KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It’s being touted as the new wonder drug – guaranteed to take away all your pain.
It's called CBD, short for cannabidiol, and it's being sold everywhere in the metro. A quick Google search shows at least 16 stores in both Kansas and Missouri selling this oil. But does it work?
"We did some research and decided we wanted to try it because nothing else was working," Sugar Creek, Mo., mom Ceally Smith said.
She said her six-year-old son, Bodhi, was diagnosed with a sensory disorder and landed on the autism spectrum. He was so rambunctious at school, the principal threatened to kick him out. But then she started giving him CBD oil, giving him half a dropper full under his tongue twice a day.
"We started getting calls from the school and his teacher said he’s doing amazing," Smith said. "He’s socializing with kids his own age."
Smith gives the oil to her daughter and uses it herself to combat anxiety. She believes in the product so much, she sells the oils through a company called HempWorx.
"It is a new wave. A new craze. Everyone wants to know about CBD," Smith said. "(When you take it) you’re going to feel a bit more grounded. Everything is just kind of okay. It’s almost kind of like drinking tea or your morning coffee."
"Right now these oils are being touted as cure-alls for everything when in reality, we really don’t know if it’s beneficial," said Dr. Stephen Thornton, the director of Poison Control at the University of Kansas Health System. "It does, however, strike me a little as kind of like the classic snake oil kind of thing, where you have this substance that apparently fixes everything. Usually when it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true."
Dr. Thornton said the FDA recently approved CBD in pill form as a prescription for those who suffer from epileptic seizures. But there is little scientific proof it works on other ailments. Dr. Thornton said CBD is not toxic.
"It doesn’t have the psychoactive effects of THC, which is the main sort of drug in marijuana," Dr. Thornton said, "but probably has some effects that don’t seem to be too harmful."
He added it could be dangerous, though, for those who have allergies since sometimes the manufacturers mix in other ingredients such as hard metals or yeast.
"As far as quality assurance and making sure it is what it is, you don’t really have anybody backing you up besides the place you’re buying it from," Dr. Thornton.
"It’s just amazing what people will do, companies will do just to get a part of this cash cow right now," Smith added. "I think a lot of consumers are being taken advantage of in the CBD industry right now."
That is why Smith recommends you research the product before buying it. She said every seller should be able to provide you with a Certificate of Analysis, third-party testing which shows all the ingredients in that bottle of CBD. She said if it's not pure or organic, you should not buy it.
"This isn’t destroying families or tearing people apart. It’s not," Smith said. "It’s putting families back together and if anything, it’s giving people their quality of life back."
CBD is legal in both Kansas and Missouri. A bottle of CBD oil will cost anywhere from $60-to-$100 for a 30 to 60 day supply.