For Hester Burkhalter of North Carolina, a long-awaited family vacation to Orlando’s Disney World in April was a dream come true. That is, until a checkpoint security officer opened Burkhalter’s purse outside the Magic Kingdom gates and discovered a one-ounce vial of peppermint-flavored CBD oil tincture, recommended by her doctor.
“I have really bad arthritis in my legs, in my arms and in my shoulder,” the lady told Fox 35 Orlando. “It’s for the pain because it helps.”
A quick narcotics test revealed that Burkhalter’s solution tested positive for THC, the ingredient in marijuana that gives its users a high .
The 69-year-old, who had never received as much as a speeding ticket in her life, was held in a cell in the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for 12 hours before being released on $2,000 bail.
The charges were later dropped, but Burkhalter’s long-anticipated family vacation plans lay in ruins. She plans to sue.
Exactly what is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound which comes from hemp, a strain of the cannabis sativa plant.
It’s closely related to THC, the compound that creates a high, but CBD, which contains less than 0.3% THC, doesn’t make a person stoned or intoxicated; it’s being hailed as a potential pain-relief breakthrough.
What else is CBD said to do?
It is often touted as an aid for arthritis pain, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, depression, and fibromyalgia. Some claim CBD can alleviate cancer-related symptoms by reducing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, treat acne, and aid sufferers of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.
It may also benefit heart health by lowering blood pressure and, somewhat ironically, modify circuits in the brain related to drug addiction.
Preliminary research suggests that, while CBD may indeed make life better for some users, most claims are gleaned from studies done on rats, mice or in test tubes; little research has been done involving humans.
Only drugs declared safe and effective by the FDA are allowed to make statements that certain products prevent or treat diseases or medical conditions.
Is CBD oil legal here?
The current laws are ambiguous. Last year, President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp. As of this printing, it is legal on the federal level but technically illegal in Florida.
A Florida bill to remove it from the lists of controlled substances, and allow licensed growers to farm it, is expected to go into effect July 1.
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil,
product that comes
from hemp, is
being touted as
a cure-all for
arthritis to depression.
But is it safe? and legal?
Is it safe and effective?
There’s little or no regulation when it comes to how CBD oil manufacturers create their products or how they label them, and this rankles Marcel Bonn-Miller, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
“It really is the Wild West,” he grumbled. “Joe Bob who starts up a CBD company could say whatever the hell he wants on a label and sell it to people.”
A 2017 study led by Bonn-Miller revealed that nearly seven of ten CBD products didn’t contain the amount of marijuana extract listed on the label; nearly 43 percent of the products contained too little CBD, while around 26 percent contained too much.
About 20 percent of the products tested contained at least some THC.
Timothy E. Welty at Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences adds, “My bottom-line advice is people really need to be under the care of a health-care provider who understands CBD.
They need to be monitored and managed by that individual, and not just go out and buy CBD, thinking that it’s going to be the answer.”
Are there any side effects?
For most users, CBD is well tolerated; however, some people may experience diarrhea, fatigue or changes in appetite.
So you want to try it, maybe?
For those who feel adventurous, discuss the situation with your doctor first, then do your homework. Contact the oil manufacturer and request proof of a third-party analysis for potency and purity.
What are the three primary takeaways from this article?
1. There is much to be learned and proven about the efficacy and safety of CBD oil.
2. Supporters hope that conclusive test results for CBD will offer a safe and powerful natural treatment for a wide range of health issues.
3. Disney World security people look very closely at what you’re bringing into the Most Magical Place on Earth.