HealthDay News — Interest in cannabidiol (CBD) across the United States has increased considerably and is accelerating, according to a research letter published in JAMA Network Open.

Eric C. Leas, PhD, from University of California in San Diego, and colleagues measured Google searches that mentioned “CBD” or “cannabidiol” in the United States from Jan. 1, 2004, through April 23, 2019, as a measure of public interest. Search volumes during April 2019 were compared to search volumes for several health topics, products, or alternative medicines (e.g., acupuncture, apple cider vinegar, diet, electronic cigarettes, exercise, marijuana, meditation, vaccines, veganism, and yoga).

The researchers found that nationally, CBD searches were stable from 2004 through 2014, but then substantially increased (increase of 125.9% during 2017 versus 2016; increase of 160.4% in 2018 versus 2017). In April 2019, there were 6.4 million CBD Google searches. The increase in searches was seen in all states. By comparison, in April 2019, searches for CBD eclipsed searches for acupuncture by a factor of 7.49, apple cider vinegar by 5.17, meditation by 3.38, vaccination by 1.63, exercise by 1.59, marijuana by 1.13, and veganism by 1.12. CBD searches rival searches for yoga and electronic cigarettes, with 0.96 and 0.85 of their respective search volumes, and are searched for roughly half as much as dieting (0.51).

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“Our findings suggest that investigation into CBD should become a public health priority to catch up with the public’s interest,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

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