Pubdate: Wed, 02 Aug 2017
Source: Forbes Magazine (US)
Copyright: 2017 Forbes Inc.
Author: Debra Borchardt



The largest survey on cannabidiol or CBD usage to date found that
women were more likely than men to use CBD and once they started using
it, were likely to drop their traditional medicine. A new survey from
Brightfield Group and HelloMD covered 2,400 of HelloMDa€™s community
of 150,000 members and did a deep dive into the usage of CBD products
and their effectiveness. HelloMD is an online community that brings
together doctors and cannabis patients.

Cannabidiol is one of the two cannabinoids found in marijuana. It is
the non-psychoactive part of the plant and doesna€™t give users the
feeling that they are high or stoned. Instead, it is known to have
medicinal qualities. Contrary to the image of men being the
predominant consumers of cannabis, this survey found that 55% of the
CBD users were women, while men preferred the THC-dominant products.
Brightfield Group, which helped conduct the survey, studies
consumption patterns and demand trends and is committed to providing
accurate data in the cannabis industry which seems to be rife with
unsupported claims.

The most common reasons people used CBD were to treat insomnia,
depression, anxiety and joint pain, according to Dr. Perry Solomon,
the Chief Medical Officer of HelloMD. Forty-two percent of the CBD
users said they had stopped using traditional medications like Tylenol
pain relievers or prescription drugs like Vicodin and had switched to
using cannabis instead. Eighty percent said that they found the
products to be a€œvery or extremely effective.a€ Only 3% or less
found the product to be either ineffectual or only slightly effective.

One of the areas that the CBD producers will have to work on is
educating the consumer about CBD products. There are more than 850
brands of marijuana-derived CBD products on the market and 150
hemp-derived products. (Marijuana and hemp are the two variations of
the cannabis plant.) Eight percent of the consumers surveyed admitted
they didna€™t know which CBD product they had used.

Adding to the confusion is the murky legal status of CBD. Technically,
the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) labels all CBD products as
illegal. However, hemp-derived CBD is available in just about every
state and even online through Amazon. Marijuana-derived CBD tends to
only be found in states with legal medicinal marijuana. a€œThis
confusion is actually helping the producers of these products as
consumers are turning to reliable and trusted brands,a€ said Dr.
Solomon. Care by Design is one of the top marijuana-derived brands in
the California market, followed closely by Bloom Farms, a leader in
the cartridge oil market for vape pens. Kiva Confections is the third
favorite choice in the chocolate market. The survey found that these
three brands dominated leaving the rest of the market very fragmented.
One of the complaints from the CBD users in the survey was that
marijuana-derived CBD products were more expensive than hemp-derived

When it came to hemp-derived CBD products, that market was led by
Charlottea€™s Web by the Stanley Brothers, which gained fame from the
CNN reporter Sanjay Gupta. It was followed by Plus CBD oil and
Marya€™s Nutritionals. The complaint from the hemp-derived users was
that it was less effective than the marijuana-derived CBD and that
might explain why 90% said they would only buy marijuana-derived CBD.
All users preferred vaping for consumption followed by traditional
marijuana buds or flower with edibles as the third preference. They
also spent between $20 and $80 a month on CBD products.

Dr. Solomon noted that patients using vapes feel the effects of the
CBD faster than if they use an edible. If they are looking for relief,
they want it quickly. However, in the case of insomnia he said a vape
method of consumption works best if you have trouble falling asleep,
but if you have trouble staying asleep than an edible is the better
choice. a€œThis landmark survey, in terms of its size and depth, shows
the tremendous value that these products have for patients," Dr.
Solomon said. "Hopefully, access for products such as these will help
patients all across the country who cannot obtain medication that
contains THC.
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