The sample size included 1166 CBD users. Almost all lived in France (98%). The sample was predominantly male (70%), with a median age of 36 (interquartile range 28–44) years (Table 1). The four most-cited primary reasons to use CBD were “for my well-being” (27%), “to heal my disease or reduce associated symptoms” (25%), “to reduce the use of tobacco or other substances” (12%), and “because I had difficulties obtaining regular (i.e., illicit) cannabis” (9%).
In the sub-population which answered well-being (n = 311), the effects of CBD most expected by respondents were diminished stress (63% of that group), followed by improved sleep (60%), reduced anxiety/depression (43%), reduced pain or inflammation (41%), increased concentration (16%), and headache relief (16%). Over half the study sample (56%) had first used CBD more than a year prior to the survey, and half (50%) had used it at least 20 of the previous 30 days (Table 2). The most common purchase locations were on the Internet (66%) and in specialized shops (20%). The most common modes of use were smoking CBD-rich cannabis (61%) and ingesting CBD oil sublingually (19%).
In the multivariable analysis performed on the whole sample (Table 1), in terms of tobacco cigarette smoking patterns and the likelihood of reporting well-being as the primary reason to use CBD, smokers were 27% less likely to report it (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.73 [0.55–0.97], p = 0.031) than non-smokers, while e-cigarette users were 97% more likely to report it (1.97 [1.2–3.24], p = 0.007). Moreover, individuals who smoked illegal cannabis in the previous 30 days (0.73 [0.56–0.95], p = 0.021) and those who were actively employed (0.73 [0.54–0.99], p = 0.043) were less likely to report well-being as the primary reason. Neither gender nor age was associated with this outcome.
Among those who reported well-being as their primary reason to use CBD, improved sleep was more frequently reported by individuals with lower self-reported income levels and those who were overweight, while individuals who did not use illegal cannabis and those with lower self-reported income levels were more likely to report reduced anxiety/depression as a specific expected effect of using CBD. Alcohol abstinence, illegal cannabis use, and a higher educational level (> secondary school diploma) were all associated with the desire for increased concentration. Finally, younger people and those who did not smoke tobacco cigarettes were more likely to use CBD for headache relief (Table 1). No characteristic was associated with the following specific reasons to use CBD: diminished stress, fewer cutaneous problems, increased energy, and pain or inflammation relief.