Consumers Are Worried About CBD Product Safety and Need More Information, Reveals Survey
Though cannabidiol (CBD) products are now more accessible than ever, that isn’t always good news.
CBD is legal BUT it isn’t regulated by the FDA, which is why the safety of CBD products has become a sticky issue. It doesn’t help that there have been several cases of CBD products being recalled or found to have contained ingredients other than what was listed on its labels.
These days, consumers are now paranoid about just how safe CBD products really are. Joy Organics, a Colorado-based CBD company, conducted a survey through YouGov and discovered that 18% of respondents reported to being “very concerned” with the safety of CBD products. Another 30% said they were “somewhat concerned,” and 26% were “not very concerned.” Meanwhile, 26% of respondents said that they were “not at all concerned.”
A significant majority of the respondents, 81% of them, actually weren’t using CBD products at the time of the survey. Only 11% of them were using CBD tinctures, 8% were vaping, and 4% were using unidentified CBD products. The main concern of 31% of the respondents were contaminants in CBD, including heavy metals and pesticides; 29% of them were worried that harmful ingredients were added, such as flavoring for the vapes, while 23% were worried about accidentally consuming synthetic CBD, and 14% actually worried that CBD was harmful to the body.
These responses were concerning; it just goes to show the importance of regulating CBD but more importantly, how badly we need to educate the public about it.
The findings reveal that “many consumers simply don’t know what they’re putting in their body, or which brands to trust,” says Darcie Moran, Joy Organics director of quality assurance. She also says that consumers can help themselves find out which are the high-quality brands in the market by studying ingredients lists, or identifying which products make curative claims.
“The bottom line is this: if a company does not test through third-party laboratories and publish the results from each batch, you cannot know what their products contain. Hemp is a known bioaccumulator, meaning it has a special ability to absorb contaminants in the soil, contaminants that may later end up in hemp-derived products,” Moran said in a statement.
A Clear Need For More Information
This survey highlights the importance of education and information.
A new analysis has also revealed that there are now more online searches for CBD compared to other types of alternative therapies. Scientists from the UC San Diego conducted an analysis of the frequency of Google searches in the United States for the terms “cannabidiol” or “CBD” from January 2004 to April 2019.
Once they had this data, they gathered search traffic information until December 2019. They found that there was an increase in searches for CBD that peaked within the last 3 years; specifically, it jumped by 125% in 2017 and 160% last year. The experts believe that it will jump up to 180% by the end of this year.
“Rather than relying on self-reports where some might not be willing to discuss CBD openly, we directly observed millions of instances of people seeking out information or even shopping for CBD online,” shares Dr. Eric Leas, lead study author.
The researchers also monitored searches for similar health topics online, as well as alternative therapies and products, to gauge the importance of their findings. “When talking to colleagues about our study, we often play a game we call ‘CBD or,” and almost every time, experts are shocked to learn that CBD is more popular or nearly as popular,” explains Alicia Nobles, the study’s co-author. “For every two internet searches for dieting in the US, we found there is one for CBD,” adds Nobles.
While this study didn’t actually delve into the purchases of CBD products, it shows that there is a significant increase in interest for CBD products, and the demand for more information is eclipsing current scientific research into its benefits. The researchers add that “investigation into CBD should become a public health priority to catch up with the public’s interest.”
The authors concluded with a four-step plan, recommended for moving forward. “Studies should focus on the epidemiology of CBD use, characterizing who uses CBD products and for what purposes,” they add.