The Tennessee Department of Health issued a public health and safety advisory Thursday to warn consumers of the risks of using products derived from Cannabis including marijuana and hemp that claim to benefit health.
It comes at a time when the use of cannabidiol or CBD is growing across our region.
Many people are turning to CBD as a natural way to treat conditions like seizures, anxiety, and depression.
CBD is one of many compounds found in marijuana and hemp, but unlike THC, a psychoactive component, it won’t get you high.
For patients like Zach Upchurch, he said he uses the product to treat pain.
“I was having really bad pain in my chest over here, I use to work out a lot and I ended up with a torn muscle,” Upchurch said he turned to medication. “It wouldn’t really do much so then I tried CBD cream, and that completely knocked out the pain.”
Upchurch is one of many customers turning to a natural alternative to medicine at stores like CBD Plus USA in Kingsport.
Meghan Carter with CBD Plus USA said after the success of the Kingsport store, the company is preparing to open another store in Johnson City on Saturday.
“We extract the THC so it’s not mind-altering,” Carter said. “They use the oil, they extract it and put in either a lotion or a oil to go under the tongue.”
However, despite the increase in the popularity of the product, it does not have the approval of the Food and Drug Administration.
Dr. David Dahl who specializes in chronic pain at Paine Medicine Associates in Johnson City said consumers of this product should be cautious.
“Cannabidiol as a compound appears to be safe to use, I say that because there’s still research going on,” Dahl said. “The biggest concern with safety, what is in that CBD oil? Is it really CBD?”
According to Carter, all of the products at CBD Plus USA come from their Oklahoma department, where all the products are made.
She said all the products are tested by a third party lab company before they are sent to the Tri-Cities, to ensure customers know exactly what they’re getting.
“A lot of the medical community is optimistic that we could use this to treat patients suffering from various conditions,” Dr. Dahl.
According to New Frontier Data, a cannabis data analytics firm, CBD sales are expected to reach $1.9 billion by 2022.