CBD and Hemp shops are starting to pop up across West Virginia. Store owners say their items are nothing more than alternative health products but doctors are skeptical of the potential side effects.
For more than three decades, Mary Frances Smith was dedicated to making Bridgeport High School run efficiently.
Now she’s the owner of HempWorks, a CBD Oil & Coffee Shop.
Smith explained, “About a year and a half ago I started to hurt from head to toe, in the morning, for about 20 minutes until I started moving.”
That’s when she started researching CBD.
“God put it on the earth for a reason. What we do with it is up to us,” stated Mary Francis Smith.
Back in 2017, Governor Jim Justice signed a bill allowing farmers to start growing Industrial Hemp; out of the law change, stemmed a new crop of products like CBD oil. Since both Industrial Hemp and Marijuana come from the same cannabis plant, many people have a hard time telling the two apart.
Industrial Hemp is specifically engineered to contain a low level of THC, the chemical found in Marijuana which produces a high sensation. The amount of THC in Hemp is so low, users say it’s impossible to get high from smoking, eating or using CBD or Hemp products.
So what are CBD oils and Hemp products good for?
“CBD has shown great results when helping people with anxiety, inflammation, pain and digestive orders,” included Smith.
But Dr. James Berry with WVU Medicine says there has not been an official scientific study that proves these products are helpful or harmful.
“Because CBD oil and Hemp are not regulated by the FDA, we don’t know if the product is being made in a controlled environment,” explained Dr. Berry. “If you take a capsule of CBD, you don’t know how much THC is in it and if it’s consistent from pill to pill.”
Store owners say they have done extensive research and trust their suppliers.
“The brand I decided to go with, I studied for months before opening the store. We have labels with the dosages on our products and we even give a dose card to each of our customers,” clarified Smith.