The popularity of cannabidiol (CBD) has increased dramatically due to medical perceptions of CBD as a “cure-all”, with over 1,000 products available. Limited research examines how consumers find and decide to purchase CBD for medical purposes. First, to understand motivations for CBD medical use, 164 GoFundMe.com campaigns incorporating CBD for a medical condition are thematically examined. Second, to understand how CBD is presented to potential consumers, 2,165 CBD products on Canadian websites are analyzed. The resulting findings suggest that among crowdfunders, CBD is identified as a treatment through self-directed research, a recommendation by a trusted care provider, or experiential insights from someone associated with or influencing the personal network. Product descriptions frame CBD as a treatment or cure for specific ailments, a natural health product, or a product used in specific ways to achieve particular results. These findings suggest the need for systematic auditing of CBD products for regulatory adherence.
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Thesis advisor: Snyder, Jeremy
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