CBD oil gains popularity in southern Illinois; expert questions its safety

Is CBD oil safe?

CBD craze in southern IL

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Businesses across southern Illinois are jumping on the CBD-band wagon. The product derived from the industrial hemp plant, CBD oil, is gaining steam across different types of businesses locally.

The rise in popularity comes in the wake of last year’s Farm Bill that removed hemp from a list of controlled substances.

Karen and Jason Griffith are owners of the CBD Store in Carterville since September 2018. They started the business because not only did CBD oil changed Karen’s life after a car accident, but also she said they wanted to help people get off opioids.

“Lupus, Fibromyalgia, anything from all the extremes like cancer, degenerative disk disease, bulging disk, pinched sciatic nerve, memory problems, appetite problems, sleep problems. So we are looking to help everybody, not just one group of people,” Griffith said. “It’s a huge need for it here in the area.”

According to Illinois Department of Agriculture Bureau of Medicinal Plants, the permit application for farmers in Illinois will be open soon.

Jason Smith is another Illinois business owner that just recently started selling CBD Oil. He opened his Anna, Illinois location of 618 Vape two months ago because, he too, said it worked for him and many of his customers.

“We don’t know if those CBD products have those harmful toxic substances like heavy metals or pesticides,” Dr. Aldwin Anterola said.

The demographic of the customers visiting the stores and buying products are typically 40-75 years, according to Smith. He believed the rise in popularity for the oil started last year.

“So when they passed the farm bill back last year, opened it up for nation wide with .3 percent less of THC in it for the United States, that opened the doors then for Illinois and other states to start having it,” Smith said.

Right now, the CBD oil is sold vape shops, grocery stores like Neighborhood Co-Op, Pharmacies, gas stations and even Family Video Store in Carbondale.

SIU’s Hemp Program’s agent-in-charge is Dr. Aldwin Anterola. He believes the product needs to be regulated, which is why he can’t definitively say the product is safe or not.

“We don’t know if those CBD products have those harmful toxic substances like heavy metals or pesticides,” Dr. Anterola said.

Industrial Hemp is one of the plants that is a heavy metal accumulator. If you plant industrial hemp in a soil that contaminated with heavy metal, hemp has the capability to absorb metals. So, therefore, when you extract CBD from industrial hemp, there could be a possibility of toxic substances.

According to Dr. Anterola, the only way to be completely sure the CBD oil is safe, is for it to go through laboratory testing.

“An accredited private laboratory are the ones that will test products for pesticides or heavy metals,” Anterola said.

Consumers of CBD oil can reduce their risk by doing the following:

1. Ask other consumers who have tried the product

2. Research the company and their credibility

3. Check the test results for the product

4. Research manufacturer and product itself

Find more information about CBD and Hemp on the IL DOA website.

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