marijuana cbd oil for sale

CBD products are popping up in stores near you. Here's what you need to know about them

Some say it treats anxiety. Others claim it’s the newest answer to Parkinson’s disease.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, though, cracked down on its marketing while also approving it for treatment of two forms of severe epilepsy.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is popping up on shelves across the country in oil, extract, vaporized liquid and capsule form, according to the Mayo Clinic. Interest in the product skyrocketed after Congress passed the Farm Bill last year, making some cannabis plants legal.

Here is USA TODAY’s breakdown of what you need to know about a substance that appears in products from lip balm to gummies:

Is CBD marijuana?

No. CBD is non-psychoactive and shouldn’t contain THC, the chemical that produces the “high” feeling in marijuana.

Like THC, CBD is a chemical extracted from cannabis plants. It can be found in both hemp and marijuana plants — both are technically “cannabis” but hemp must have less than 0.3 percent THC present.

That doesn’t mean CBD products never contain THC, especially because the laws regulating CBD are murky. In one study of 84 CBD products purchased online, THC was found in 18 products, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Where can I find CBD products?

CBD oil has expanded into natural medicine, cosmetics and even food. Both Walgreens and CVS announced in March that they would begin carrying CBD products in some stores.

Walgreens will sell the product in creams, patches and sprays in Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Kentucky, Vermont, South Carolina, Illinois and Indiana.

“This product offering is in line with our efforts to provide a wider range of accessible health and wellbeing products and services to best meet the needs and preferences of our customers,” Walgreens spokesman Brian Faith said in a statement to USA TODAY.

CVS will sell CBD in topical products, including “creams, sprays, roll-ons, lotions and salves,” in seven states (California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland and Tennessee).

CBD is also being introduced in popular cosmetic and skincare brands, with stores like Sephora and Ulta Beauty both carrying CBD products.

(Photo: Getty Images)

One CBD product, Epidiolex, has been approved by the FDA to legally treat two rare forms of epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.

“This approval serves as a reminder that advancing sound development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a June 2018 statement.

The FDA has also approved three “cannabis-related” drug products, including Marinol, Syndros and Cesamet. These improve nausea related to cancer chemotherapy and “anorexia associated with weight loss in patients with AIDS,” according to BlueCross BlueShield.

Is CBD safe for your pets?

Pet owners and vets around the country are also using CBD products for their furry friends.

CBD oil has been linked to pain relief as well as treatment for anxiety, so the chemical has been given to pets suffering from ailments from hyperactivity to arthritis and cancer.

Martha Stewart announced in February that she is partnering with Canopy Growth to release a line of CBD products, beginning with animal health treatments.

Are there side effects?

Yes. Side effects may include dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness and fatigue, the Mayo Clinic reported.

The chemical can also interact with other medications. If you have a heart condition or take blood thinners, some doctors recommend staying away from CBD.

What’s the law on CBD?

Despite the Farm Bill making hemp plants legal across the country, that doesn’t mean all CBD products advertising weight loss or anti-anxiety properties are legal.

The FDA and the Federal Trade Commission can still regulate any product that make false health claims. The agencies sent letters to three companies Tuesday, including Advanced Spine and Pain LLC, Nutra Pure LLC and PotNetwork Holdings Inc, for “making unsubstantiated claims related to more than a dozen different products.”

Examples of claims include stopping “cancer cells in multiple different cervical cancer varieties,” slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and reducing the “rewarding effects” of morphine and heroin.

The FDA is holding a public hearing for “stakeholders to share their experiences and challenges” with CBD on May 31.

Dispensaries scramble to adjust to unanticipated CBD ban

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The Montana Department of Revenue and cannabis industry stakeholders alike were surprised to recently discover that HB 701, the state’s legalization framework bill, prohibits license holders from growing or selling hemp, and by extension, from producing cannabidiol or CBD products that are derived from hemp. The ban additionally prohibits license holders from selling any other brand’s CBD wares.

“Frankly, I feel like we stumbled upon it. It wasn’t on our radar at all,” said Kristan Barbour, administrator of the Department of Revenue’s Cannabis Control Division.

CBD products by legal definition contain no more than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants, and are sold in many forms including edibles, tinctures, vape cartridges, topicals and as smokable plant material. CBD has become popular for what consumers consider its innocuous calming and soothing effects. The products are available to anyone over the age of 18 and no medical marijuana card is required for purchase.

