CBD products are now being sold at pharmacies in Walker County, and one local pharmacy hopes the product they are selling will help reduce drug dependency.Many have observed a "Hemp CBD Sold Here" …
CBD products are now being sold at pharmacies in Walker County, and one local pharmacy hopes the product they are selling will help reduce drug dependency.
Many have observed a "Hemp CBD Sold Here" sign for the past two weeks outside Hospital Discount Pharmacy in downtown Jasper. On June 10, Gov. Kay Ivey signed Senate Bill 225 to allow pharmacies to sell CBD products that contain less than 0.3 percent THC.
To break it down, hemp is a strain of the cannabis plant, for which CBD (cannabidiol) is an active ingredient. THC is a cannabinoid that produces a "high" effect for marijuana users.
Research has found the CBD has a number of properties that can be beneficial in treating migraines, inflammation, anxiety, chronic pain, depression, endometriosis, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and other conditions. It can also be used to improve memory, fertility, motor control and sleep.
Hospital Discount Pharmacy is selling Ananda Professional CBD products such as hemp extract, soft gels, salve, hemp extract for pets, and cannabis-infused intimate oil.
Ananda Professional's hemp extracts include CBD, terpenes to fight inflammation, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Dr. Alex Capano, medical director for Ananda Professional, spoke to the Daily Mountain Eagle about the benefits of CBD products.
Capano is a nurse practitioner and has a degree in cannabinoid science.
"CBD oil is a really safe and often effective option for reducing symptom severity of a variety of different clinical conditions," she said. "Many people use it as part of a daily wellness regimen, like a vitamin, because of the anti-inflammatory properties."
The CBD products at Hospital Discount Pharmacy do not require a prescription, and low dose hemp extracts cost roughly $50 per month. High doses can cost as much as $90 each month.
Capano said the extracts work faster than capsules. If administered under the tongue they directly enter the bloodstream and work faster; whereas, some active ingredients are absorbed in the GI tract when taking capsules.
Hemp extract is also safer on the liver than capsules which are metabolized in the liver.
Hospital Discount Pharmacy is selling hemp extract for pets that costs around $60 and hemp salve for $25. Salves can be used for treating bug bites and joint pain.
Pharmacist Dustin Beaty, the owner of Hospital Discount Pharmacy, said he received continuing education on CBD products and his staff received training as well to help their patients with product usage.
He said people who have purchased the CBD products are seeing positive results, and he's hoping CBD usage will help battle Walker County's opioid crisis.
Ananda Professional states in promotional materials that CBD oil has been found to reduce opioid use by 60 percent.
"Our physicians have noticed that once their patients get on CBD oil they tend to come off of their prescription medications. That doesn't mean they come off all of them, but they do see a reduction. That's a win all the way around," Beaty said. "CBD oil is not snake oil. It's a solution. Once we jump that hurdle, then we might can look at really helping some of the things that are happening here locally."
Beaty said many are concerned that if they use the CBD products, the product will show up on a drug test. He said failing a drug test while using a product that contains less than 0.3 percent THC is unlikely but could happen.
He recommends people have a discussion with their human resources department if they are using a CBD product, and he said having a doctor's prescription (while not required) provides an extra layer of protection.
"For those that want to try it, I wouldn't let the drug test be the defining factor of whether I can get some benefit from it," he said. "Cover your bases. Be honest about what you're taking. A prescription helps justify if it does come back positive while you're taking it."
Many businesses are popping up across the state that sell CBD products, and Beaty warns people to do research on a product they are interested in using to make sure they are getting what they pay for.
"We found 60 to 70 percent of the CBD companies out there are either mislabeled or misbranded drugs, so what they're telling you is in it is not actually in it," he said. "We had to be mindful of that, so every product that we have, we can get a certificate of authenticity to show you that what you're getting is what you're getting."
Other businesses have recently opened in Jasper to sell CBD products, and other pharmacies in Walker County are selling CBD items as well.