Stores that sell CBD oil continue to open in Athens, but there is debate about the purpose and effectiveness of the product for users.

Your CBD Store has been in business since January and is set to open a second location in East Athens at the beginning of May 2019. Alchemy-Vapes has been open in downtown Athens for about four months.

For some, CBD is fast-becoming a preferred alternative to prescription drugs in treating various ailments.

“I get all the relief and none of the side effects with CBD products,” said Matthew White, manager of Alchemy-Vapes.

Randall Tackett, a professor at the University of Georgia’s College of Pharmacy, cautioned people regarding misinformation about the supplement.

“There’s a little bit of science, but there’s a lot of myths and a lot of hearsay at this particular point,” Tackett said.

What Do We Know?

Tackett said the idea of CBD oil is that it’s extracted from the hemp plant so that the levels of THC are extremely low.

He outlined a number of concerns:

  • What is in the substance you are taking?
  • How much THC is in the substance? Could you get pulled over for a DUI or fail a drug test?
  • How does the substance interact with other prescription drugs?
  • Is the placebo effect a component?

“We need to see clinical studies. Rather than someone saying ‘Well, I take that and I feel better,'” Tackett said.

White, however, said he has noticed improvements to his health. He uses CBD oil for sleep, anxiety and pain management.

I don’t know what I would do without it,” White said.

FDA Involvement

CBD oil is classified as a supplement, which means the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t conduct trials or tests with the substance like the they do with prescription drugs. But, that doesn’t mean it can’t be pulled off the market.

In fact, the FDA sent out warning letters to companies selling CBD oil who were not advertising their products correctly.

Tackett thinks that more clinical studies are coming, which might help clarify the true effects and safety of the supplement.

Dani Terzer is a senior majoring in journalism in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

 

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