According to recent data, interest in CBD products on Google rose a whopping 125 percent during 2017, followed by a 160-percent rise in 2018 and are forecast to rise by 180 percent this year.
CBD (cannabidiol) seems to be everywhere today — in oil form, of course, but also cookies and even CBD-infused massages.
Researchers say that some 6.4 million Americans Google CBD oil on a regular basis, which is equal to or surpasses interest in every other health products or interests.
“CBD has become insanely popular,” said study co-author Dr. John Ayers, vice chief of innovation in the Division of Infectious Disease and Global Public Health at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).
“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,” Ayers said in a university news release.
But this boom in interest is concerning to health experts, UPI warns.
Why? Because a number of vendors claim, and buyers concur, that CBD is a “cure-all” oil/chemical that can treat several conditions.
Claims touting CBD say it is an effective treatment for acne, anxiety, opioid addition, menstrual problems, pain, and other ailments.
However, for now these claims are pretty much pure speculation. As such, this year the U.S. Food and Drug Administration opened a public hearing on the issue.
During a congressional hearing in May, FDA Acting Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless said “critical questions remain about the safety” of the products, CNN reported.
“While we have seen an explosion of interest in products containing CBD, there is still much that we don’t know,” he said.
Experts say they are concerned by the spike in interest.
“You have a flood of CBD products that are coming from hemp that are going out onto the market, and you’ve got all sorts of claims being made about those from people who are trying to sell them,” Timothy Welty, chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences at Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Des Moines, Iowa, said earlier this year.
The FDA has only approved one CBD product thus far: Epidiolex, which is said to control symptoms of a rare form of epilepsy.
A review of available evidence regarding the effectiveness of CBD products, published in August in the Mayo Clinic’s journal, found little actual evidence to back up claims about the product.
“There are many intriguing findings in preclinical studies that suggest CBD and hemp oil have anti-inflammatory effects and may be helpful with improving sleep and anxiety,” said that study’s author, Dr. Brent Bauer, director of research for the Mayo Clinic Integrative Medicine program. “But trials in humans are still limited, so it is too early to be definitive about efficacy and safety.”
Hopefully, trials and research will continue because if CBD is the magical oil or if its a dude, we should know.