Last Sunday, The Dispatch published two opinion columns criticizing the Ohio Board of Pharmacy’s recent decision to restrict cannabidiol oil sales to approved medical marijuana dispensaries. The purpose of the board’s decision is to ensure that the product reaching consumers is safe and consistent with the advertised label.
CBD oil has the potential to harm patients, particularly pediatric patients, if the manufacturing and labeling of the products are not regulated and consistent. The Food and Drug Administration sent warning letters in 2016 to 14 online retailers as some “CBD” oils had less than 1 percent CBD in the products tested. All of the products tested were inaccurate and overestimated the amount of CBD in the oil. A 2017 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that researchers tested 84 CBD products from 31 online retailers and found 69 percent of the products were mislabeled.
While it is true that patients report possible benefit from CBD, it seems unlikely those patients would benefit from inconsistent or minimal amounts of CBD in mislabeled oils. Additionally, studies have shown that CBD oil interacts with other medications. In clinical trials of a plant-based pharmaceutical grade CBD oil, pediatric participants have reported sleepiness and gastrointestinal side effects.
The Ohio Board of Pharmacy is seeking to ensure CBD oils are safe and that the contents of the oil match the labeling. This should warrant praise, not criticism, as they are protecting patients’ interests. Furthermore, patients desiring to take CBD oil to treat a medical condition should discuss this decision with a physician as recommended by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.
Daniel A Freedman, D.O., Columbus