Current State of CBD

CBD (cannabidiol) has been taking the United States by storm recently with the changes of federal and state laws regarding hemp and CBD.  Ever since President Trump signed the Farm Bill in 2018 that excluded industrial hemp from the Controlled Substance Act, many states have followed suit and allowed cultivation, production and sale of CBD.  By definition, the product that was removed by the Farm Bill was that which contained 0.3% or less of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the psychoactive component of marijuana that gets people high. Hemp and marijuana are closely related cousins but have several distinct differences in things like how they grow, what they look like, their uses and the amounts of THC contained.

History of Hemp

A brief history of hemp and marijuana looks at how it became illegal in the United States.  Hemp has been used for 10,000 or more years in civilizations throughout the world due to its many benefits for making products, restoring depleted soil, medicinal uses and rapid growth that is much more environmentally friendly than some alternatives that are used in everyday products (like cotton).  In fact, it used to be illegal to NOT grow hemp in the United States due to its widespread functionality. Between the Marihuana (as it used to be spelled) Tax Act in 1937, many misconceptions regarding hemp vs marijuana at the time and some powerful people (William Randolph Hearst, Andrew Mellon and the DuPont family) having interests in seeing hemp go away it became illegal.  Things are finally changing and coming full circle that the differences and uses are understood.

Benefits

CBD has many actual and potential health benefits from treating seizures, pain, anxiety, sleep disorders, other inflammatory diseases, cancer, skin conditions and skin anti-aging.  Since it hasn’t been illegal in all countries in the world some leading research has been done to understand its uses. They have found different receptors in different parts of the body that make this such a potential wide-spread treatment for so many conditions.

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Buyer Beware

Where the Wild-Wild-West CBD market really comes into play is quality and potential drug interactions.  With pretty much anyone able to make and sell CBD products you have to be careful what you are buying and from whom.  Just because a tire shop, a video rental store or Amazon sells this doesn’t mean you are getting a high-quality product and you may have some very serious interactions with your medications.  Some lower-cost products may not be full-spectrum or may have some hidden ingredients that you may not know about, don’t want and may be illegal.

Drug Interactions

CBD has a very powerful effect on the liver and how it metabolizes many medications.  This could lead to too much or not enough medication in your system. What this means is that you may not get the right effect of your medications because CBD may be causing your liver to break them down (metabolize) them too fast or it can lead to too much medication in your body because the liver can’t break them down enough or fast enough thereby causing added side effects.  Some of these can be deadly and life-threatening. Others may be less severe but you need to know what to look for in case you are having a drug interaction to either stop your CBD or talk to your doctor about adjusting your medication if the CBD is working well for you.

Why Buy From a Pharmacy

How do you know if CBD is safe for you?  The most obvious way is to only buy it from a pharmacy.  Pharmacies have to vet the manufacturers that they stock and many manufacturers only sell to independent and compounding pharmacies.  Ask questions about the products they carry and if it is full-spectrum if they get lab reports with each batch to show what amount of THC and other components are in the product and what type of extraction process is used.   These pharmacies will have time to discuss CBD, drug interactions, what product is best for you and how to use the products you are looking at. Only discussing with a pharmacist will you find out if you SHOULDN’T use CBD. In fact, at our pharmacy, we have had about 8 patients that were not candidates for using CBD due to drug interactions.  If they had not come to a pharmacy they would likely have purchased a product that would be very dangerous for them and potentially caused a life-threatening drug interaction.  

You will notice that CBD products sold by pharmacies may be a bit more expensive than what you can buy online or through other vendors.  Much of that comes from the added manufacturing processes to produce a quality product that you can be assured will meet the demands of a pharmacy.  

CBD is helping a lot of people manage many medical conditions, reduce prescription medications they are using or as an alternative to more expensive prescription medications.  As more research dollars are doing into CBD we are continuing to learn more every day about new receptors and new conditions it can be used for. If you are thinking about purchasing or are purchasing again, consider where you are buying and the quality of the product you are buying.  Pharmacists are the only people that can truly guide you in the safety and selection of your purchase to help ensure the best product and outcome for you.

Our staff at Beaker Pharmacy in McKinney are experts in CBD products and can help guide you to the right product.  Come see how we can help.

References:

  1. www.cannabisnow.com/hemp-history/

  2. www.nationalhempassociation.org/facts-statistics-hemp/

  3. www.projectcbd.org/cbd-101/what-is-cbd/

  4. www.projectcbd.org/how-to/cbd-drug-interactions/

  5. www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_history_of_cannabis_in_the_United_States