BEDFORD — As CBD products become more readily available across Massachusetts, Police Chief Robert Bongiorno and Fire Chief David Grunes are urging residents to be cautious, research items before buying, and remember that the drug’s legality at the federal level remains murky.
While many CBD products claim to cure physical pains, benefit mental health, and even cure some illnesses, these benefits are largely unsubstantiated by science. Only one CBD drug has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug administration after it was studied closely. The drug treats seizures associated with severe epilepsy.
CBD products, because of a lack of regulation, can be dangerous to consumers. In December 2017 and January 2018, a group of approximately 50 people in Utah were sickened by a synthetic cannabinoid they were sold that was marketed as CBD. Some of their symptoms included an altered mental status, seizures, confusion, loss of consciousness, and hallucinations.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), CBD, also known as cannabidiol, does not cause a high because it effects a different part of the nervous system than THC, an active chemical compound in marijuana.
CBD can be derived from both marijuana and hemp. Hemp-derived CBD can contain as much as 0.3 percent THC, and marijuana-derived CBD can contain more.
Marijuana-derived CBD remains illegal federally, as a cannabis byproduct. Hemp, however, was legalized nationally in December 2018.
The Bedford Police and Fire Departments are urging parents, guardians, and caregivers to be vigilant that children do not become exposed to CBD products that are often sold in candy form. There are many gummy candy CBD products, which can be attractive to young children.
CBD products, ranging to edible treats to oils to lotions, can be bought online and in retail stores in Massachusetts.
“We urge residents to do their research and use caution when handling any marijuana or hemp-derived product,” Chief Robert Bongiorno said. “Parents in particular should note that CBD is often sold as a candy product, which can appeal to children and teens. Research is still being done to better understand the side effects of CBD, but the truth is, we simply don’t know what this substance is capable of yet.”
Finding reliable information on CBD is also challenging, as much of the information available online is created by pro-CBD and marijuana companies. As a result, the Bedford Police and Fire Departments encourage residents to carefully assess the reliability and accuracy of the sources they use to gather information regarding CBD.