CBD has become more popular on search engines than exercise, veganism, and meditation, according to a new study from the University of California.
Researchers Eric Leas, Alicia Nobles and Theodore Caputi conducted an analysis of Google search data from January 2004 to April 2019, covering the U.S. only. They found that searches for CBD were stable and relatively low between 2004 and 2014, but they then spiked dramatically.
The researchers reported that CBD searches grew 125.9% in 2017 compared to the previous year. They then shot up by 160.4% in 2018 compared to 2017, while the forecast for 2019 is year-on-year growth of 117.7%.
The last month of data collected was April 2019, when Americans performed 6.4 million Google searches for CBD over the course of the 30 days. That saw CBD eclipse veganism by a factor of 1.12, exercise by 1.59 and meditation by 3.38.
It also received 7.49 times as many searches as acupuncture, while it eclipsed vaccination by a factor of 1.63 and apple cider vinegar by 5.17. It is also really interesting to note that it outshone marijuana by a factor of 1.13.
CBD was behind only diet, e-cigarettes and yoga in key topic searches during April 2019, showing just how popular it has become.
The researchers said CBD should become a greater public health priority in the U.S. so that evidence into its efficacy can catch up with soaring interest among the public. They want to see the effects of CBD being evaluated to a greater degree of scrutiny, although with better product safety standards and standardized marketing practices.
Another study from New York investment bank Cowen & Co. predicted that the U.S. CBD market would reach $26 billion by 2025. CBD can be derived from cannabis or hemp, which was legalized for industrial production by the passing of the Farm Bill 2018.
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