Products that contain a blend of THC and CBD, such as vaporizer cartridges, will still be legally salable by dispensaries, as long as the CBD in those products has been extracted from plants that contain more than 0.3% THC, and thus do not qualify as hemp.

“It’s idiotic. It’s denying consumers access to safe consumption.”

Missoula herbalist Tessa rose

The ban goes into effect Jan. 1, 2022, the same day recreational cannabis sales begin in Montana. Current dispensaries must liquidate their CBD inventory by that date.

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The ban has angered and confused many dispensary owners. Some are strategizing potential workarounds to continue selling the products, while others are making plans to drop CBD completely. The ban poses an additional challenge to customers who will no longer be able to purchase CBD products from the businesses that are most familiar with the compound, its effects, and product testing regimens

“It’s one of the ridiculous things that slipped through the cracks of HB 701,” said Pepper Petersen, president and CEO of the industry association Montana Cannabis Guild. “I think it’s absurd.”

Though the intent of the provision, per the bill language, is to “preserve and protect Montana’s well-established hemp industry by drawing a clear distinction” between the marijuana and hemp industries, some critics see codification of that distinction as a loss.

“I’ll be candid. I’ve spoken to folks in the hemp industry. They’re frustrated as well,” said DOR’s Kristan Barbour. “Montana hemp farmers are growing quality hemp and having it … sold in a medicinal environment. This was a hit and a surprise to them.”

It’s unclear who championed the ban. Rep. Mike Hopkins, R-Missoula, the sponsor of HB 701, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Since the ban applies only to retail cannabis license holders, it will likely push consumers toward CBD sold at gas stations and other retailers that sell unregulated CBD products, many of which are mislabeled and contaminated.

In 2019, for example, the Denver-based testing laboratory Ellipse Analytics analyzed more than 250 popular CBD products and discovered that 70% contained harmful quantities of heavy metals or pesticides, or presented inaccurate information about the amount of CBD, and even THC, they contained. (The CBD industry is nonetheless growing rapidly, despite a lack of testing requirements. A recent report from Graphical Research estimated that the North American market will surpass $60 billion by 2027.)

“If there were any concerns at all about the safety, efficacy or dosage of CBD, you might want people that actually know a little bit about it to be the ones selling it,” said Jay Bostrom, co-owner of Dancing Goat Gardens dispensary, which has locations in Missoula, Seeley Lake and Havre.

Tessa Rose, a Missoula-based herbalist who collaborates with dispensaries to craft CBD-rich products through her brand The Hemp Witch, is more explicit.

“It’s idiotic. It’s denying consumers access to safe consumption,” she said.

In an attempt to circumvent the ban, some dispensaries are launching separate businesses under a different address, either within or adjacent to their existing stores.

Emmie Purcell, co-owner of Greenhouse Farmacy in Missoula, for instance, is converting an auxiliary structure on her store’s property into a CBD emporium. “It’s a positive opportunity [to also sell] knick knacks and gifts,” she explained.

But some dispensaries that rent their retail space are skeptical their landlords will let them take the necessary steps to establish separate business addresses, which may require building a wall to separate the two entities.

“Are you going to put tape down on the floor and say, that’s a CBD store?” Bostrom asked.

Other shops don’t mind letting CBD fall by the wayside. “I’m not concerned. I’m a cannabis provider, not a CBD producer,” said Marc Lax, CEO of Spark1, which has four retail locations around the state. “My focus is on medical marijuana and recreational cannabis, not CBD.”

Barbour, at the Department of Revenue, is open to finding solutions.

“Our intention is to work with industry, and we need to recognize that many of these businesses have created a substantial line of CBD products,” she said. “The Cannabis Control Division isn’t trying to solve the issue, merely to suggest other opportunities for the public to access CBD products from a reputable source due to the changes enacted by HB 701.”

She also noted that stakeholders will also have an opportunity to advocate for changes in the next legislative cycle.

This story was updated Nov. 2, 2021, to clarify that products containing a blend of THC and CBD, such as vaporizer cartridges, will still be legally salable by dispensaries, as long as the CBD in those products has been extracted from plants that contain more than 0.3% THC, and thus do not qualify as hemp.

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