A) CBD oils.
B) Recent headlines say people are abusing them.
C) Not this girl.
D) She's thriving...
E) ...and her mom is pissed at "idiots" giving CBD a bad name.
I get more questions about CBD oils than anything else. There's lots of swirl. I'm taking time to write this hoping to clear up some confusion.
North Carolina's CBD oil law was named after now 9-year-old Haley Ward. This is a new picture. Haley's mom, Sherena, is a single mother who works her tail off day-in and day-out to keep her daughter alive and happy. I've met them and have fallen a little bit in love with the passion Sherena has for helping her daughter overcome obstacles.
It has been a long time since checking in on Haley. My fault. Life gets in the way sometimes. But after reading stories a couple weeks ago about teens in Cabarrus County getting sick on CBD oils, I sent Sherena a note asking how her daughter was doing…she sent back beautiful photos.
I compared the new photos to old ones from 2013. Drastic difference.
"She goes weeks without seizing," Sherena said. "After having 20,000 seizures before starting her CBD oil, she now goes long periods WITHOUT HAVING ONE. She used to be dismissed by Medicaid since she wasn't progressing in therapies, but now she's meeting goals. And you won't believe this from when you last saw her Molly, but she has even said 'yes' and 'no'! Out loud!"
That IS hard to believe. The Haley I remember was non-verbal, disconnected and living in a mental world no one around her could see.
Sherena credits her daughter's success to CBD oils. Period.
For those who don't know, CBD oils are a strain of medical marijuana made from genetically engineered plants. They've removed THC -- stuff that gets you high --from the plant, and left CBD, which has a more therapeutic effect.
Meaning, you can't get high on the oil if you tried.
It was a long, rough road to get CBD oils passed into law. When Governor Pat McCrory first signed the bill in 2014, lots of last-minute loopholes made what he signed useless. No one could actually get the medicine. A year later he quietly helped fix that and signed a new version. It wasn't perfect, but did provide a legal path for North Carolina families. It is still in place today.
Sherena jumped on giving her daughter CBD oil the second the better law was in place.
Three years later, Haley is fully off pharmaceutical medications. Her mom says she used to take eleven pills a day.
"Her fists used to be balled up so tightly that her fingernails would cut her palms," Sherena said. "Now she's able to point and hold my hand, smile and engage with other people."
Important to note, CBD oils are still not FDA-approved. There are warning labels on most bottles no matter where you buy them, but they're not hard to find and are popping up in more and more places.
"YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU'RE BUYING," Sherena said. "I'm a huge promoter of CBD oil, but only from legitimate sources. You can't buy it from a roadside stand or handmade poster advertising it in Sharpie pen. Don't get it from some anonymous Facebook page. Look at the ingredients. Know its origin. People are hurting themselves because they don't REALLY know what they're putting in their bodies."
Sherena says she gets Haley's CBD oil from Palmetto Harmony, based in South Carolina. Palmetto Harmony recently got FCC-approval for a national TV ad -- first company to be able to market CBD oils on TV -- but there are other legitimate and good companies making CBD oil as well.
"This is not supposed to be a medicine made in a neighbor's kitchen," Sherena said. "CBD OILS ARE NOT MEANT AS A RECREATIONAL DRUG. I'll say it again. THEY'RE NOT A RECREATIONAL DRUG. If you drink a bottle of CBD trying to get high, you'll get sick. It's like trying to take all the aspirin in one bottle – you'll overload your body and be ill."
More importantly, Sherena says, misusing the product and getting sick then taints the image of this natural medicine for others who don't understand.
"I hate to hear about teens looking to experiment, and overusing CBD oils for the wrong reasons," she said. "For my daughter it has been a lifesaver. I use to have give her shots in her thighs full of pharmaceutical drugs – those drugs made her lifeless. I don't fear putting plant oil in her mouth at all."
Thanks for your candor, Sherena. Good education for us all.
**Editor's note: This is about one of #MollysKids, children WBTV Anchor Molly Grantham follows closely on her Facebook page. It was first published there, which is why it's written in a personal way. For years Molly has followed hundreds of kids with uphill medical battles. Find this story and updates on all #MollysKids here.**