First study of its kind will investigate efficacy of CBD and cannabis for coronavirus-related anxiety”

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Wholistic Research and Education Foundation (Wholistic) a federally approved public non-profit organization (501c3) committed to cannabis advocacy education and research is initiating sponsorship for a survey on cannabis and CBD’s effects at minimizing anxiety.

The investigation dubbed the “Cannabinoid Anxiety Relief Education Study” (C.A.R.E.S.) will be carried out by the University of California, Irvine (UCI), in collaboration with the UC Institute for Prediction Technology (UCIPT).  

In the event that the study delivers promising results, millions of CBD and cannabis consumers across the U.S. stand to benefit from a wealth of new research into the benefits of using active plant-derived compounds to ease anxiety; alongside and other coexisting conditions, like depression and insomnia.  

Cannabinoid anxiety relief education study could benefit COVID-19 patients

The coronavirus pandemic could be a catalyst for the success of C.A.R.E.S. Why? Because the number of people enduring anxiety amid the virus outbreak is on the rise. As a direct effect of this, cannabis industry businesses across many U.S. states have enabled dispensaries to remain open; calling companies in this sector “essential business”.

“We’re in the midst of a massive uncontrolled human experiment, with tens of millions of Americans turning to CBD and cannabis for anxiety relief. Given the lack of rigorous, controlled clinical trials on CBD or cannabis efficacy for these widespread conditions, it’s critical to collect real-world data (RWD) at scale, across diverse demographics, to learn directly from the experiences of actual users.  C.A.R.E.S. will do just that, while also establishing the foundational groundwork that will inspire and guide others to follow suit,” said the Co-Founder and President of Wholistic, Pelin Thorogood. “We’re deeply appreciative of our generous donors and survey-distribution partners for enabling this first-of-its kind study with UCI and UCIPT and look forward to sharing what we expect will be invaluable findings on the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids for anxiety and insomnia.”     

The large-scale research study will focus on attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors relating to CBD and cannabis use for conditions like anxiety, depression and insomnia. In order to accomplish this, researchers will gather and assess specific data pertaining to the most commonly used types of cannabis and CBD products. 

Moreover, C.A.R.E.S will gather details on delivery methods, dosage, frequency/timing of consumption and other factors that may influence the therapeutic potential of cannabinoid formulations. To further bulk up the findings that researchers manage to glean from this cannabinoid anxiety relief education study, in addition to better understanding the participants, data regarding alcohol, dietary supplement and medication use will also be gathered.

“One of the unique elements of this nationwide study is the use of widely accepted indices to assess the severity of anxiety and insomnia levels for each of the participants in correlation to their stated cannabinoid use,” said Executive Director of the UCIPT and the principal investigator (PI) for the study, Dr. Sean Young. “The large and diverse participant population will enable us to analyze differences in CBD and cannabis use patterns in relation to anxiety levels, demographics, prescription medication and supplement usage to assess how each of these factors may impact perceived health benefits for various segments,” added Young, who also worked for Cisco and NASA before he assumed his role as the Associate Professor in the UCI Departments of Emergency Medicine and Informatics.

Millions of consumers will be able to participate in cannabinoid anxiety relief education study

IRB approval which is essential for any study to commence on human subjects was granted for this cannabinoid anxiety relief education study. Millions of CBD and cannabis consumers will receive the survey through online forums hosted by Wholistic’s partners, including Aeon Botanika,, Clean Label Project,,,, Trailblazers Presents, OpenNest Labs and Vertosa. In addition to this, C.A.R.E.S will be sent to the recipients of email lists.

“As brand and community builders in the cannabis and hemp marketplace, we’re seeing a surge in consumer interest, accelerated by epidemic proportions of anxiety driven by COVID-19. Yet,  there is virtually no data on type of formulations, dose, frequency, timing of use, and delivery methods most associated with therapeutic benefit, which are essential to increase trust and credibility in the cannabis and CBD industry,” said the Co-Founder and Partner of OpenNest Labs, Michael Kamins, who is also the organizer of Trailblazers.

“We’re delighted to support Wholistic to enable much-needed clinical evidence from multidisciplinary trials, augmented by Real-World Data collection efforts such as C.A.R.E.S., to formulate the best possible products, as well as educate consumers and policymakers with objective health outcome data,” Kamins added.

The results from this cannabinoid anxiety relief education study will be shared with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), medical professionals and the general public. You can find out more about C.A.R.E.S. and determine your eligibility for participation by checking out the Study Registration link.