Study Shows Half of Americans Believe CBD has Medicinal Values

A new study from Gallup revealed some interesting insights surrounding CBD. // Photo Credit: Tinnakorn Jorruang/iStock/Getty Images Plus(Tinnakorn Jorruang / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

As marijuana takes the main stage in many debates over legality, the popularity of cannabidiol (CBD) oil, which is extracted from the cannabis plant, is on the rise in terms of awareness, availability, and belief in its benefits. 

Nearly four in 10 Americans think CBD oils should be legally available for adults as on over-the-counter purchase, according to a recent Gallup telephone poll. Another 21 percent think they should be available with a doctor’s prescription, and 2 percent say they should not be available at all. Only 36 percent are not familiar with the product.

Nearly two in three Americans indicated to the poll that they have some familiarity with CBD oils, including 14 percent who say they are very familiar, 33 percent who are somewhat familiar, and 17 percent who are not too familiar. Gallup found that familiarity with the product is fairly similar across societal groups, including by gender, political party affiliation, and most age categories. Generally, half of those aged 65 and over and two thirds of those under know at least something about it, meaning it is slowly but surely becoming a household product name.  


  Over the counter Only with prescription Not available Not familiar with No opinion
U.S. adults 39% 21% 2% 36% 1%
Familiar with CBD oils ^ 61% 33% 4% -- 2%


  • ^ Based on 64% of Americans who are "very," "somewhat" or "not too familiar" with CBD oils
  • Credit: Gallup, May 15-30, 2019



Among just those familiar with CBD oil, 61 percent believe it should be available over the counter, 33 percent say it should only be with a doctor’s prescription, and four percent think it should not be available. The remaining have no opinion. Currently, CBD-based products are legal in most states, with restrictions usually stating it must be sold through dispensaries or only with a physicians’ authorization. 

Similarly, most Americans feel CBD oil has myriad health benefits. CBD has a significantly lower THC content than the marijuana form of the plant, with some products containing no THC at all. Therefore, CBD oil is believed to have various medical and therapeutic benefits without the mind-altering or psychoactive properties of marijuana. 

Those familiar with CBD oils largely credit the substance with having health benefits—33 percent say they have “a lot” of health benefits, 45 percent say they have “some.” Only 14 percent say it has few, while 4 percent says it has no benefits. Of those not familiar with CBD, 50 percent say it either has either some or a lot of benefits. 


  A Lot of Benefits Some Benefits Only a Few Benefits No Health Benefits No Opinion
Total 33% 45% 14% 4% 3%
18 to 29 41% 41% 10% 5% 1%
30 to 49 35% 41% 14% 4% 6%
50 to 64 31% 51% 14% 2% 2%
65+ 24% 50% 18% 5% 2%
Familiarity with CBD          
Very Familiar 64% 29% 5% 1% *
Somewhat Familiar 27% 53% 13% 4% 3%
Not too Familiar 21% 44% 24% 5%



  • ^ Based on 64% of Americans who are "very," "somewhat" or "not too familiar" with CBD oils
  • Credit: Gallup, May 15-30, 2019


Right now, the CBD-oil arena is very active. Medical research is being conducted into its benefits. State legislation is governing its sale. Federal legislation is encouraging production. Corporate investment is growing the business. While CBD products are distinct from medical marijuana, both likely benefit from American’s sympathy for the needs they fill. A different recent Gallup poll found that supporters of broader legalization of marijuana give the medical value as one of the main reasons for their position. 

According to Forbes, retail sales for CBD products were between $600 million and $2 billion last year. This is expected to increase to $16 billion by 2025, according to New York-based investment bank Cowen & Co. More recently, BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research increased this number, saying CBD sales in the United States will surpass $20 billion by 2024. One thing is clear, the CBD business is booming and there’s no sight of it stopping. This number is sure to continue increasing as awareness and belief in the product does. To read the full report click here.


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