ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — It's called marijuana's less taboo cousin and it's showing up in a lot of products these days. CBD or cannabidiol is a compound derived from hemp and marijuana that doesn't cause a high. The ingredient is showing up in a variety of products including CBD-infused creams, oils, soaps, sprays and snacks. It can be found on the shelves of select locations of CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens among other places. So are these products safe?
"Right now, it looks like the CBD products are pretty safe, pretty harmless," said Dr. Jennifer Wessels, a family medicine physician and Vice President of Medical Affairs for SSM Health Medical Group. "There's still a lot more research that needs to be done. These products come from the hemp or marijuana plant. It is harvested differently and it does not have the same effects that marijuana would on a person." But Dr. Wessels does have at least one big concern.
"One issue we need to think about is that these products really are not regulated," said Wessels. "So anyone could put a label on these products and make any type of claims and we really don't have any scientific backing behind it to really prove or disprove the claims they are making."
"In a lot of these products, we don't really know the concentration of CBD, how pure it is, or if it was added with other products," said Wessels. "So when you purchase these products, you don't truly know what you're getting at this point in time." Walmart says it has no plans to sell CBD-infused products. Target says it is monitoring the situation.
Retail sales of CBD-infused products last year were estimated at 2 billion dollars. By the year 2025, that total could reach 16 billion in retail sales.