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Anxiety and CBD study targets millions of Americans



A landmark study in the US – billed as the first of its kind – is investigating CBD’s potential as an anxiety treatment.

The Cannabinoid Anxiety Relief Education Study (C.A.R.E.S.) aims to reach millions of CBD and cannabis users across the US to assess the potential role of cannabinoids in reducing anxiety and other co-morbid conditions, such as insomnia and depression.

This large-scale research study is especially relevant given high COVID-19 driven anxiety levels nationwide and the many state and local governments which have deemed cannabis businesses “essential” and thus accessible during this time.

The study is funded by the Wholistic Research and Education Foundation and being conducted by the University of California, in partnership with UC Institute for Prediction Technology (UCIPT).

Pelin Thorogood, co-founder and president of Wholistic, says: “We’re in the midst of a massive uncontrolled human experiment, with tens of millions of Americans turning to CBD and cannabis for anxiety relief.

“Given the lack of rigorous, controlled clinical trials on CBD or cannabis efficacy for these widespread conditions, it’s critical to collect real-world data (RWD) at scale, across diverse demographics, to learn directly from the experiences of actual users.

“C.A.R.E.S. will do just that, while also establishing the foundational groundwork that will inspire and guide others to follow suit.

“We’re deeply appreciative of our generous donors and  survey-distribution partners for enabling this first-of-its kind study with UCI and UCIPT and look forward to sharing what we expect will be invaluable findings on the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids for anxiety and insomnia.”

With the goal of understanding current attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors regarding CBD and cannabis use for anxiety, insomnia, and depression, C.A.R.E.S. will collect and analyse data on types of cannabis and CBD products currently used, as well details on dose, frequency, timing of use, and delivery methods associated with therapeutic benefit.

It will also collect demographic, geographic and other data points, such as medication, dietary supplement, and alcohol use, yielding valuable insights on potential health benefits of CBD and cannabis during this unprecedented time.

Dr. Sean Young, executive director of the UCIPT and the principal investigator for the study stated, says: “One of the unique elements of this nationwide study is the use of widely accepted indices to assess the severity of anxiety and insomnia levels for each of the participants in correlation to their stated cannabinoid use.

“The large and diverse participant population will enable us to analyze differences in CBD and cannabis use patterns in relation to anxiety levels, demographics, prescription medication and supplement usage to assess how each of these factors may impact perceived health benefits for various segments.”

Dr. Young, an associate professor in the UCI Departments of Emergency Medicine and Informatics, has previously worked for NASA and Cisco, and served as an advisor to numerous companies.

The insights from this nationwide survey of tens of thousands of users will be shared broadly with the public, medical professionals and the FDA.

The UCI IRB-approved survey will be distributed to millions of CBD and cannabis users via email lists and online forums of numerous organisations.

“A 2019 Gallup poll found that 14 per cent of Americans use CBD products, citing relief from anxiety (20 per cent) and insomnia (11 per cent) as two of the top reasons for use, trailing only pain relief.

Do you have anxiety and use CBD in an effort to address it? Tell us your story and we’ll be in touch:


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