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The market value of cannabidiol (CBD) is growing as people seek holistic ways of managing their health. The aim of this study was to explore the public’s perceptions and use of CBD products, including where products were sourced, knowledge transfer and opinions on quality, safety and efficacy of CBD products. An online questionnaire was distributed via social and professional networks, in addition to face-to-face data collection days, which employed convenience and snowball sampling methods. A total of 597 participant responses were analysed, of which 10.9% (n = 65) claimed to use CBD products for a range of ailments, including anxiety and pain. CBD products were bought from healthcare stores, vape stores, pharmacies and online. Of those who did not personally use CBD (n = 532), 35% claimed they would like to try it. A positive attitude towards the safety and efficacy of CBD was attributed to CBD being a natural product. The study highlighted that the public continue to seek natural alternatives to supplement and maintain their health; hence, the popularity of CBD continues to rise. The lack of clinical evidence and regulation of CBD needs to be addressed to facilitate safe and effective use of CBD.

Keywords: cannabidiol; cannabis; ethnopharmacology; mental health; pain; wellbeing.

Over the past several years, FDA has issued several warning letters to firms that market unapproved new drugs that allegedly contain cannabidiol (CBD). As part of these actions, FDA has tested the chemical content of cannabinoid compounds in some of the products, and many were found to not contain the levels of CBD they claimed to contain. It is important to note that these products are not approved by FDA for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease. Consumers should beware purchasing and using any such products.