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Hemp Health: Examining life-changing results of the controversial products

WSYX/WTTE

Life changing. It's a strong statement, but that’s exactly how some people are describing the impact Hemp is having on their health and their families. Users of CBD products tout a wide range of medical benefits. If you didn’t know, the cannabis compound is completely legal.

A number of people are treating some pretty serious medical issues with CBD instead of using standard medical care and they swear by it for autism, to cancer, to relief of everyday aches and pains. However, medical experts warn the use of these products should not be the only option.

It's a realization that no one is prepared for.

“I saw about 14 doctors when I got my cancer diagnosis,” said Lore Long.

Long struggles to find the right treatment options.

“I felt like no one understood me,” said Long.

After a double mastectomy, she opted against chemo and radiation therapy. Instead she took a holistic treatment approach, using agricultural hemp or CBD as an alternative. Now in remission, Long explained her daily regimen.

“We choose to use things that are natural,” said Long.

She’s not alone. Joseph Brennan, owner of Columbus Botanical Depot told ABC 6 that his business is booming.

“There’s multiple different products to be able to help pretty much everybody. Most people come in with anxiety, pain, depression. We have grown tremendously,” said Brennan.

Brennan points out the products are considered dietary supplements. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the part of the cannabis plant that doesn’t get you “high” like the THC side of the plant. It’s usually used for health reasons, not for recreation. Brennan told ABC 6 it may provide those natural healing affects without the buzz.

“To me it’s amazing because I know where my brain was a year ago,” said Ruben Ortega.

Ortega spent 20 years with unbearable pain from numerous injuries on the football field, leading to a dependence on pain killers. The use of CBD helping to taper him off opiates.

“All of a sudden the pain was gone and the cravings were gone,” said Ortega.

The results for users may be positive, but the Food and Drug Administration points out that these products are not approved for diagnosis, cure, treatment, or prevention of any disease. They warn consumers to beware when purchasing or using these products.

In October of this year, the FDA issued warning letters to four companies in regards to health claims. The FDA issued similar warning letters to CBD product makers in 2015 and 2016.

Four years ago ABC6/FOX28 profiled the story of Dana Shaffer and her family.

Shaffer told ABC 6 they were forced to move to Colorado to find the right CBD treatment for her son Hunter. We reached out to see how the family was doing. At the time, Hunter was suffering from serious seizures. The family told us he’s doing better now.

For a time the family returned to Ohio, but have since relocated permanently to Colorado. The family told us that along with access to CBD, a number of health and educational resources for their children was a big reason. Shaffer told ABC 6 that she is relieved that families in Ohio are getting a bit of help, but she stressed that more still needs to be done to give families here non-traditional methods of health care.

“It’s not just the oil that we can use. You know they have so many other options,“ said Shaffer.

Long emphasized that agricultural hemp has been a God-send for not only her, but her 8-year old autistic son Luke as well.

“We felt like he was dying. He was getting worse and we tried every kind of medication and every kind of doctor. No one could help us,” said Long.

Luke, who also uses CBD, is now getting better sleep. His behavior at home and school is improving dramatically. Long along with other advocates admit CBD is not a cure all. They do believe however it is a chance for those suffering to get a bit of needed relief.

There is still plenty of research being done on the impact of CBD to your health. Advocates believe with more of the stigma being removed, more individuals and families will be able to get the help they have desperately been searching for.

You may want to check with your doctor or medical professional before considering any treatment options.

The price of these products varies. They can range from as little as $25, all the way up to $400. The owner of Columbus Botanical Depot told ABC 6 that his story is the only store in this area offering only CBD products, but various stores in the area have different products. CBD products are also available online.

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