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Most Users Report Cannabidiol Use for Treatment of Diagnosable Conditions

MONDAY, Oct. 19, 2020 -- Most users report taking cannabidiol (CBD) as a therapeutic for diagnosable health conditions, according to a case series published online Oct. 15 in JAMA Network Open.

Eric C. Leas, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the Qualcomm Institute at the University of California in San Diego, and colleagues assessed the reasons why individuals are using CBD. The analysis included treatment applications reported by 376 randomly selected CBD users in public testimonials shared on the Reddit forum r/CBD.

The researchers found that 90.0 percent of testimonials claimed that CBD treated the individual's diagnosable conditions. The most frequently cited subcategory included psychiatric conditions (e.g., autism or depression; 63.9 percent), followed by orthopedic (26.4 percent), sleep (14.6 percent), and neurological (6.9 percent) conditions. Testimonials less frequently claimed that CBD treated gastroenterological conditions (3.9 percent), as well as addiction, cardiological, dermatological, ophthalmological, oral health, and sexual health conditions (<2.0 percent each). Less than one-third of testimonials (29.5 percent) claimed any wellness benefit, with nearly all citing mental wellness (e.g., "quieting my mind").

"The findings of this case series suggest a need for regulation of factors associated with CBD being used to treat diagnosable conditions, engagement of health care professionals with patients on their potential CBD use, and implementation of public health campaigns that encourage the public to seek treatment advice from health care professionals regarding evidence-based therapies," the authors write.

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Posted: October 2020

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