HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - The CBD craze has taken off in recent years, especially after Congress passed the Farm Bill in 2018.
However, the one concern surrounding the product is there’s been no guidance from the medical community or even the Food and Drug Administration on how to use CBD safely.
Many users claim a variety of health benefits like pain relief, insomnia and stress. Now, the first-ever guidelines for the product have been released by the Arthritis Foundation.
There are about 50 million people in the United States who suffer from arthritis and are constantly searching for something to help with their pain. The group conducted its own online survey in July of over 2,500 people with arthritis and the results were clear: people with arthritis are curious to learn more about cannabidiol, or CBD for short.
The survey found that 79% of people had either tried CBD or were considering using it, primarily to relieve pain. That’s why the Arthritis Foundation released guidelines for people who want to try out CBD. They make it clear that the guidelines are not meant as an endorsement of CBD, but rather serve as an attempt to provide some kind of clarity for usage, despite a lack of scientific evidence proving it works to treat pain.
Janel Ralph is the CEO of Palmetto Harmony, a company that produces CBD oils. Ralph was also one of the first hemp farmers in the state's pilot program. She says this is a step in the right direction for the industry.
“It’s really encouraging that the Arthritis Foundation is actually listening to their members and what their members are saying, even though that research wouldn’t be classified as research, it would be classified as anecdotal. But when you have thousands of people saying that this is helping them, it’s really encouraging now that they’re setting out guidelines before the science is there to say, hey, we can do this. So I’m excited about this new era that we’re living in,” said Ralph.
With the CBD industry booming, Ralph says she believes it’s time to really start pushing the FDA to step in. She mentions these latest guidelines from the Arthritis Foundation are helping, but more needs to be done.
“I’m ready for the FDA to come in because I know there are thousands of CBD products out there now and there’s very few of us that have taken the time to actually do the right thing and put compliance in place," said Ralph.
There are a number of recommendations the group lists on CBD products. Here’s just a few:
- Go low and slow, meaning start with a low dosage and only slowly increase it until you get to a point where it starts to make a difference.
- Find a reputable company that verifies a third party has tested the products.
- The group also makes it clear that patients should not stop taking arthritis medications already prescribed by doctors.
- The group also says to beware of drug interactions and recommends discussing with your doctor about whether or not taking CBD is a good idea.
For more information on these CBD guidelines, click here.