HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – CBD products are becoming more and more popular, and it seems that new CBD stores are popping up in the Myrtle Beach area every day.
When it comes to pain, stress and anxiety, some say it’s nearly a cure all.
But how much do you know about CBD oil? And can you trust the levels of THC the bottle claims are in the product will be accurate? Can you pass a drug test if you’re taking otherwise legal CBD?
WMBF News was on a mission to answer those questions and was met with surprises along the way.
Diane Carbo can be found in her kitchen, frying up an egg. It’s a simple act, but something she had to put on the back burner four years ago. It’s because for the former nurse, her life was filled with pain.
“What I have are called cervicogenic migraines. Your cervical nerves are affected, and I could do things like, go lift my arms and pick up something and it would set off a migraine,” Carbo explained. “There were things like physical movement, like turning my head the wrong way could set of a migraine. You just didn’t know when it was going to set off.”
The pain got so bad, Carbo lost her job due to so many absences. Then she lost her home. Things had hit rock bottom.
“The chronic pain and the migraines just devastated me, and it just affected my quality of life,” Carbo said. “It’s depressing, which is another cycle where you’re sick. You have pain and then you have depression and then you have anxiety. It’s such a vicious cycle that you go through.”
Then while on a flight with her son, a nurse anesthetist changed her life. He suggested she try CBD oil. In fact, he had some with him.
She tried it then and there and things have changed. Carbo said she has been on cloud nine ever since.
“It makes me calm. I don’t get stressed. I don’t get anxious. I sleep really well,” Carbo said.
Carbo is no longer in the work force, so drug tests are a thing of the past. But she said she still worries about THC, the ingredient in marijuana that gives a person a high. That’s why she makes sure the products she uses don’t exceed the legal level of THC allowed in CBD oil in South Carolina, which is .3 percent.
Carbo takes CBD oil in her coffee in the morning and once at night before bed. She believed that if she had to take a drug test, she wouldn’t fail.
“I don’t think I will because it’s such a low dose and I never felt high or anything,” Carbo said.
But WMBF News wanted to now for sure, so we put it to the test.
Carbo submitted a urine screening and the results were immediate.
“Normally it would take two lines for it to be a negative,” the tester explained. “So, the THC came back with a missing line so normally we would consider that positive.”
So to be clear, if Carbo had been taking the drug test to get a new job, she would have failed it.
The staff said they only communicate a pass or fail to the agency contracting for the drug test, and don’t give amounts, so even a little positive would show up to a prospective employer or probation officer as a positive.
It surprised Carbo but it doesn’t change her mind about CBD oil.
“I have to tell you though, no matter what it says, I’m not gonna stop taking it because the benefits are so much greater than the fact that I’m testing positive for what we consider now an illegal substance,” Carbo said.
The results don’t necessarily surprise Beach Family Urgent Care President and CEO Dr. Ron Reynolds. He said he has seen some red flags when it comes to what’s viewed nowadays as the common day snake oil.
“Basically, does it do anything at all?” WMBF News anchor Eric Weisfeld asked.
“The expense that’s related to it, and if it’s just a placebo effect that you’re getting, it’s a question of what’s the value or the cost of that placebo effect? Reynolds said. “The other issue that you’re gonna run into right now is apparently one in five samples are gonna have some THC in it. And this is a marketplace that isn’t supposed to have any THC in it or a very low level of it.”
WMBF News asked Reynolds what he would say to a patient who is wanting to give CBD oil a try.
“That’s kind of a decision you need to make on your own. It’s not something I would recommend,” Reynolds said.
The doctor’s apprehension has no impact on Carbo. She said she’ll continue to use CBD oil and only hopes the legal limit of THC allowed in South Carolina will be increased from .3 percent to 10 percent. At that level, she believes there’s a chance she’ll be able to say goodbye to all that ails her for good.
“CBD oil has given me a quality of life that I didn’t enjoy before,” Carbo said.
She said she hasn’t had a migraine in years. She also cuts her anti-depressants in half and no longer takes anxiety medicine. She said she still has some pain, but it’s manageable. And still goes to a chronic pain doctor.
Experts advise that if you’re using CBD oil and you’re subject to drug tests, it’s best to alert your employer. Let them know you’re using that product and how they handle that will vary.