Adult Perceptions of CBD and THC

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A September 2022 study entitled "Perceptions About THC and CBD Effects Among Adults With and Without Prior Cannabis Experience" that was published in the journal Addictive Behaviors explored the perceptions of adults to cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).


The formal objective of the study was to "evaluate the extent to which individuals hold expectancies about the effects of CBD, THC, and THC and CBD combined and whether this differs with prior cannabis experience."


"For most therapeutic effects, CBD-containing products were rated higher than THC. For most positive and negative non-therapeutic effects, THC-containing products were rated higher than CBD."

Study Conclusions

"For most therapeutic effects, CBD-containing products (CBD, THC and CBD) were rated higher than THC. For most positive and negative non-therapeutic effects, THC-containing products (THC, THC & CBD) were rated higher than CBD.


"Those with prior cannabis use (versus no prior use) rated all cannabinoids higher regarding their association with many therapeutic and positive effects while endorsing weaker expectancies about their role in some negative effects.

"Adults endorsed stronger expectancies that CBD-containing products are responsible for producing a range of therapeutic effects. Those with prior cannabis use experience tended to emphasize the benefits and minimize potential harmful effects of cannabinoids.


"This was the first study to explore expectancies with regards to the effects of common cannabinoids. Although cannabis expectancy questionnaires currently exist (e.g., MEEQ-B; Torrealday et al., 2008), they may not adequately capture the nuances of expectancy associated with different cannabis products.


"Adults endorsed stronger expectancies that CBD-containing products are responsible for producing a range of therapeutic effects."

"Our findings support the separate assessment of expectancies related to CBD, THC, and THC and CBD combined given that there were notable differences in expectancies across cannabinoids. Given the key role of substance-related expectancies in substance use behaviors/use patterns, findings highlight the importance of effectively communicating research about the effects of THC and CBD to the public, including the extent to which they can help with various symptoms and conditions.


"These findings also highlight the need to develop quality research to further elucidate the therapeutic potential of CBD, as well as to explore the effects of THC and CBD using designs that tease apart the expectancy- and pharmacologically- driven properties of these cannabinoids (i.e., balanced-placebo design)."


View the original study.


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