The CBD Craze
Everyone is talking about CBD oil. What is it? Where does it come from?
Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is one of the cannabinoids that is found in the hemp plant, a member of the cannabis plant family. From cannabis, there are more than 60 cannabinoids, and CBD is the most commonly used for its health benefits. With cannabidiol, you can be sure that there are zero psychoactive effects.
CBD oil has become a popular remedy in treating many health ailments. Using CBD has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression and may even help treat acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Based on recent scientific studies, CBD oil may be effective in reducing pain associated with diseases like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. For those with cancer, it may even provide a natural alternative for pain and symptom relief. Research has also shown that CBD may be used to effectively treat symptoms related to epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Though more human studies are needed, CBD may benefit heart health in several ways, by reducing blood pressure and preventing heart damage. Some studies also suggest that CBD may be an effective treatment for diabetes, substance abuse and mental disorders.
“We started selling CBD oil three months ago to much success in all five of our locations,” says Cindy Kent, owner of Vapor Shack in Leland. “The feedback from the community has been amazing!”
Kent says Vapor Shack has numerous repeat customers who tell her the number one benefit from CBD oil has been for the relief of anxiety. The second most common benefit is for pain relief.
“One repeat customer who suffered from severe arthritis in her wrist found relief within two to three weeks of taking CBD oil,” Kent says. “She doesn’t even need to take over-the-counter painkillers anymore.”
Other customers have reported to Kent that their sleep has improved, as CBD oil puts them in a better REM state.
“We do our due diligence to make sure all the CBD oil we sell is CO2 processed with no added chemicals or solvents,” Kent adds.
Over 10,000 years ago, hemp was one of the first plants spun into fiber, and it is also one of the fastest growing plants in popularity around the world. Farmers grew hemp in North Carolina from the Colonial era until the 1940s, when WWII created a need for hemp fibers for textiles, rope and other war essentials. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 put a complete halt to legitimate hemp cultivation in the United States by making cannabis a Schedule 1 drug — and industrial hemp with it. Growing hemp in North Carolina, like everywhere else in the nation, became strictly illegal.
Congress gave hemp and CBD oil a boost last December when they passed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (better known as the 2018 Farm Bill.) The act legalized the growing of cannabis plants that contain 0.3 percent or less of THC. The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, which means that it is no longer a controlled substance under federal law.
Interest in CBD oil has only increased after that. As demand for CBD grows, and the stigma lessens with the removal of hemp from the list of illegal drugs, we can expect a large boom in its sales and manufacturing. Currently, more than 30 nations grow industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity, which is sold on the world market. In the United States, production is strictly controlled under existing laws. Currently the sale of CBD in food, drinks and animal food violates state and federal law. CBD oils, tinctures and topical products are allowed as long as they’re sold without health claims. The idea is that you can let oils and tinctures dissolve under your tongue instead of swallowing them — so they aren’t officially considered food.
North Carolina is positioned to become a leader in the nation when it comes to hemp production. Congress passed The Agricultural Act of 2014, which allowed states to create agricultural pilot programs to let farmers experiment with hemp for research purposes. The act opened up some much-needed leeway, allowing states like North Carolina to set up industrial hemp cultivation in a tightly regulated research capacity. In 2016 North Carolina approved an Industrial Hemp Pilot Program, which would allow a select few farmers with N.C. hemp permits to begin planting industrial hemp under the oversight of the N.C. Industrial Hemp Commission, the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Products, N.C. State University and N.C. A&T University.
“We believe strongly in the health benefits of hemp, not only for our bodies, but for the earth as well,” says Moses Frazier, owner of Grateful Green Farms in Ocean Isle Beach. “Our farm has been in my wife’s family for several generations, and we feel very fortunate to have the land to be able to maximize all the benefits of growing hemp, not only for our family, but for others. “
Many agricultural experts hope that industrial hemp will provide opportunities to struggling family farmers in North Carolina. The State Department of Agriculture is trying to seek changes in state law to help boost the industry even more, such as allowing the state Board of Agriculture to regulate CBD production in North Carolina. The industry is projected to keep growing. In 2019 CBD retail sales in the United States will reach an estimated $1 billion.
Keep an eye on hemp and CBD. With sales like that, this is an industry that is only going to keep growing.