‘What you search for predicts what you’ll buy’: Google queries for CBD explode

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CBD is taking over the internet.

A new study has revealed that the number of Google searches for cannabidiol (CBD) has been on a meteoric rise over the past few years, peaking at 6.4 million in April of this year alone.

“We think of dieting as being the most popular health search term ever, and for every two searches for dieting, there’s one for CBD,” John Ayers, co-author of the study and associate professor at the University of California, told ABC News.

“What you search for predicts what you buy.”

The number of searches for the two terms jumped 160 percent between 2017 and 2018 and are expected to increase by another 118 percent for 2019.

Equally interesting is where some of the searches are coming from. The largest year-over-year spike was found in Alabama—searches rose a by a colossal 600 percent from 2017 to 2018.

It isn’t surprising that people are searching for reliable information on CBD—the popularity of the drug has exploded in the U.S. since Congress legalized hemp late last year. As companies battle for a share of the market for their gummies and capsules, the truth has often become the first casualty.

In warning letters sent to three unnamed companies, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cautioned against making health claims about CBD that aren’t supported by science.

One company cited by the FTC claimed its products “work like magic,” treating even the most intense pain more effectively than opioids. It also stated that CBD has been proven to be an effective treatment for everything from Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis to fibromyalgia and nicotine addiction.

“When people are allowed to market CBD by saying anything, is it surprising that demand for it is so high?” Ayers asked.

CBD searches beat out regular favourites veganism, exercise and vaccination, but were also surpassed by e-cigarettes and yoga.

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