Hemp Substance Helps Patients, Too
by Denton Postlewait
Delta Digital News Service
JONESBORO – Cannabidiol or CBD happens one of the fastest growing medical substances in the world. The legal substance derived from hemp can be used to treat a variety of conditions.
The differences between the two compounds are microscopic. Although not marijuana, CBD often gets grouped in with the drug. CBD can be collected from hemp, the male plant used in growing marijuana. Hemp contains little or no tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana. According to Dr. Dane Flippin, owner of Arkansas Progressive Medicine, CBD can reduce chronic pain, inflammation and treat diseases like neuropathy.
“For some people, it works a lot better,” he said. “It seems to work a lot better than the Lyricas, Gabapens and Cymbalta. At least what I’ve been told by patients.”
J.D. Fisher manages the Vapor Maven store on Johnson Avenue in Jonesboro. He said his wife suffers from cerebral palsy and that CBD has relieved some of the symptoms associated with it.
“Since she’s been using the Shaman’s Reach Honey Shots, she hasn’t had a seizure in about four years. She’s able to sleep and walk without a crutch sometimes,” he said. “It’s been really beneficial.”
Vapor Maven carries two CBD products produced in Arkansas. CannaBlast comes from Springdale, while Shaman’s Reach is made in Jonesboro by Emerald’s Triangle.
Medical marijuana became legal in Arkansas back in 2017. Now, two years later, dispensaries around the state started selling the medicine in May 2019. NEA Full Spectrum, a medical marijuana dispensary, will open in Brookland later this year.
CBD remains legal, but still faces the same scrutiny as marijuana.
Haylie Slater works for Emerald’s Triangle, running the company’s blog and overseeing research. She said the reason CBD still gets negative press comes from a lack of knowledge.
“It comes from ignorance. That’s the best word to describe it,” she said.
Flippin said although CBD works for some people, others do not respond unless the product they take contains THC.
“There’s just something magical when you add the THC,” he said. “It acts as a catalyst.”
Many places in the United States sell CBD products. In Jonesboro, it can be found at almost any pharmacy, gas station or grocery store in one form or another. Places like Super V Drug, Cash Saver, Emerald’s Triangle and Vapor Maven all carry some form of CBD products.
However, not all products are made the same. Slater and Flippin both said before starting a regiment of CBD to research developers and distributors. Not all CBD products are pure. Some products tested possessed high levels of THC. If consumed, a product containing too much THC-infused CBD could cause a person could potentially fail a drug test. To fail a drug test using a product containing pure CBD, a person would need to consume at least their body weight in grams. To be sure of a product’s purity, Emerald’s conducts third-party testing on all products they carry, along with competitors’ products. These can be found at one of three Emerald’s locations in the region.
Fisher said the reason he believes CBD carries a negative stigma is people get bad information on the internet.
“I think people don’t get the right information online,” he said. “They don’t want to walk into a vape store and ask a bunch of questions and think they are getting the right answers, so they go onto the internet.”
Slater said the reason marijuana receives such a negative stigma comes from its illegal Schedule 1 classification.
“The most friction that we receive on it is the legality of it,” she said. “How it is never OK to break the law.”
Flippin said because Arkansas legislation did not approve the sale of medical marijuana until recently, patients traveled to surrounding states to buy it. Flippin said some families move to states where medical marijuana is legal so they can use the medicine.
“We’ve had people travel to other states where it is legal; we’ve had people go to Oklahoma now,” he said. “They call back and say it changed their life.”
Slater said work blogging and researching gives people access to the information so they can form their own opinions.
“My basis, my agenda, my prerogative with being involved with the blog and the research is to inform … bottom line,” she said. “It’s to inform people about the benefits and the way an herb can completely change your life.”
Before starting any health regiment, both Slater and Flippin said to talk to a doctor to explore all potential treatments. To obtain a medical marijuana card, a person must be evaluated by a medical professional.