Juliette Wallen’s special caramels, gummy bears and popcorn aren’t just snacks. They’re her “medicine”.
“This is something I’d keep in my purse or my car in case of emergency, in case I had a seizure,” Wallen explains, as she holds up a caramel fresh out of its wrapper.
Each of her snacks contain CBD, which is short for cannabidiol, a derivative of the marijuana plant.
It is currently being studied to see if it helps treat several conditions, including anxiety, pain, inflammatory diseases and more.
Wallen tells us, “I use CBD for systemic swelling. I use CBD for pain and I use CBD for seizure mitigation. And the side effect for me is just wellbeing.”
CBD has been available in oil form for a while, but it’s now popping up in snack foods, sold in stores and online.
Yet, the DEA considers it a controlled substance and says it is not legal in food.
“It is a byproduct that comes from the marijuana plant and because of that, it is still looked at from DEA as a Schedule 1 substance,” explains Melvin Patterson, a spokesperson for the DEA.
The FDA recently sent out warning letters to some companies marketing CBD-infused products claiming benefits for cancer, Alzheimer’s and other diseases. The FDA says those claims are unsubstantiated, and the agency is still evaluating whether CBD should pass the drug-approval process.
Patterson explains, “We do know that it's involved in some clinical trials. If those clinical trials prove that CBD is a viable treatment for something and the FDA signs off on that, then it will be considered what everybody refers to as legal.”
Some manufacturers think there are loopholes in the current law, however. Wallen elaborates, “If they have less than point zero three percent CBD or THC in that product, then that's one of the loopholes that they're able to sell it. But those products aren't supposed to be edible products.”
Juliette says she’ll continue to count on her special treats as long as she can find them for sale, explaining, “When I use CBD I feel good. I feel better than when I have a cup of coffee. I feel better than when I've had an analgesic