BY: RYAN YOUNG
From lotions to soaps, and lip balms to candies, CBD has emerged as a must have consumer product for the modern day. Claiming to have the power to relieve pain, reduce anxiety, and alleviate cancer related symptoms, this marijuana based compound was thrust into the limelight by proponents advocating for the legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana use; but it didn't start that way.
In 2018 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY., spear-headed the legalization of industrial hemp through the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in order to stimulate farming in his home state after declining tobacco demand.
“At a time when farm income is down and growers are struggling, industrial hemp is a bright spot of agriculture’s future,” McConnell said.
While hemp is currently being used to produce consumer products such as paper, plastics, textiles, and fuel, it also has led to the emergence of all things CBD.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production of CBD derived solely from hemp with provisions that it must be produced by a licensed grower and contain no more than 0.3% THC.
After the passage of the Farm Bill, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement explaining that, “the FDA requires a cannabis product (hemp-derived or otherwise) that is marketed with a claim of therapeutic benefit, or with any other disease claim, to be approved by the FDA for its intended use before it may be introduced into interstate commerce.”
Currently there is only one CBD product approved by the FDA, a prescription drug claiming to treat severe forms of Epilepsy.
The FDA statement went on to say, “it’s unlawful under the FD&C Act to introduce food containing added CBD or THC into interstate commerce, or to market CBD or THC products as, or in, dietary supplements, regardless of whether the substances are hemp-derived.”
Despite the FDA’s clear guidelines, all CBD products but one have failed to follow federal law leaving millions of consumers unaware of the substantial side effects and health risks that could arise from the utilization of unauthorized CBD products.
In a 2017 research report conducted by Dr. Marcel O. Bonn-Miller, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine found that only 30.95% of CBD products are accurately labeled. The results found that 42.85% are underlabled while 26.19% are over labeled.
Because these products failed to receive approval by the FDA before their release to the public, many consumers are being deceived with false labeling and even worse possibly consuming unknown ingredients that could include pesticides and heavy metals from bad farming practices, high levels of THC that can lead to intoxication and impairment, synthetic cannabinoids and any possible contamination including mold, bacteria, and rancidity. (Foria Wellness)
Many supporters and users of CBD cite The World Health Organization’s 2018 report to undermine these concerns. The report stated that, “there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
It is important however to note that the World Health Organization’s report dealt solely with the use of pure CBD and that reportedly only 30.95% of all CBD products are accurately labeled or considered pure.
In the same report by The World Health Organization they warn that “there are numerous CBD products including purported medicinal products, such as pills and capsules for various diseases/symptoms, and also lotions, oils, foods, drinks, shampoos, cosmetics, etc. that are being manufactured and distributed without regulatory oversight and often with unverified contents.”
Another significant issue was brought forward by the Journal of Clinical Medicine in its 2019 report. The report claims that nearly half of all CBD users have experienced adverse drug events (ADEs) and drug-drug interactions (DDIs).
“Common ADEs include transaminase elevations, sedation, sleep disturbances, infection and anemia.”
The 2019 report went on to explain that many over the counter medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen “could lead to significant side effects (e.g., bleeding) with both medical and consumer use of CBD.”
Further, the report discovered similar reactions to CBD as those found in weed such as drowsiness and sedation. The report explains that somnolence occurred in 23% and 25% of patients treated with CBD.
While many CBD products claim to help relieve stress and depression, the Journal of Clinical Medicine found that CBD should be used in caution with persons using other antidepressants, hormones, anxiolytics, respiratory agents etc.
Lastly, the 2019 report explained that infection risk among CBD consumers was 10% higher, especially viral infections such as pneumonia.
Perhaps though the most significant unforeseen consequence of CBD is the widespread condoning of marijuana use.
The Pew Research Center found that since 2008, support for the legalization of marijuana has increased roughly 35% with 67% of Americans now in favor of legalizing the drug.
Currently 33 states have legalized medical marijuana use and 11 of those states have made recreational use legal. It is important to note that all recreationally legal states originally started as proponents of medical marijuana.
Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, 14 anti-marijuana states have now legalized the sale of CBD products, leaving only 4 states in opposition to all cannabis products.
The rapid increase in support for marijuana products by state legislatures has been without the necessary experiments and studies done on the adverse effects of both CBD and widespread legalization of pot.
“The FDA has seen only limited data about CBD safety and these data point to real risks that need to be considered before taking CBD for any reason.”
Before jumping onto the culture bandwagon that is eager to legitimize marijuana as a medicinal miracle in order to validate recreational pleasure, stop and assess for yourself the serious risks and health hazards reportedly caused by the unregulated and mass produced CBD industry.