Establishment of CBD month acknowledges rise in popularity of CBD oil, various uses


Kiersten Riedford

Srinivasu Kesa, founder and owner of MD Medical Weight Loss, Medical Center and Med Spa schedules his next appointment. Kesa said there are several different benefits to using CBD oils.

Uma Kandallu

Sophomore Manasa Kesa said she first learned about cannabidiol (CBD) and its potential uses when her parents opened their weight loss store and began selling the product.

Now, Manasa said she primarily uses CBD to enhance her concentration while studying.

“I have problems with focusing and energy, and my parents make different types of CBD that’s made for different purposes, so I used a blend for motivation and focus to help me get homework done,” Manasa said.

This month marks the first observance of national CBD month. The popularity of CBD products has increased steadily nationwide since the 2018 United States farm bill legalized all products of hemp.

A 2019 survey conducted by Gallup found that 14% of Americans say they use CBD products. Of those users, 40% utilize CBD products for pain, 20% for anxiety and 11% for sleep.

Srinivasu Kesa, founder and owner of MD Medical Weight Loss, Medical Center and Med Spa and Manasa’s father, said he initially decided to start selling CBD at his store because of the wide variety of health benefits he said he saw could be achieved from using it.

Mr. Kesa said, “There are receptors in the body that are targets for CBD products. There have been multiple studies showing evidence that there are definite effects on the CBD receptors, and (CBD) has shown to be effective in many people who have critically chronic pain, anxiety and headaches.”

Kenneth Mackie, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University, said while he himself has never tried CBD, he has seen others benefit from it. Mackie has been a key researcher in numerous studies about the effects of CBD.

“(CBD) works for quite a few more conditions than you’d expect. Of course, it doesn’t work for everything or everyone. It’s not 100%, but nothing is,” he said.

Manasa said her dog was also able to benefit from using CBD, finding relief from cancer.

“He had lymphoma and was in extreme pain,” she said. “We used a CBD oil brew meant for pets, and it helped dull the agony during his last days.”

Despite common belief, CBD is not the same as marijuana. The “high” users get from marijuana is a result of the chemical Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD is extracted from the flowers and buds of marijuana or hemp plants and does not contain THC.

CBD does not require a prescription to use and is sold over the counter in a variety of stores. CBD also has no age restrictions for usage.

Despite the current legality of CBD, if a student wishes to bring and use it at school, a memorandum passed by the Indiana Department of Education in 2018 mandated that the CBD product would have to meet certain testing, packaging and labeling requirements.

Caroline Pasko, registered nurse for Carmel Clay Schools, said via email those requirements make it difficult for students to be able to use CBD at school.

“Among the most important things, (the memorandum) states that CBD oil must be prescribed by a physician, been approved by the (U.S.) Food and Drug Administration or the federal Drug Enforcement Agency as a prescription or over-the-counter drug and meet specific packing requirements,” said Pasko.

Though Manasa doesn’t use CBD at school, she said it can still be difficult to explain to others what CBD is and why she uses it due to the common misconception that CBD and marijuana are the same.

Manasa said she uses CBD in the form of an oil and adds a few drops of it to her drink. She said she was advised to use CBD every morning; however, she said she often forgets to take it. Despite this, she said she will try to use it more regularly in the future as she feels that it improves her overall health.

However, despite these benefits, Mackie said there could be additional long-term effects of CBD that are currently unknown.

“I think the biggest downside is that we don’t really know its long-term effects because they haven’t been studied, people haven’t been using it long enough to know what happens five, 10 years down the road,” he said. “The risk is very, very low; there’s plenty of evidence for that. But we don’t know, say, if (CBD) has effects on the developing brain that won’t enlarge until years later. It’s always a balance between the potential risks and the potential benefits.”

Mr. Kesa said side effects may occur if one takes CBD along with other medications without consulting their doctor first.

Manasa said while she feels she doesn’t currently use CBD enough to quite understand the downsides, she said she agrees that negative effects may occur as a result of behavior such as taking too high of doses.

As advice for those considering using CBD in the future, Manasa said, “I don’t see any reason to not use it, as it can’t hurt you. Go for it, you only stand to gain.”