“It’s not going to work for everyone,” she said. “No drug works for everyone.”
Laura Fuentes is threading the needle between the scientific and anecdotal evidence. She said she was skeptical at first. “I started making products way back, and we gave them to friends and family. And it started working. And I was like, What? What’s happening here? Like, it’s working.”
Gomez also happens to be the managing director of the Brightfield Group, a market research company that has been tracking CBD sales. “I have never seen an industry grow this quickly, and I’ve never seen an industry with so much headwind.”
“There is great potential,” she said.
Bethany Gomez has been using CBD for her chronic pain. “I mean, we’re seeing it in everything from the taffies to gummies and caramels to coffee, pet treats, shampoos, bath bombs,” she said.
But that doesn’t mean the CBD derived from it is, at least not entirely. According to the FDA, it’s still against the law for CBD manufacturers to make any health-related claims about their products. And companies that add CBD to food and beverages, do so knowing they’re operating in legal murky waters. That’s because large scientific studies on CBD are way behind its newfound popularity. Even what dose to take is in question.
It’s essentially weed without the high, and those who swear by it say it’s helping everything from arthritis to insomnia, anxiety to depression, and maybe much more.
It took two days for senior lab associate Joshua Cogell to test our nine samples, checking for CBD and for THC (the ingredient in marijuana that gives a high), and also for dangerous impurities, like pesticides and heavy metals.
“It seems to me that people have no problem with paying $50 for a very small vial of cannabidiol, yet they don’t wanna pay their $5 copay for a medicine that’s actually been tested in a randomized controlled clinical trial,” Dr. Monte said.
CBS News partnered with Mile High Labs, in Colorado, to test nine CBD oil samples purchased from around the country.
Here’s what Mile High found in our samples:
CBD itself does not get you high, but advocates say it can help with anything from muscle aches to anxiety. It’s forecast to become a $22 billion industry by 2024.
What you buy may contain much less CBD than the label states — or much more. It may include more THC than you want, and it may be contaminated with mold or pesticides. Ask to see testing reports.
CBD often comes from a cannabis plant known as hemp, which the U.S. government defines as having less than 0.3 percent THC. That’s important because THC is what causes marijuana’s mind-altering effect.
CBD, short for cannabidiol and often referred to as CBD oil, is one of more than 100 compounds found in marijuana. It’s extracted using alcohol or carbon dioxide in factories. It’s added to oils, mixed into creams and lotions, and sold in candies and liquid drops.
Are CBD labels accurate?
CBD doesn’t get people high, although it may be calming. Keep in mind some CBD products may contain THC, regardless of what the label says. People drug-tested for work, addiction programs or because they take prescription opioids should take note: CBD products have caused people to fail urine drug screens.
Skin creams and cosmetics may be on safer footing with the FDA, but that too remains uncertain, said Camille Gourdet of RTI International, a nonprofit research institute in Durham, North Carolina. Though cosmetics aren’t subject to premarket approval by the FDA, they could run afoul of regulations if they make specific health claims.
One exception: For two rare seizure disorders, the evidence for CBD was strong enough to convince the FDA to approve GW Pharmaceutical’s drug Epidiolex, which contains a purified form.
In the meantime, it issued more warning letters to companies for making unapproved health claims about CBD products. Products containing CBD are already in stores and sold online, so it’s easy to believe there must be something special about the ingredient. But the claims are largely unproven, and quality control standards don’t exist.