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Dangers of CBD Products

Αssociated Press

FILE - In this March 22, 2019, file photo, Heather Randazzo, a grow employee at Compassionate Care Foundation's medical marijuana dispensary, trims leaves off marijuana plants in the company's grow house in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

CBD products have been rising in popularity. Just about every local pharmacy, health food store, and even convenient store sells them. What are CBD products? CBD is the acronym for cannabidiol, one of the many chemical compounds found in marijuana or hemp. Hemp is a strain of the Cannabis plant that contains 0.3% or less THC content. Marijuana is also a strain of the Cannabis plant, but that contains 0.3% or more of THC. Although CBD products are legal in New York, as well as other states, they can still contain THC. The law is that it has to be less than 0.3%. However, when you do the math, 0.3%, plus 0.3%...it accumulates, especially over the long term. The other problem is that because these CBD products are not regulated by the FDA, there is no guarantee to their purity or content. It is possible, since there is no regulation, that some of these products may actually contain more than 0.3% THC.

CBD products that are pure, not having any THC content, have been documented to have tremendous health benefits. They have been associated with the treatment of seizures, chronic pain, and anxiety, to name a few. Some people really swear by them and claim that their medical conditions have dramatically improved or have been eradicated. There certainly is truth to that, and we should be open minded as to their potential health benefits. However, since the FDA does not regulate these products, their content and purity are unknown.

If in fact these products contain THC, even within legal limits, the consumption over time could have negative health effects on people. It is also believed, especially in New York, that the rise of these CBD products have surged due to the inability to legalize recreational marijuana.

CBD products are available as oils, creams, pills and even gummies. They are used by people of all ages, even children. Does the risk outweigh the benefit? The risk of course is the purity and content of these products and the negative effects it could have over time for those that use them. The benefits regard the several medical conditions that CBD products have claimed to treat and/or cure.

In the midst of the opioid pandemic which has already claimed nearly 300,000 lives just in the United States alone, is the availability of CBD products helping or hurting? In a recent article, I wrote about the dangers of the legalization of recreational marijuana. Although CBD products are not nearly as dangerous, they still have the potential to have long term adverse effects. Even short term adverse effects are possible with excessive use. For example, one or two extra strength Tylenol tablets are harmless but if someone takes more than 8 of these in a 24-hour period, they are at tremendous risk for acute liver failure. The same goes for cigarette smoking. Yes, one cigarette will not hurt you. However, one cigarette usually leads to a second and before you know it a lifetime of smoking with devastating health effects. The key is not to start with one.

I would think the same principle applies to CBD products. Since they are so readily available and highly marketed, it is very possible for them to be used excessively.

We must remember that even the FDA once claimed that opioid medications were safe and not addictive. So even with FDA regulation possibly one day with CBD products, will anything really change? Profit seems to be the driving force with these CBD products, just like it was with cigarettes and opioid pain medications. The dignity of the human person has been violated by big businesses that are only seeking profit and not the welfare of humanity. This certainly is not the rule but it has been the trend lately.

As Christ told us, let us be wise as serpents and gentle as doves, knowing that if something is too good to be true, it probably is. We should be open minded to advances in health care and their benefits, however, we need to discern carefully and wisely and think both short term and long term, especially for our youth.