CBD oil, or cannibidiol, has become all the rage, getting a massive shot in the arm when President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill, opening the door for hemp to take center stage as a new agricultural commodity in the United States. The bill rendered it no longer the controlled substance it had been since 1937.
Hemp is like a sister plant to marijuana, without the psychoactive component THC, which makes the user feel high. People who use hemp for everything from epilepsy to depression, insomnia and arthritis, and other maladies swear by it.
But does it work and are their risks? NewsCenter 16 took a look at the ABCs of CBD.
Kerry Prugh takes her daily dose of CBD oil for arthritis in her knees. She was taking too much ibuprofen and decided to give CBD oil a try.
And right after she takes hers, she gives it to her 10-year-old dog, Stanley, who has disc and nerve pain and wasn't getting relief from his pain medication and muscle relaxers.
Kerry's regular vet suggested she contact Dr. Chris Payton at Western Veterinary Clinic in South Bend to see if he could bring Stanley more relief. Dr. Payton specializes in pain treatment through acupuncture, laser therapy and CBD oil made from hemp.
"Stanley first came to me in 2017, and he's kind of one of my neck dogs that come in," Payton explained. "They're hanging their head down, they're really painful, they move just slightly and they get a pinched nerve."
Payton, who has great faith, decided the put Jesus' proverb "Physician, health thyself" to use. He decided he himself would be the first guinea pig. He wasn't going to give his furry patients anything he wouldn't try himself. And as a marathon runner, he had a lot of aches and pains he was taking ibuprofen for. He was concerned, because over-the-counter drugs have their own side effects with the kidneys and liver.
He admits he wasn't sure about CBD.
"I would tell you that, in the beginning, I was a little skeptical, just like I was before I went to chiropractic school, I was a little skeptical," he said.
He did his research, even bringing in experts who manufacture high-quality CBD oil to speak with his patients and answer all their questions.
He added CBD oil to his routine and now takes much less ibuprofen, saying, "Just one ml under the tongue for 30 seconds and then swallow it once a day and I've maybe taken ibuprofen twice in three months, as opposed to taking it every day. That's a big deal for me."
And he says it's been a big deal for dogs like Stanley and the other 40 pets he has using it.
"I haven't had any patients that have had any problems from the CBD oil that I use," he said.
He admits it is not a magic bullet but says the oil he sells is pure and 85 percent of patients, both two- and four-legged, feel better.
Here's how it works:
-There are things called cannabinoid receptors located throughout the human body.
-In the very simplest terms, they affect physiological processes such as appetite, perception of pain, memory and mood.
-These cannabinoid receptors are referred to as CB1 and CB2, and they are activated by cannabidiol.
-CB1 receptors are mostly found in the brain and central nervous system. CB2 receptors are mostly in organs and cells associated with immune system.
James Peinkofer also markets CBD oil and says the hemp he chose for his Purelief CBD is grown and manufactured in the U.S., explaining, "The first big malady that it seemed to be used for was childhood epilepsy. They came up with Charlotte's Web, which is a high-density CBD oil that was used an literally controls seizures."
Assistant Professor at Indiana University School of Medicine South Bend Dr. Jesse Hsieh weighs in: "It's not marijuana, there's a difference between a hemp plant and a marijuana plant."
I asked why he thinks it is getting so popular.
He answered, "I think it's getting popular because it works. So there have been lots of studies to see if CBD oil works to help with anxiety, sleep and pain of most of them are showing that it does work."
But Hsieh says people need to proceed with caution:
"Well, the problem is, we don't have studies on what's the proper dosage. Something like aspirin or Tylenol seem to be safe over the counter, but they can be toxic in certain doses. The problem with CBD oil is that we don't know with any human studies, because none have been done to see how much you need, what's the safety profile. What's the right dose to give someone."
Payton says he has a dosage chart he uses depending on his furry patient's weight.
Kerry says she's a believer both for herself and Stanley.
"He just gets a couple drops," she said. "A couple of drops in the morning at breakfast, a couple drops in the evening, it's really easy. He loves it. We're believers, we're just glad it's become popular, because it's a great alternative therapy. We have a lot of friends who have used it for their animals as well. We've seen great results, and I would highly recommend it."
Both Payton and Peinkofer agree with Dr. Hsieh's assessment that you need to do your research and make sure the CBD oil you are getting is pure and does not contain THC. In addition to coming in a tincture to place drops under the tongue. Both men also provide CBD lotion for sore muscles, hip pain and restless legs.
There is also roll-on oil that targets joint pain, muscular pain and skin problems.
Peinkofer said, "Some people are getting off their regular medicines, and that's what we want, and the opioid crisis is winning, unfortunately."
Payton added, "I see it as one of those things that's going to be up and coming, and I think that's going to change a lot of people's lives. I think it already has. There are air traffic controllers that take it, there are pilots that take it. We always start with the lowest dose, no matter what we do, whether its traditional or nontraditional."
And while not yet ready to endorse it because it is not regulated, Hsieh believes that, too, will be changing, saying, "The government is now beginning to realize there is a difference from CBD oil made from hemp and is making that legal, as opposed to CBD oil made from marijuana, which will have THC in it. Hopefully, with that, they can start regulating it and making it more commonly used with regulation, to make it safe and to know where it's coming from."
Kerry says she is using much less ibuprofen for her arthritis and Stanley is weaning off his pain meds and is a much happier 10-year-old.
"We have seen wonderful results," she said. "He has been a different dog for the past year."
So, the next time you're out driving in the country, you may be seeing more hemp growing in the fields. A new commodity for farmers and perhaps a new treatment for what ails you.
The World Health Organization's statement on CBD is that it has little to no side effects, but as with any supplement, talk to your doctor before starting CBD oil.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a measure legalized cannibidiol in March of 2018. However be sure to check your ingredients. If it contains THC, it cannot be more than 0.3 percent.
It's also helped animals and people going through cancer treatment by stimulating the appetite and reducing anxiety.
As for treatment for epilepsy, many are still using CBD oil, but the FDA recently approved the first cannabis based drug called Epidiolex. It's not cheap and can run you over $1,000 a month.
And for those of you who are drug tested at work, as we are, CBD will not show up in a drug test because hemp will not get you high.
To find out more on CBD oil, visit pubmed.com and search "cannabidiol."
HempWorx also has more information on the history of hemp-derived CBD oil.
To contact HempWorx Independent Affiliate Megan Wright, call (574) 261-2856 or visit bewellwithmegan.com.
To contact Dr. Chris Payton at Western Veterinary Clinic for information on Ultra Cell CBD, call 574-234-3098. Purelief owner and CEO James Peinkofer can be reached by calling 574-386-5883 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.