LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – CBD oil has become either America’s latest miracle cure or snake oil, depending on who you talk to.
The substance, cannabidiol, is a naturally-occurring compound from the hemp plant, a cousin to marijuana. Unlike marijuana’s compound, THC, CBD is non-psychoactive.
It won’t get you high.
But it has become increasingly popular for its supposed health benefits, both physical and psychological. It has been touted for its ability to ease pain, anxiety and depression and to alleviate the suffering of patientns suffering from cancer or undergoing treatment.
It has also increasingly been in the news for its ability to ease PTSD symptoms and as a treatment for certain severe forms of childhood epilepsy.
For all its popularity – and notoriety – it is difficult to gauge exactly what benefits CBD oil offers, simply because the research is not there. Cannabis remains on the federal schedule of controlled substances, making studies into its effectiveness – or lack thereof – difficult.
In the absence of scientific data, confusion and misinformation abound.
Last week, that confusion sparked a letter from the Tyler Police Department to businesses selling the oil asking those businesses to remove it from their shelves.
According to federal law, any product derived from a marijuana plant is illegal.
According to Texas state law, products derived from a hemp plant are fine.
The problem comes from trying to determine whether the CBD oil came from hemp or marijuana plants, and whether the CBD oil contains any THC.
In other words, it’s complicated.
A meeting was held in Longview Tuesday night to address some of that confusion.
The Tyler Police Department’s letter prompted Louis Morgan Drug in Longview to host the informational meeting.
Louis Morgan Drugs carries CBD products and wanted to give local residents a better idea of what the substance is and does.
Some of those attending the meeting were eager to learn more about what they hope can be a remedy to their suffering.
“I had a stroke on July 31, 2018,” said Carol Caldwell. “I just want to find something where I don’t have to take Tylenol and tramadol everyday.”
“I have chronic back issues and I can’t walk or do exercise like I would like to,” said Betty Romines, who also attended the meeting in hopes of finding relief from her pain in CBD oil.
Speaking at the meeting was Dr. Alex Copano, medical director of Ananda Hemp, which supplies CBD products to Louis Morgan Drugs. She was there to answer questions, provide information and attempt to dispel some of the confusion swirling about her company’s product.
“We really need to bring our practictioners up to date so that they feel comfortable whether they choose to recommend it so they know how to use it and how it works,” Copano said.
Copano said that Texas has until 2019 to decide on choosing its own farm legislation to settle the hemp and CBD question once and for all.
Until that bill happens, the state has said it will follow federal law.
Again, that means that anything derived from a marijuana plant is legal, but anything derived from a hemp plant is okay.