Ever tried a CBD product — either an oil, tincture, gummies, lip balm, creams, patches, or sprays? If you’re intrigued by CBD, be careful.
For anyone who doesn’t know, CBD (cannabidiol) and THC are main compounds found in the marijuana plant. THC gets you high. CBD doesn’t but has some positive health benefits and is promoted as a panacea for all sorts of ailments in the raft of promotional emails I’ve been getting lately. And you can find CBD products now on shelves in drug stores and other outlets across the country.
The latest email I received — for “Miracle Gummies” — came from firstname.lastname@example.org and promised a discount for a product that offers “advanced natural pain relief,” reduced pain and chronic aches, relief from anxiety and stress, mood enhancement, and better sleep (which I could use, having stopped taking over-the-counter sleeping pills a few months ago).
But, readers, as stressful as these days are with the COVID-19 contagion, joblessness, an economy in shambles, and bitter political divisions, you should know the latest on what CBD can and cannot do so you don’t get duped.
First, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved only one CBD product, a prescription drug that treats two rare, severe forms of epilepsy.
It’s illegal to market CBD as a food additive or as a dietary supplement.
It’s illegal to market CBD products with unproven medical claims. Indeed, the Federal Trade Commission has recently announced a settlement with five-figure fines to stop six CBD marketer/producers from continuing to make unsupported and/or deceptive claims that their oils, balms, gummies, coffee, and other products could treat cancer, heart disease, hypertension, Alzheimer’s disease, and other serious ailments. The products to avoid come from Bionatrol Health, also operating as Isle Revive; Epichouse, also operating as First Class Herbalist; CBD Meds, also operating as G2 Hemp; Hempme CBD; Reef Industries; and Steves Distributing.
For instance, without scientific evidence, Bionatrol claimed its CBD products including oils, a pain-relief cream, coffee, and gummies, treat pain better than prescription medications like OxyContin and prevent and treat age-related cognitive decline and chronic pain. Epichouse promoted its CBD oils, “pain-relief” cream, coffee, and gummies as able to prevent cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and age-related cognitive decline and improve chronic pain and hypertension. CBD Meds stated that its CBD products treat artery blockage, cancer, glaucoma, autism, and schizophrenia.
In a warning issued this past spring the FDA said CBD:
• Can cause liver injury and affect how other drugs work, with potentially serious side effects.
• Can cause male reproductive toxicity or damage to male fertility.
• Can cause changes in alertness, gastrointestinal distress, and irritability and agitation.
Also, the agency said what’s unknown is: the effect of taking CBD daily for sustained periods; the intake level that triggers the above risks; the different effects of oral consumption, smoking, or vaping CBD; and the effect on the developing brain and the developing fetus.
Now you know.