Research Suggests CBD is More Than a Fad

A new analysis from Babylon Health shows CBD is one of the most-researched wellness trends on social media.

March 19, 2020


A new analysis from Babylon Health shows cannabidiol (CBD) has a high ratio of Instagram posts to academic research articles, suggesting the compound may be more than just a fad.

The London-based remote healthcare provider analyzed the disparity between the number of Instagram posts tagged with its hashtag—for example, #CleanBeauty—to the number of Google Scholar articles about the subject.

Out of ten hashtags analyzed under the “Wellness” category, #CBD was the third-most tagged on Instagram with more than 8 million posts, following behind #Mindfulness with 15.7 million posts and #Meditation with 27.6 million posts.

CBD was also the third-most researched topic on Google Scholar with 501,000 articles, compared with 524,000 for mindfulness and more than 1 million for meditation.

However, out of the 30 subjects analyzed across three categories, CBD had the highest post-to-article ratio of 16:1. 

“[Instagram] posts tagged with #CleanBeauty greatly outnumber research articles about the topic, suggesting the fad doesn't carry much weight in academia,” the website says. “In contrast, CBD's grounding as a well-researched topic is highlighted in the much more proportionate posts-to-article figure.”

Babylon’s research also revealed the top cities from which CBD was tagged. Of the top 10, six are in the U.S., while two are in South America and two are in Europe. The top 10 are:

  • Sao Paulo, Brazil (222 of every 10,000 #CBD posts.)
  • Berlin, Germany (92 of 10,000)
  • Miami, Florida (82 of 10,000)
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (79 of 10,000)
  • Los Angeles, California (78 of 10,000)
  • Austin, Texas (71 of 10,000)
  • Long Beach, California (70 of 10,000)
  • Manchester, U.K. (59 of 10,000)
  • Dallas, Texas (58 of 10,000)
  • Lisbon, Portugal (55 of 10,000)