Up until the time I learned I was pregnant earlier this year, I was a big fan of CBD—the lotions, balms, elixirs, tinctures, you name it. I have tried dozens of brands and written numerous stories about the buzzy hemp ingredient, but there is still so much more to learn about it and its potential power in the health and wellness arena. To that point, this week, a healthtech company called Radicle Science announced the launch of its ACES (Advancing CBD Education and Science) study, which is the largest and most comprehensive randomized controlled trial of its kind and will help to determine the effectiveness of popular CBD products. Hopefully this will provide some reassurance for the CBD devotees, as well as clarity for the skeptics.
According to Radicle, the study is Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved and will capture CBD effectiveness data directly from nearly 3,000 study participants. (This is a huge number of participants for a study of this nature; most clinical trials for skin-care products include less than 100 people.) During the four-week study, participants will use Radicle Science’s platform to track their consumption and the effectiveness of orally ingested CBD products from 13 brands on factors such as well-being, quality of life, pain, sleep disturbance, and anxiety.
Two of the participating brands are my personal favorites: Lord Jones and Charlotte’s Web (if you haven’t tried this body lotion, you must!). Others include ALTWELL, Columbia Care, Healer, Maven Hemp, MD FARMA, Peels, Prospect Farms, PURAURA Naturals from Enhanced Botanicals, Rae Wellness, Trokie, and Verséa Wellness.
“A rigorous scientific study of this magnitude has never before been conducted in the CBD market,” said Pelin Thorogood, cofounder and executive chair of Radicle Science in a press release. “Given the scale, the diversity of the participant population and the wide range of high-quality commercial brands included, Radicle ACES promises to deliver rich, objective health outcome data for a variety of common health conditions, with the potential to offer unprecedented guidance on CBD effectiveness based on demographic or behavioral differences.” The company hopes to use the Real World Evidence (RWE) collected from the study to help inform brands’ “scientific understanding of dosing, usage patterns, user characteristics, effectiveness across conditions, and predictors and modifiers of treatment response.”
Additionally, Radicle execs are hoping to address two key reasons why many people aren’t yet using CBD, which were revealed in a 2019 Nielsen study: difficulty gauging effectiveness of specific products, and lack of research data on health benefits. The results will be released in October, and until then, check out some of our other favorite CBD products here.
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