Doctor says Arizonans should be skeptical of CBD products’ claims
PHOENIX — More products infused with cannabidoil, also known as CBD, are entering the Arizona market — but are they safe to consume?
Dr. Terry Simpson told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday that while CBD oil — a product of the marijuana plant that does not result in a “high” — has been linked to some health benefits, there are still many questions as to how its affects people.
“CBD and hemp oil are a portion of marijuana, and there is some evidence that some CBD oil can do some good things,” Simpson said.
“The difficulty is you don’t know the dose, you don’t know that it’ll have an effect on you, and it’s sort of like putting random things in your water that we really don’t know.”
Simpson was referring to Scottsdale-based Alkaline 88’s CBD-infused water that reputedly “relaxes you without the high” and is planned to hit the market soon.
Other CBD products based in Arizona include CBD-infused pizza and cocktails at Spinelli’s Pizzeria on Mill Avenue and Tempe-based Populum’s CBD oil.
CBD is commonly claimed to relieve pain, lessen anxiety, reduce inflammation and increase energy, among other health benefits.
Simpson said a drug recently approved by the FDA called Epidoilex contains a derivative of CBD oil that is used to treat childhood epilepsy.
However, he said, 4 percent of children taking the drug had to stop treatment because they experienced increased liver enzymes, and doctors feared they could go into liver failure.
Most people who casually consume CBD products are likely not testing their bodies for potential side effects like this, he said.
“There’s some good indication that CBD oil may be good for some chronic pain syndromes, it may be good for a few other things — spasticity for people who have conditions of the spinal cord that lead to that — but we haven’t done the basic research, which is what’s the dose of it, what does it work for, what doesn’t it work for?” Simpson said.
He said companies often sell supplements without truly knowing what value they have.
“We need a lot more data before we start putting stuff into our bodies we don’t understand,” Simpson said.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Peter Samore contributed to this report.