Buyers be aware: What consumers should know about CBD
By WVUA23 Digital Reporter Jas Orr
As cannabidiol, better known as CBD, products become more popular, buyers should be aware of the potential risks they may face while consuming these products.
CBD products are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and they may contain trace amounts of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. In the state of Alabama, THC is illegal in quantities over 0.3%. So, users of CBD products may test positive for THC, despite not using marijuana products.
“If retailers were doing their jobs, there would be very little concern for the consumer,” said Austin Roberson, operations manager at Vitamax Health and Wellness. “We have extensive documentation, like lab reports and such, and have done tons of training in order to help our customers feel comfortable using our products.”
CBD products range from gummies, edibles, oils and vapes. In particular, gummy sales have skyrocketed in recent years, with the market valued at an estimated $1.6 billion in 2020. The market for CBD products is expanding overall. Statistica estimated $5 billion in sales in 2020, and projects nearly $17 billion in sales in 2025. Locally, Roberson noted the popularity of THC over CBD, but agreed that the market has been increasing in recent years.
Products containing CBD are said to ease chronic pain, help with anxiety and sleep and generally induce a feeling of relaxation without the hallucinogenic effects of THC. Roberson said he believes CBD works to balance the body and bring it back to an equilibrium.
“There’s no doctor in the world that can tell you exactly how you’re going to react to THC or CBD,” Roberson said. “(Customers) will tell us how it affects them and we go from there. It’s more of a care position than a sales position.”
For the general consumer, CBD is appealing for its many possible benefits.
“I started using them because I have anxiety, especially around nausea and vomiting. When I got the COVID vaccine, I knew nausea was a possible side effect so I wanted to use CBD to counteract it,” Tuscaloosa resident Claire Maurer said. “I found them really beneficial.”
Right now, those who test positive for THC on a drug test could risk losing their job, but there are no criminal consequences for testing positive for THC.
“I was aware that products with larger percentages of THC can show up on tests, but I never really had a problem with it as my products were all considerably below the maximum limit,” one local CBD user said. “I feel like just showing up on a drug test isn’t a big deal alone, per se. It wouldn’t be as much of a problem if more people were educated on the benefits of CBD products.”
Right now, possession of marijuana or marijuana products can be a Class A Misdemeanor or a Class C Felony.
However, a bill in the state Senate, SB 160, aims to reduce that, eliminating jail sentences for possession. Rather, those charged with possession of marijuana would be charged a fine.
The city of Tuscaloosa recently adjusted its ordinances for marijuana citations, allowing police officers to write a ticket instead of taking someone with a small amount of marijuana to tail. That rule goes into effect this summer.