Health experts have revealed that CBD products are becoming increasingly popular in the United Kingdom.
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Scientific researchers analysing search data from Google have found that CBD has exploded in popularity in the UK, and is now generating more online interest than many traditional therapies and alternative medicines.
This is a huge shift from five years ago—when it was barely a blip on Google's radar—but follows a broader trend which has seen the global CBD market rapidly increase in size.
This is also clearly reflected by data from the US, where searches for CBD have outpaced those for "acupuncture" by 749%. "Meditation" and "apple cider vinegar" have also been overtaken by 338% and 517% respectively.
The popularity of CBD has risen so much in the US that it has even "eclipsed" the search frequency for "vaccination" by 63%, "exercise" by 59%, and even "veganism" by 12%.
And data from British Google searches tells a similar story, with CBD overtaking "meditation" in popularity at the beginning of 2018, while "apple cider vinegar" and "acupuncture" were both exceeded in 2017.
"CBD has become insanely popular,"Vice Chief of Innovation at the University of California, San Diego, Dr John W. Ayers
The same study—which was co-authored by the Vice Chief of Innovation for Infectious Disease and Global Public Health at the University of California, San Diego, Dr John W. Ayers—even found that searches for information on CBD have almost caught up to those concerning "weed" or "drugs".
"Three years ago, there was essentially no one searching about CBD online, but now there are an estimated 6.4 million unique searches each month," Ayers said.
However, there molecule still has some critics, such as the Chief of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health at the University of California San Diego, Dr Davey Smith, who argues that "at this time there are no known benefits for taking CBD over-the-counter."
"CBD is this generation's snake oil, where millions are engaging with the product without evidence of any benefit."
"There are already documented cases of CBD products unknowingly containing potential poisons, because there are no government regulations that oversee the manufacturing of CBD."
"Moreover, some consumers might forgo seeing a physician or taking medications with known, tested and approved therapeutic benefits in favour of CBD and thereby become sicker or succumb to their illness," Smith said.
While many Britons still mistakenly believe that CBD is illegal in the UK—along with a host of other misconceptions about the drug—this growth in popularity is highly encouraging news.
And although data from Google shows that terms like "exercise" and "fitness" still attract the highest number of searches, CBD is quickly closing the gap.
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