The CBD: Legality, Uses, and Misconceptions
By Jeff Roslow
CBD can Help Pain, but Fear of it Continues
Medical research has backed up the fact that Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the two active ingredients in cannabis, does not change a person’s state of mind, but it does alter the body in some helpful ways. Because of this, CBD use is rising in both the amount of its use and how it is consumed or used.
Last year Hempworx, a CBD distributor, made $600 million. CBD is projected to be a $22 billion industry by 2022, Forbes magazine reported.
With it being relatively new to relieve pain and with it being a derivative of cannabis (commonly called marijuana) there is plenty of apprehension and fear out there.
CBD, however, does not induce the same “high” effect as with marijuana’s active ingredient, THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). CBD is not psychoactive, which means it is not intoxicating. But research has shown that it does have the effect all cannabinoids have, making changes in the body by attaching itself to certain receptors.
On its own the human body produces cannabinoids. There are two receptors for cannabinoids, one is called CB1, the other CB2. THC bonds with CB1 receptors, which effects the brain, specifically coordination and movement, pain, emotions, mood, thinking, appetite, and memories. CBD bonds with CB2 receptors, which affects inflammation and pain. It can reduce symptoms of substance abuse, anxiety, pain, insomnia and even cancer.
Florida is one of 46 states that allow CBD for medical use. The state allows only use for medical CBD oil use and it cannot contain any more than 0.3 percent THC.
Lake Wales resident Lisa Andrews, 52, took to CBD oil after a mastectomy of her left breast late last year. She used Vicodin but complained it did not control the pain that has left a scar from the incision on her back, under her arm and halfway across her chest. Her daughter did some research on CBD and discovered there may be some hope in it.
“What I have found is, though I cannot say it works directly on the pain itself, what it did for was relax me enough to sleep and finally get some much needed rest. There is a calming affect that I find very beneficial in a stressful time like going through cancer and treatment.”
While clinical tests of CBD treatments have shown that cancer has stopped spreading in patients and has some detoxification effects, Andrews herself is hesitant to say CBD should be one’s only treatment path. She does say, however, that it has been a great alternative and would recommend it.
“From all the research we have done on the oil, I would have to say I would recommend using it along with conventional treatment but not in substitution of,” Andrews says. “I believe it has helped with my state of mind in dealing with this because the mental relaxation and physical rest are so vital in healing.”
Tori Harrison of Winter Haven also saw first hand advantages of CBD oil.
“I was in severe pain and had crippling anxiety,” she says. “I was one of those people who would talk myself out of going to the grocery store because I was so anxious.”
But since starting on her CBD regimen, she says, “I no longer have anxiety and my pain is gone.
This she says has made her a happier person, and “free to move as I please because the pain is gone.”
She adds, “THC is what gives you a stoner high feeling. CBD on the other hand is what takes away pain and heals you from the inside out. I recommend CBD to any person experiencing this type of issue.”
Country Primitives Vintage Market, located at 251 Avenue A SW in Winter Haven, dispenses CBD oils in the vendor space rented by Winter Haven resident Marilyn Lacey.
Lacey, who makes natural products like soaps and lotions, is now getting into selling CBD oil. Her company, HomeRemeCBDy, sells topical salves, tinctures, sublingual and other products to customers for back pain, neck pain, arthritis, cysts, anxiety and diabetes. Lacey also sells CBD products for pets.
Educate Yourself About CBD
With CBD no longer being a Level I drug and now OK’d in last year’s Farm Bill, CBD is not regulated by the federal government. Lacey says that puts a burden on people to find out about the specific variety of CBD oil they are taking.
“When purchasing CBD, customers should ask, where is it grown? And, may I see your certificate of authenticity?” Lacey says.
Last year, she points out the Food and Drug Administration OK’d CBD use for epilepsy.
She says CBD is a natural substance that causes no harmful side effects and it is not addictive.
“CBD has been shown to be very safe. In fact, even kids and pets can take it.”
Jenny Seay (not her real name), 35, a former Polk County school teacher, says she used CBD for her shoulder pain and also gave some to her chihuahua to help with aggressiveness.
“I did try legal cannabis in a legal state, but I don’t like how it made my head spin,” she says. She gave some to Mika, her 12-year-old dog who was grumpy around other dogs.
“It helped her to calm down and not growl so much,” Seay says.
With much positive feedback coming from its use, Dr. Ana Lipson who owns Central Florida Pain Management in Winter Haven, says people should not be so quick to sing its praises. It is still new. While side effects have not been found to date, people should take caution as anyone should with a new medication.
“We’ve been going on a year and a half. Conversation started happening ever since Amendment 1 passed,” she says. “I have been exploring CBD and educating myself on it.”
Dr. Lipson does not prescribe CBD, but she tells her patients to explore it and determine the risks and benefits.
“With CBD there is no clear indication and there is a lot of research going on. We know it may have certain aspects of anti-inflammatory properties,” she says.
She suggests that those in the medical field would do well to get to know more about CBD because popular interest is rising and education is key to understanding what CBD is and what it’s not.
According to Lipson, recent studies have shown up to 70 percent of patients want to know more about this subject. She has seen confusion and apprehension in her patients.
“Most patients tell me they think medical marijuana is like recreational marijuana. It’s not and that has to be clear,” she says.
The numbers of patients using CBD oil have been steadily growing in the last few years. But, Gwen Phelps of Hempworx, says patients have to look at the alternatives and will probably find what they are seeking. She also has seen some of the hesitation and fear lessening.
“I believe that we as a society, are beginning to see the difference between hemp and marijuana. The 2018 Farmers Bill was a massive movement and it has opened the door for many to find a more natural alternative to aid with their ailments,” Phelps says.
In order to be able to take this oil, she says, look at the ingredients of the products.
“Many companies claim to be full spectrum or broad spectrum or THC-free, but do not supply the testing to prove it. It’s also been noted that several companies who do test, may not test on the final product or test higher or lower levels of THC and CBD milligram strength.”
At the heart of the matter is the question of legality. In Florida CBD is legal. Federally, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration still considers marijuana (not CBD) to be on the level of heroin or ecstasy, while hemp, is legal as long as the THC content is low. The Department of Agriculture doesn’t test for CBD but it does for THC, therefore giving companies the ability to get away with selling products they say have CBD.
This causes a gray area, and can mislead consumers. Lacey reiterates that consumers should ask questions and know what they’re buying. However, dialogue is happening and people—medical experts and consumers alike—are educating themselves.
“It’s OK to talk about CBD,” Lacey says. “Now that it’s been removed from the Schedule 1 narcotic list on a federal level, it should no longer have a bad stigma about it. It’s not the marijuana a lot of us grew up with. We can say yes to CBD.”