Three Topekans put CBD to the test

Health Check

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – It’s what some people are calling the new “wonder drug” that will take your pain away, but there were mixed results after we had three Topekans put CBD products to the test.

CBD is an extract from hemp plants, touted to have an array of health benefits.

“CBD can help with migraines, anxiety, PTSD, eczema, etc. There’s a long list of things it’s helped with. For me, it’s helped me with my anxiety and arthritis in my knee,” said Joy Neeley, the owner of Free State Oils in Topeka.

But it’s not widely approved by the FDA yet. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working today, to learn more about the safety of CBD and CBD products. Many people are skeptical of the plant’s close relationship to marijuana.

“They are sister plants so marijuana has high levels of THC, and hemp has low levels of THC and high levels of CBD,” explained Neeley.

In May 2018, CBD without THC, the hallucinogenic chemical found in marijuana, became legal to use and sell in Kansas. But since CBD is not federally approved and regulated, many people are cautious about trying it.

Does it really work?

To investigate an answer to that question, we teamed up with three people in Topeka, who had never tried CBD before. Free State Oil provided different CBD products over a week’s time span.

“We start with a four-day dose, and then on day five, if you’re feeling good but could feel better, then we suggest increasing it a little,” says Neeley.

Free State Oil started each participant out with an oil to swallow, called a tincture. After meeting on the fourth day, the participants also tried topical skin products with CBD.

All three participants have different health diagnoses and reasons to try CBD oil.

Michael Cummings had major back surgery 7 years ago, and also shoulder surgeries. He’s had to take prescription pain medicine every day.

“I am hoping (for help) with all the pain in my back from having three discs taken out, cages, pins, and rods put in my lower back,” said Cummings.

For Michael, the CBD products made a big difference in his pain level. He said he went from a pain level of a 5 to a 2 in just a few days.

“That first night it made a difference in my hands and sleep. I had my operation ten years ago, and I’ve had the pain since, and had to take oxycodone since then. Maybe after not too long, I could go without it for a while and see how it works,” Cummings said.

Lindsay Lebahn is a former D1 volleyball player and has had back pain accumulate over the years since. She’s trying CBD for pain management and also relief from her anxiety.

“General aches and pains, mainly in the shoulders and back. With my job now it’s go, go, go all the time! So when I shut my brain off, it doesn’t necessarily shut off,” Lebahn explained.

Lindsay shared her experience with the CBD products, “starting off I saw a lot of results. I call it anxiety, all the plates are spinning, my brain wouldn’t shut off. So I started with almost immediate results on day 2, and felt a little more grounded. I played volleyball this weekend, and that’s usually when my back likes to tighten up, and day two I usually can’t put on my shoes. I used the roll-on stick (with CBD) and didn’t have any side effects from that. So I was able to put on my shoes the next day, my back was still loose, and it didn’t hinder my play at all.”

Leonard Allen has arthritis in his knee and problems sleeping.

“I am what you would call a hopeful skeptic. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it (CBD), but when something says it fixes everything, I think hmm well maybe?” said Leonard.

After a week of trying CBD Leonard said, “I am still a skeptic on some things. Definitely the anti-inflammatory effects seem to be working for me. I didn’t notice a change in my sleep. When we did the topical on my shoulder, I am still not getting quite the amount of motion I used to, but I’ll keep trying.”

Neeley said most likely all three of the participant’s pain levels and reactions to the CBD products will plateau, the longer they use the products.

“They are seeing the benefits. They aren’t seeing all of the benefits I had really hoped for. Like in Leonard’s case, I had really hoped (the topical) would help his shoulder. But I do understand we all have different injuries and damage. It takes time and some are different. But for the most part, I think we got what we were hoping for. Noticing a change in individuals, and can do some of this naturally,” said Neeley.

Natural relief, all three participants say they are glad they tried.

While the Agency continues to believe that the drug approval process is the best way to ensure the safety of new drugs, including those made with CBD, the Agency is committed to evaluating the regulatory frameworks for non-drug uses, including products marketed as foods and dietary supplements. We remain steadfast in our effort to obtain research, data, and other safety and public health input to inform our approach and to address consumer access in a way that protects public health, maintains incentives for cannabis drug development, and creates a robust administrative record needed to support the initiation of any rule-making. 

~ U.S. Food and drug administration

For more information on where the FDA stands on CBD today in their investigations, click here.

Knowing the quality of the products your consuming is important. Neeley recommended that everyone, “Look at the lab results. Look at the product. The bottles should have lot numbers, batch numbers, or QR codes where you can scan them and go to their website. You can go to the individual store’s website and see their lab results. The main thing you are looking for levels of CBD, if you’re looking for levels of THC, and then also look at the toxin levels. A lot of CBD is coming in from China and different countries. They don’t have the same standards, they have toxins in them, which is scary for me as a user!” 

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