‘You do not know what you are consuming:' State officials warn of CBD dangers

‘You do not know what you are consuming:' State officials warn of CBD dangers

JACKSON/GAUTIER, Miss. (WLOX) - Health officials in Mississippi are warning people not to consume products advertised as including CBD.

At a joint press conference Wednesday, the state Health Department and Department of Public Safety warned residents to be very cautious because they don’t know what is in the CBD products currently on shelves.

Currently, there is no federal or state oversight for products that contain CBD.

“We have no idea what ingredients or amounts are in these products and without proper labeling, you do not know what you are consuming and that is dangerous,” said Marshall Fisher, Commissioner of Public Safety.

Harry Mark Gonsoulin said that’s not the case. He owns two CBD stores on the coast, Dr. Feelgood Botanicals in Gulfport and The CBD Medical Center in Gautier.

“If you come in this store and say okay, I’m interested in this Dr. Feelgood Botanicals you got there. You go on the computer, you pull up their website. It has it where you can go, get your COA, which is a lab report. Tells you everything that’s in the product, which is an independent third party lab that’s doing this. It’s got a phone number you can call," Gonsoulin said.

CBD can actually be derived from either marijuana or hemp, which are variants of the cannabis plant. Marijuana and its derivatives are psychoactive, due to the compound THC, which is the compound responsible for inducing highs. Products derived from marijuana often have 15 to 30 percent of THC.

However, products derived from hemp, which is another variety of the cannabis plant, is harvested to contain only trace amounts of THC, generally 0.3 percent or less. These are the products that are advertised in stores across Mississippi.

Under the federal 2014 Farm Bill, both the cultivation and use of industrial hemp and products sourced from the plant are legal across all 50 states. All hemp-sourced products are federally legal unless in-state laws state otherwise.

In 2014, Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 1231, also known to locals as Harper Grace’s Law. This legislation allowed for the use of CBD products that “contain more than 15 percent CBD and less than 0.5 percent THC” if a resident is diagnosed with a debilitating epileptic condition. So if you’re suffering from intractable epilepsy or a catastrophic seizure disorder, you are allowed to obtain and use CBD cannabis oil.

“Testing of CBD products purchased around the state have shown that the overwhelming majority of CBD products are mislabeled," said John Dowdy, Director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. Mississippi State Health Officer. “A large number of the products contain narcotics that are illegal under both state and federal law. The public safety and health concerns arising from the sale and use of these products are alarming.”

State health officials stress the importance of being aware of products containing CBD.

“You really do not know what you are buying, and I am incredibly concerned about the safety of all CBD products," said Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs. "Without any federal or state oversight, consumers are taking great risks for their safety.”

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