New data show Americans are turning to CBD as a cure-all for the modern condition

IMAGE: QUARTZ/BÁRBARA ABBÊS

By Dan Kopft & Jenni Avins | Quartz

Americans are anxious. We’re suffering from economic anxietypolitical anxietysocial media overloadneuroexistentialism, and plain old FOMO. And in CBD, many hope to find a cure for this modern condition.

That little three-letter acronym—which stands for cannabidiol, one of the many chemical compounds called “cannabinoids” that naturally occur in cannabis plants—wasn’t familiar to many Americans several years ago. But in 2016, CBD became more widely searched on Google than THC—the cannabinoid most famous for getting users high. And it’s been climbing ever since.

In a recent survey conducted with the Harris Poll, Quartz asked over 2,000 Americans about their use and perceptions of CBD. The results show that the vast majority of people in the US are aware of the cannabis-derived compound: some 86% of survey takers had heard of CBD. Still, fewer than 20% have tried it, and only 7% say they use it regularly.

 

If you or someone you know hasn’t already tried CBD, whether by rubbing a balm into aching joints, dropping a sublingual tincture before bedtime, popping a gummy, or vaping from a device stocked with CBD oil, it’s likely you’ve been exposed to marketing for it. The San Francisco-based cannabis delivery platform Eaze called CBD “the breakout star of 2018,” citing that the number of costumers buying CBD products doubled from the previous year, and some analysts have predicted the US market for hemp-derived CBD could reach $22 billion by 2022.

And while it certainly feels like everyone is using the stuff, and data from cannabis analysts and companies suggest as much, we are just beginning to understand how everyday Americans—perhaps those who don’t live in places where “magical CBD lattes” are prevalent—are interacting with CBD.

Read the full story at Quartz.