data and found the number of people looking for more information on the legal, non-psychoactive substance.has skyrocketed over the past year.
Just five years ago, barely anyone was Googling the term CBD.
But in the US, the number of searches for CBD or cannabidiol have ‘eclipsed’ those for acupuncture by 749%, apple cider vinegar by 517%, meditation by 338%, vaccination by 63%, exercise by 59%, marijuana by 13%, and veganism by 12 %.
We examined British data from Google Trends to find a similar pattern, with CBD overtaking ‘meditation’ at the beginning of 2018, ‘apple cider vinegar’ in 2017 and ‘acupuncture’ the same year.
We’re glad to report Britons are still more likely to look for ‘exercise’ or ‘fitness’, but the gap is closing fast as more and more people looking for info about the cannabis derivative.
Searches for CBD are even catching up to queries about ‘weed’ and even ‘drugs’ here in the UK.
‘CBD has become insanely popular,’ said study co-author Dr. John W. Ayers, vice chief of innovation in the division of infectious disease and global public health at University of California San Diego.
‘Three years ago, there was essentially no one searching about CBD online, but now there are an estimated 6.4 million unique searches each month.’
CBD is often touted as a ‘cure-all’ which can treat acne, anxiety, opioid addiction, pain, and menstrual problems. It can bought as droplets, massage oils, gummies, or even CBD ice cream.
But scientists fear the health benefits are unproven.
‘At this time there are no known benefits for taking CBD over-the-counter,’ said Dr Davey Smith, a physician and Chief of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health at the University of California San Diego. “CBD is this generation’s snake oil, where millions are engaging with the product without evidence of any benefit.’
He said some CBD products might even contain harmful substances due to poor regulation.
‘There are already documented cases of CBD products unknowingly containing potential poisons, because there are no government regulations that oversee the manufacturing of CBD,’ he continued.
‘Moreover, some consumers might forgo seeing a physician or taking medications with known, tested and approved therapeutic benefits in favour of CBD and thereby become sicker or succumb to their illness.’
What is CBD oil?
Cannabidiol – CBD for short – is one of the most common compounds found in cannabis and hemp leaves
It works by binding to cell receptors in the body that effect everyday functions such as sleep and appetite, as well as pain and mood regulation
CBD has been used to treat epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and chronic pain
It is taken as oil that you drip under the tongue, but can also be consumed as gummies, or inhaled using a vape
It is not psychoactive, unlike the cannabis compound Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), so CBD does not produce the “high” associated with cannabis
CBD is legal to buy in the UK, but legal restrictions mean it is sold online as a food supplement, rather than a medicine
Research is ongoing, but more investment into clinical trials is needed to explore CBD’s full potential as a medicine.
Initial trials suggest CBD may be useful in helping people stop smoking, and even lessen withdrawal symptoms from painkiller addictions
CBD is used by sportsmen because of the effect it has on pain, inflammation and recovery
CBD is also being trialled for its use as a potential anti-cancer agent.
To get a sense of the cannabis derivative’s popularity in the UK, we spoke to Serge Davies, CEO of Green Monkey, the first carbonated CBD drink in Europe.
Earlier this year, the company said demand soared by more than 8,000% amid fears CBD would be banned.
He said: ‘Demand has soared, especially in the more accessible and user-friendly CBD products such as consumables as people have seen CBD in the news and want to take their first step towards trying it. ‘
Yes the industry is unregulated at the moment but we are trying to help self regulate the industry and help shape the future of how CBD is thought of, produced, consumed and marketed.’
He said it was highly unlikely that poisons would be found in CBD products and said his own firm’s drinks are tested rigorously to make sure they don’t contain THC – the active chemical in weed which gets you high.
Green Monkey recently signed a deal with Birmingham City which made it the first football team to be sponsored by a CBD firm.
‘We work closely with the relevant authorities and are trying to help guide how and what regulation needs to be in place,’ he continued,
‘There have been some scare stories about what some of rival CBD companies may contain but there is a Low danger of poisons in products but dosages are often not correct, there are a lot of companies underdosing in the industry and the testing process for some people may not be as thorough as it possibly could be.’
‘At Green Monkey we have had all of our products tested thoroughly across a multitude of laboratories and we know exactly what is in our products. That’s part of the ideas for regulation that we hope will help shape policy in the future and we hope to announce something soon that will really give them industry a shake up and identify companies that aren’t interested in the long term fate of the market”.
This article originally appeared here in https://metro.co.uk/2019/10/25/cbd-now-insanely-popular-us-uk-health-experts-reveal-10977714/