CHARLOTTE – CBD seems to be everywhere these days. It can be bought in full-service dispensaries, gas stations, tobacco stores and possibly places where people get their coffee or smoothies.
But just what is CBD, and is it good for you?
Cannabidiol is a compound derived from cannabis, a hemp plant also known as marijuana. However, unlike other compounds found in cannabis, like THC, cannabidiol is not believed to be a psychoactive compound affecting perception and behavior. In other words, you can’t get stoned on CBD.
The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill said CBD and hemp extracts are now included in federally legal products for sale, provided the concentration of THC does not exceed the limit of 0.3 percent as defined in the new law, which opened the sale of some CBD products across the country. Some of those products include pain creams, lotions, tinctures, chapstick, bath bombs and beauty products.
Proponents claim CBD helps ailments including inflammation, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, addiction and several other conditions.
Epidiolex, which is a pure plant-derived CBD, is an approved prescription medication that has been shown to treat certain types of childhood seizures. But that is about where the extensive research and clinical trials seem to end.
Charlotte physician Dr. Chasse Bailey-Dorton with Atrium Health hopes CBD can be used in the treatment of other medical conditions but said more extensive research needs to be done.
“We don’t have any evidence. We have no research,” Dr. Bailey-Dorton said. “I don’t have research that is going to hurt you. I don’t have research that is going to help you. People say that this helps them, so I don’t know what to make of it. I need to see the research. I think there is some benefit that I think we can find out that we can use. But I don’t want to go there until I know for sure.”
Until there’s more research, Dr. Bailey-Dorton said people should consult with their doctor before using CBD.
“CBD can affect liver enzymes, so that could affect another medication that you are taking,” Dr. Bailey-Dorton said. “It can affect other drugs. Some people have got rashes, so you can get side effects from it. Normally, you have a medication and you test it and bring it out. This is kind of going backwards. People are using it and they say it works and now we have to back up and figure out how to help them choose wisely.”
Dr. Bailey-Dorton is also concerned about the lack of regulation in place.
“The other problem is that the products on the market, because they are not regulated, you don’t know what you are getting,” Dr. Bailey-Dorton said. “There are three different CBD products, full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and isolate. A full spectrum product can have THC in it. You can take a full spectrum and potentially fail a drug test. Broad-spectrum doesn’t have THC but it has these other ingredients in it. But we don’t know what you are getting.”
Some of the hemp may also be coming from China.
“That makes me nervous,” Dr. Bailey-Dorton said.
But one thing is for sure: selling some food or drink products infused with CBD in North Carolina is a no-no.
Edible products are available in many businesses in the metro area but that is against state and federal law. In fact, N.C. Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Steve Troxler has been sending letters to businesses warning them it’s not allowed.