CBD gummies on shelves in Arkansas
SALINE COUNTY, Ark. (KATV) -- More and more cannabis-based products are becoming readily available here in Arkansas. CBD gummy bears are being sold at local gas stations in Saline County to anyone over 18. In the gummy bears is the CBD compound, which is from the cannabis plant. But unlike THC, CBD does not produce a high.
Advocates say CBD products relieve pain and inflammation, and promote better sleep. The packaging for "Comfy Bears", made by Fifty Shades of Green, promotes them as "yummy and relaxing" with 10mg of "pure, natural CBD per bear."
But doctors are warning buyers to use caution.
"The issue that we see from the medical standpoint is what you can buy over the counter is unregulated. So essentially you don't know what you're getting," emergency physician Dr. Lee Wilbur said. He adds that the danger isn't CBD itself, but potential "fillers" in those gummy products.
Matthew Kane with Complete Body Daily, a hemp-based CBD business in Arkansas, advises consumers to research the companies they're buying from.
"There's a lot of bad players in the game," Kane said, adding that you should look for organically-grown CBD products from a "high-standard manufacturing facility."
And while many products in the cannabis market await FDA approval, navigating that landscape can feel something like the Wild West.
"What's over the counter, we're unsure of the chemical structure. We're unsure of what's actually going to interact with any of [patients'] known medications. They are getting information that it may help them. They may have a condition that they perceive that they need help with, and if they're asking our advice, we're cautioning them against it because we are not quite sure what they're getting," Wilbur said.
But a breakthrough just this week-- when the FDA approved Epidiolex, a cannabis-based drug that treats seizures, and does not produce a high.
Kane is hoping its approval is a start to the acceptance of more of these products, because, according to him, CBD provides all the benefits without the high, and is legal.
Kane also advises any consumers looking to try a CBD product to make sure it's made in America and is free of pesticides and heavy metals. He says the best thing you can do is contact the company and educate yourself before consuming their products.