This Halloween season, some members of the media seem intent on playing a cruel trick on CBD oil users and parents.
Even after decades of education and growing awareness about the benefits and safety of hemp and cannabis, law enforcement is as eager as ever to spread fear and misinformation and, in some cases, journalists are just as eager to repeat those lies to the public.
While we like to keep things positive here at Ministry of Hemp, and usually prefer to focus on the countless benefits of this miracle crop, sometimes we have to take time to debunk untruths as well.
That’s why we want to reassure parents that CBD won’t be poisoning their kids this Halloween: we don’t believe anyone is putting CBD edibles in your kid’s treat bag.
Local News Spreads Misinformation About CBD for Holiday Clicks
Maybe you’ve seen a story like this one in your local paper, or seen a friend share something similar on social media. Some of these articles are concerned with the dangers of children getting ahold of edibles containing psychoactive cannabis or marijuana, agricultural hemp’s close cousin which does make you feel “high.” Thanks to the spread of cannabis legalization, edible treats containing marijuana are available legally in many states.
What stood out to us about this particular story, however, was that it’s focused on gummy candies infused with CBD oil, a popular supplement made from agricultural hemp which does not make you high. In fact, thousands of people have sought out this nutritional supplement for that very reason: CBD can offer numerous healing benefits, from easing anxiety to reducing inflammation, all while causing very few side effects.
While both CBD and marijuana edibles should always be stored out of reach of children, it seemed strange that the media would focus on the form of cannabis that causes relatively little change in the mental state of its users. Then again, since CBD is legal for consumers to buy in all of the U.S., but psychoactive cannabis is still illegal in North Carolina, it would be hard to stir up fear about pot edibles there. And fear means more clicks, and more ad dollars flowing to increasingly cash strapped publishers and TV stations.
What the Media Gets Wrong About CBD Oil
The WRAL story is just one of several like it in the news right now, but we’ll highlight a few of the most egregious errors in it anyway, in the hopes of educating our readers and easing any fears they may still have about the safety of hemp and CBD.
• CBD won’t make you high. As stated above, CBD doesn’t make people feel high, unlike THC, the related cannabinoid chemical found in marijuana. In fact, WRAL were forced to post a correction after incorrectly implying that Koi CBD Candies, a particular brand of CBD-infused gummy, might contain THC. It does not.
• CBD is safe in any form. Numerous studies have shown that CBD is safe for humans to consume and that it would be almost impossible to overdose on it. Even psychoactive cannabis is considered safer than alcohol and tobacco, two substances that kids unfortunately get their hands on all too frequently. Our homes are also full of dangerous substances that can be harmful if ingested. WRAL chose to focus on CBD gummies for their story, but even gummy vitamins can be toxic if taken in high doses, especially by kids.
• CBD is too expensive to give out randomly to kids. WRAL admits that local police have never found CBD on any school campus, but still tries to suggest that someone might accidentally or maliciously give out a CBD candy at Halloween. But anyone spending $30 for a bag of 20 gummies (the cost of the brand used in this story) isn’t going to leave them anywhere kids could find them. By comparison, a 5 pound bag of normal gummy bears costs $10 on Amazon. We’re regular CBD users ourselves, so obviously we think it’s more than worth the cost, but no one in their right mind is letting such a beneficial and valuable substance go to waste or fall into the wrong hands.
• Some children actually do take CBD. Again, we’d never recommend giving CBD to a kid without the advice of a medical professional, but a growing number of children use CBD oil to treat serious medical conditions, particularly epilepsy. For some of these children, CBD has transformed their lives, keeping their seizures at bay and allowing them to interact with the world in ways that were formerly impossible. Unfortunately, much of the medical establishment refuses to accept the evidence that CBD and cannabis can help some otherwise untreatable cases of epilepsy, in part because of the intense stigma around these substances.
Scary Stories About Hemp and CBD Perpetuate the War on Drugs
The WRAL story about CBD, and similar articles in other outlets, are proof that the stigma around cannabis, one of the safest substances on earth, is still alive and well. Additionally, it’s evidence that law enforcement officers are just as invested as ever in keeping this baseless fear around, despite the thousands of people imprisoned and countless lives ruined because of the war on this miraculous plant.
WRAL’s reporters interviewed Jason Locklear, an agent at North Carolina’s Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement, who ominously declared that shops in the region were selling out of CBD-laced lollipops. Notably, not a single police officer interviewed had any proof that these lollipops were ending up in kids’ hands, on Halloween or any other day.
That didn’t stop Locklear from declaring, “Anybody in the school system should be alarmed. Parents should be alarmed.”
Agent Locklear even suggests employers should be concerned about whether their workers are using CBD to relax or ease their aches and pains!
If you know about the history of why cannabis and hemp are illegal, then this kind of statement is disappointing, but not surprising. One major reason cannabis remains illegal is that police and prison guards’ unions lobby against legalization because the war on drugs is extremely profitable for law enforcement. As more states legalize recreational or medicinal cannabis, and people everywhere discover the benefits of CBD, these unscrupulous cops see their profits slipping away!
If you want to be scared this Halloween, we suggest going the traditional route: put on a scary movie. We’re partial to classics like “The Haunting” or “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” though of course these films aren’t safe for kids either.
Meanwhile, we look forward to the day when cannabis is legal in all its forms, and journalists need to look elsewhere to generate thrills and chills.