Covered in controversy: Local vendors talk potential health benefits of CBD

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“The stigma that surrounds CBD products does have to do a lot with the THC that’s in it.”

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Derived from the cannabis hemp plant, cannabidiol (CBD) has grown in popularity, and studies show it will continue to do so.

Many have turned to CBD products for medicinal reasons, such as pain or anxiety. Bill Kalman, owner and head pharmacist at Essential Wellness Pharmacy in Peoria, said CBD can be a treatment for targeted pain or certain chemical imbalances.

“It is chemically proven that CBD acts on the same receptors as one of our neurotransmitters, serotonin,” Kalman said. “And serotonin is calming.”

However, Kalman warned that CBD can interact with a lot of other medications, so those interested should be careful when buying products.

“The stigma that surrounds CBD products does have to do a lot with the THC that’s in it,” Kalman said.

CBD, taken from the hemp plant, does have trace amounts of THC in it. THC is the psychoactive drug found in marijuana. The marijuana plant, in contrast, has trace amounts of CBD.

The trace THC that is found in the hemp plants is often left in CBD products, called full spectrum. This is a legal amount of THC, and will not cause a high or any psychoactive effects.

CBD products can also isolate the CBD and exclude any THC, called broad spectrum.

Kalman said customers should be especially careful when choosing a product because drug tests will detect THC from full spectrum CBD products.

“When picking out a product, definitely ask if it’s full spectrum or broad spectrum,” Kalman said.

Since the 2018 Illinois Industrial Hemp Act, CBD products are available almost anywhere for customers over 21.

CBD Consultant Meg Davis said she used CBD so she could stop taking prescription medication.

“Why wouldn’t you want to do the natural thing?” Davis said. “All you’re doing is helping level out your endocannabinoid system.”

UnityPoint Health and OSF HealthCare both declined interviews for this story.

Kalman said it is because most CBD products are not FDA approved. Davis, however, said there may be an ulterior motive.

“The pills, the pills, the pills,” Davis said. “A customer cured is a customer lost.”

Only one anti-seizure CBD prescription medication is FDA approved. According to Mayo Clinic, more research is needed to fully vet the safety of CBD.

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