A mother uses CBD to treat her son’s seizures. A veteran hopes it will help her wean off opioids. A dietitian says it helps her sleep through the night. Even a pet owner uses it to calm his anxious Saint Bernard. These are just some of the estimated 64 million Americans who have tried CBD, or cannabidiol, in the past 24 months, according to a January 2019 nationally representative Consumer Reports survey of more than 4,000 Americans.
The survey found that more than a quarter of people in the U.S. say they’ve tried CBD—a compound in marijuana and hemp that doesn’t get you “high”—for a slew of mental and physical reasons. One out of 7 of those people said they use it every day.
Americans of all ages are using it, too. It’s most popular among people in their 20s, with 40 percent of them saying they have tried CBD. But so have 15 percent of people 60 and older. And our survey respondents also said it helped. Most of those who tried CBD reported that it was effective, especially among those who used it for anxiety. In some cases, they said CBD allowed them to eliminate over-the-counter or prescription drugs, including opioids.
We’re Not Loyal to Brands. We’re Loyal to You. Ratings & reviews on over 8,000 products. Become a Member Sold in pill form, oils, tinctures, topical lotions, and even in bottled water, coffee, beer, and cosmetics, CBD is already in hundreds of products on the market. And that could soon rise sharply, in part because of recent changes in federal law that allow U.S. farmers to legally grow hemp, according to the Brightfield Group, a market research firm specializing in cannabis. The company expects the CBD market from hemp alone to grow to $22 billion by 2022, up from $327 million in 2017.
More on Cannabis & CBD What Is CBD? What to Know Now About This Cannabis Product How to Shop Safely for CBD 6 Tips for Safe CBD Use Cannabis & CBD Guide At the same time, more states are legalizing marijuana itself for medical use and, increasingly, for adult recreational use. More than a quarter of Americans now live in the 10 states, plus Washington, D.C., where recreational use is legal, including California, Colorado, and Massachusetts. And others, including New Jersey and New York, could be joining the list soon.
More than three-quarters of U.S. adults favor legalizing the medical use of marijuana, according to a separate nationally representative 2018 CR survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults, and half support legalizing recreational use.
While more Americans may be using CBD and marijuana, the laws and regulations governing both remain confusing and inconsistent.
For example, although marijuana is now legal to one extent or another in 33 states, it remains illegal federally. And despite the loosening of rules governing the growing of hemp, some cities and states have recently cracked down on food that contains CBD, calling it an unapproved food additive.
Meanwhile, some scientists, doctors, and public health officials question what’s really known about the benefits—and risks—of CBD by itself, and of marijuana, too. In fact, the growing interest in marijuana has renewed concerns about its safety, ranging from impaired driving to mental health problems.
If you decide to try cannabis, here’s what to know about its potential health benefits and risks, as well as how to stay safe and avoid potentially dangerous products.