Health and Wellness Advocacy Launches CBD Poster Campaign

Jacob Wendler/The North West Daily

The posters list the potential risks of cannabidiol, better known as CBD, and are the latest iteration of a cannabis awareness campaign launched by Health Promotion and Wellness in 2019.

Walking through the halls of University buildings, North West students are now greeted by posters with a concise message from Student Affairs: “Legal is not synonymous with security.

The posters list the potential risks of cannabidiol, better known as CBD, and are the latest iteration of a cannabis awareness campaign launched by Health Promotion and Wellness in 2019.

The office, which focuses on education and support programs related to substance use and other wellness issues, launched the Cannabis Awareness Campaign more than two years ago in anticipation of cannabis legalization in Illinois, according to HPaW Deputy Director Kevin Meier.

Meier said the office started the campaign to help students make informed decisions about cannabis use.

“As with all of the conversations we have about substance use with our college population, we do this through a harm reduction lens,” Meier said. “It’s not the ‘just say no’ message in any way, and it’s just to be realistic, to meet students where they are, and to provide them with the tools to make informed decisions.”

Recreational marijuana became legal in Illinois for adults 21 and older in January 2020, when the Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act went into effect.

However, while the city council voted in September 2020 to allow the sale of cannabis for recreational purposes, the substance is still prohibited on all NU properties and at university-sponsored events and activities. Because NU receives funding from the federal government, it is required to comply with federal law prohibiting the possession and use of cannabis, including the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act.

While posters around campus remind students that University policy prohibits cannabis use, Meier added that students can contact HPaW to engage in confidential conversations about their substance use or intent to use cannabis.

“We wanted to make sure that people who choose to turn to CBD for whatever reason understand that there is very little research on this substance at this point,” Meier said. “Much remains to be learned about how much CBD actually helps in terms of certain health conditions.”

Lisa Brennan-Winefield, co-owner of Botanica Plant Based Health in Evanston, pushed back on the claim that research on CBD is limited.

Cannabis products are regulated in the United States based on THC levels, Brennan-Winefield said. Any product containing more than 3% THC, the psychoactive component of the plant, is regulated as marijuana. She said some of her clients first saw positive results from using marijuana for anxiety relief, but later found the high THC content exacerbated their condition.

“Because CBD works so differently in everyone, some people see really phenomenal results using it for anxiety, and for some people it (takes away) the edge,” she said.

She also said that Botanica customers often seek out CBD products — which range from products containing only CBD to others that also contain other cannabinoids, such as THC — to relieve conditions such as insomnia, stress and anxiety or chronic pain.

However, Professor Feinberg Richard Miller, who studies pharmacology, said that although more research is emerging on the effects of CBD, the current body of information provides little support for these uses. Some of the perceived positive impacts may be due to the placebo effect, he added.

Miller said that while CBD can often be tolerated in relatively high amounts, the main complications come from excessively high doses or interactions with other medications. If individuals consume CBD products while taking other anti-anxiety medications, CBD can interfere with how the drug is metabolized, leading to potentially toxic levels of the drug, he said. declared.

“There’s not a lot of evidence that cannabidiol does anything good or bad,” Miller said. “But there are a few well-established cases, and maybe you have to keep an open mind.”

E-mail: [email protected]

Twitter: @jacob.wendler

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