Cannabis researcher weighs in on whether CBD oil is safe alternative to prescription drugs

MILWAUKEE -- A growing number of hemp CBD oil dispensaries are popping up across southeast Wisconsin. The oil is used to treat a number of medical illnesses. 

Half a dozen stores in the Milwaukee area have started selling CBD oil over the month like Infinite Vapor on Water St., but one researcher says don't dump your prescriptions for the oil just yet. 

Ever since Mark Newkirk loaded his store's shelves with CBD oil two weeks ago, the calls haven't stopped. 

"We have the body creams, the muscle creams, gummies, drops you put under your tongue," Newkirk said. "It seems to be a growing trend, people are using it for various reasons, (they're) trying it as opposed to traditional medicines for things like pain, anxiety, insomnia." 

"I do think there are some good, therapeutic benefits to CBD oil," said Cecilia Hillard with the Medical College of Wisconsin. 

Hillard studies how cannabis affects peoples' nervous systems at the medical college of Wisconsin.

"There's a little evidence that it might be good for pain, anxiety," she said.  

She's been paying close attention to hemp CBD oil now that it's legal to grow, process and sell in the state. 

When asked whether she believes the product is a viable alternative to medical ailments which require prescription pills, she responded, "Well, I think the jury is still out on the answer to that question." 

Hillard believes that's a conversation to be had with your physician. 

"The real types of studies which would give us confidence to say, 'yes, you should take this instead of your drug for a disease have just not been done," she said.  

Hillard says there is only one FDA approved CBD oil, you wouldn't find it at stores like these because it has to be purchased at licensed pharmacies. 

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