LIMA — CBD-infused products — heralded as a miracle drug capable of alleviating everything from anxiety to migraines — are appearing on store shelves in once-unconventional places as retailers anticipate a growing market for cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD.
The much-hyped cure-all can be blended into just about anything. Retailers are banking on the trend, with CBD-infused drinks, cosmetics, candy, lotions and other products with claims to heal common ailments such as joint pain or arthritis.
Now that CBD is entering the mainstream, major retailers that once avoided the cannabidiol market are now competing for their share of the profit. The Brightfiled Group, a market research firm for the cannabis and CBD industries, projects the U.S. CBD market alone will reach $23.7 billion by 2023.
The products are everywhere now: Sephora carries CBD-infused mascara, topical oils and lash growth serums. Family Video recently introduced a line of organic CBD water, oils, gummies and balms. Drugstores such as CVS, Walgreens and Kroger have all announced plans to sell the popular compound too.
Is it safe?
While CBD and marijuana are related, they are not the same.
Cannabidiol derived from hemp by itself does not cause a high. CBD acts on different parts of the nervous system than THC – the high-inducing element of marijuana, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and may help treat seizures in children.
But with CBD and hemp-derived products still largely unregulated in the U.S., consumers should exercise caution when taking either product.
“If patients are using (CBD) over-the-counter, even if it’s hemp-based without THC, they should inform their doctors so their doctor can follow their liver function,” said Dr. Rajbir Bajwa, a physician and founder of Medical Cannabis of Northwest Ohio, where he sees patients seeking a medical marijuana registry card in Wapakoneta.
Tami Gough, director of prevention and health promotion services for the Allen County Health Department, warned that not much is known about the long-term health effects of CBD.
“We often receive calls – ‘Oh my family member has CBD oil. What is that?’ We just explain that we know what it is and that it’s derived from a cannabinoid, however it is not (marijuana),” Gough said. “But it’s not regulated yet.”
Researchers are still trying to determine how effective CBD truly is. Because the market for CBD is still largely unregulated, consumers have limited resources to verify how much CBD is in the products they’re buying.
“We know that evidence-based uses of cannabidiol are social anxiety disorder, seizure disorder and mild reduction of mild pain,” Bajwa said.
Bajwa said he doesn’t think CBD alone is enough to treat severe pain, which he believes is better treated with medical marijuana.
“When you separate (THC and CBD), they don’t work as well together. There’s not a lot of evidence to show to meet all the claims you hear about CBD,” he said. “It’s not a magic bullet. There’s a lot of hype about it. So much is hype, not proof.
“But if in low doses it’s helping somebody, they could continue it and just report back to their doctor that they’re using it so their doctor can monitor liver function.”
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.