First-ever Cannabinoid Anxiety Relief Education Study (C.A.R.E.S.) will explore CBD and Cannabis Efficacy for Anxiety aggravated by COVID-19

September 23, 2020

University of California, Irvine Departments of Emergency Medicine and Informatics, in partnership with Wholistic Research and Education Foundation, introduce C.A.R.E.S., an exploratory survey reaching millions of CBD and cannabis users across the U.S. to assess the potential role of cannabinoids in reducing anxiety and insomnia and improving quality of life.

Wholistic Research and Education Foundation (Wholistic), a federally approved public non-profit (501c3) dedicated to cannabis research, education and advocacy, is sponsoring a first-of-its-kind exploratory survey on CBD and cannabis efficacy in reducing anxiety, to be conducted by University of California, Irvine (UCI), in partnership with UC Institute for Prediction Technology (UCIPT). The Cannabinoid Anxiety Relief Education Study (C.A.R.E.S.) will reach millions of CBD and cannabis users across the U.S. to assess the potential role of cannabinoids in reducing anxiety and other co-morbid conditions, such as insomnia and depression. This large-scale research study is especially relevant given high COVID-19 driven anxiety levels nationwide and the many state and local governments which have deemed cannabis businesses “essential” and thus accessible during this time.

“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 Pelin Thorogood, Co-Founder and President of Wholistic.  “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.”     

With the goal of understanding current attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors regarding CBD and cannabis use for anxiety, insomnia, and depression, C.A.R.E.S. will collect and analyze data on types of cannabis and CBD products currently used, as well details on dose, frequency, timing of use, and delivery methods associated with therapeutic benefit.  Further adding to this broad-based usage data, C.A.R.E.S will collect demographic, geographic and other data points, such as medication, dietary supplement, and alcohol use, yielding valuable insights on potential health benefits of CBD and cannabis during this unprecedented time.

Dr. Sean Young, Executive Director of the UCIPT and the principal investigator (PI) for the study stated, “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. 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.” Dr. Young, an Associate Professor in the UCI Departments of Emergency Medicine and Informatics, has previously worked for NASA and Cisco, and served as an advisor to numerous companies.  

The insights from this nationwide survey of tens of thousands of users will be shared broadly with the public, medical professionals and the FDA. 

Survey Distribution

The UCI IRB-approved survey will be distributed to millions of CBD and cannabis users via email lists and online forums of numerous Wholistic partners, including,,,, Trailblazers Presents, Aeon Botanika, OpenNest Labs, Clean Label Project and Vertosa, who will all be promoting study participation.   

“A 2019 Gallup poll found that 14% of Americans use CBD products, citing relief from anxiety (20%) and insomnia (11%) as two of the top reasons for use, trailing only pain relief. In recent months, has seen tremendous demand for CBD product trials and has distributed over 110,000 CBD product samples to its online community of +6MM subscribers in 1H 2020 alone. is excited to join forces with Wholistic, UCI, UCIPT and other distribution partners to contribute to the most comprehensive research study ever to explore CBD usage patterns for anxiety and insomnia with their growing panel of CBD users and consumers interested in trying CBD products,” said Jeremy Reid, CEO of

“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,” added Michael Kamins, Co-Founder and Partner of OpenNest Labs, and organizer of Trailblazers, the premier community of cannabis business and cultural leaders.  “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.”

For more information on C.A.R.E.S. or if you’re interested in participating in this study, please follow the Study Registration link check for eligibility.

Press release originally posted on PR Newswire.