Radicle ACES includes 13 leading U.S. CBD brands.
Radicle ACES study overview
by Jeff Chen, MD, MBA
CEO & Co-founder
Radicle ACES (Advancing CBD Education & Science) is the first multi-brand, Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved study on CBD effectiveness across well-being, quality of life, pain, sleep disturbance, and anxiety. This first of its kind randomized controlled trial (RCT) will collect health outcome data on the 13 participating brands across nearly 3,000 participants throughout the U.S. over a period of four weeks.
Radicle ACES was intentionally created to be inclusive, beginning with its 100% virtual, direct-to-consumer (D2C) approach. Participants won’t have to travel to in person visits and all surveys are short—taking a total of 30-45 minutes over the four-week period. Radicle ACES doubles down on its diversity premise by capturing health outcome data from a highly heterogenous population across a variety of ethnicities, age groups, geographies, behavioral habits, and pre-existing health conditions.
How it works: Radicle ACES study nuts & bolts
Radicle ACES findings will address the top two barriers to CBD usage identified in a 2019 Nielsen study: 1) difficulty gauging effectiveness of specific products, and 2) lack of research data on health benefits. Study recruitment will begin in early August 2021, with study completion targeted for late September 2021. Participants will be randomized to receive one of the 13 brands (ensuring comparable characteristics among participants in each brand group) at the start of the study or be assigned to the control arm. Those in the control arm will not receive CBD and will continue with their life ‘as normal’, serving as a comparison to those who receive and take CBD during the study. Over the study period, participants will use validated health assessments to track their well-being, quality of life, pain, sleep disturbance, and anxiety.
Radicle ACES results
Within six weeks of completion, each participant will receive a personalized report analyzing their health journey with CBD during Radicle ACES, detailing their experience and how it compared to the other study participants. Additionally, each of the CBD brands will receive brand reports within 12 weeks of study completion, informing them how their product performed, and how it compared relative to the control group.
Radicle will send a random sample of each CBD product used in Radicle ACES to the same accredited third-party testing lab, analyzing for active ingredients such as cannabinoids and terpenes, as well as a variety of contaminants including pesticides, residual solvents, heavy metals, mycotoxins, pathogens, and foreign materials.
A Radicle ACES Benchmarking Report will be distributed to participating brands, summarizing participant usage and outcome data from their brand compared to other brands in the study (in an anonymized manner) while also providing insights on how variations in demographics and usage patterns may correlate to reported therapeutic benefits, such as changes in well-being, quality of life, pain, sleep disturbance, and anxiety, as well as any side effects.
Radicle will publish the anonymized aggregate results of the study in a peer-reviewed journal article to enable everyone from consumers and healthcare providers to businesses and regulators make better health decisions regarding CBD.
What’s next for Radicle Science
Radicle Science will continue to collaborate with high-quality, mission-driven CBD and CPG brands to collect additional RWE on effectiveness of orally ingested CBD products as well as CBD topicals over the coming months.
We support the implementation of best practices from the impact management and ESG space, and look forward to seeing continued development of socially and environmentally conscious initiatives from the thirteen high-quality, leading U.S. CBD brands participating in the study.