Students report that it helps them deal with anxiety, athletes say it eases their muscles after workouts, and videos show children’s seizures abruptly ending after taking it: CBD or Cannabidiol is popping up everywhere in Texas, and University of St.Thomas students are partaking.
CBD is an extract of the hemp plant, one of more than 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, which also includes tetrahydrocannabinol, the component of marijuana that gets the user high. CBD that contains zero THC is legal in all 50 states, but as of June 2019, CBD containing .3 percent THC or less is legal in Texas because it does not give the sensation of being “high.”
Sam Moulton, a salesman at Sacred Leaf Wellness in Rice Village, said most customers who take CBD say it gives them a sensation of calm relaxation and wellbeing, but not intoxication.
CBD can be ingested orally or through topical ointments depending on what part of the body the user is trying to target. According to a 2016 study by the European Journal of Pain, topical ointments are beneficial for joint and muscle pain and can be applied directly to the part of the body experiencing discomfort. Most CBD is administered orally as a tincture, but it can also be ingested through capsules and gummies, or smoked through a vaporizer or cigarettes.
UST senior communication major Mariana Beltran said she uses a CBD roll-on after working out and that her body isn’t as sore as it would be without the treatment.
UST junior communication major Isabella Viteri, meanwhile, said she has used it for anxiety.
“It made me feel more relaxed,” she said; “not only my body, but also my mind felt more at ease.”
CBD is also used to help calm pets. Viteri said she uses it to help her small dog relax during thunderstorms.
“When I give her CBD, I’ve noticed that after a few minutes she’ll stop panting and just curl up,” Viteri said.
Like many herbal remedies, CBD has not been extensively researched, but the medical community is slowly getting on board. The Food and Drug Administration has approved Epidolex, a method of therapy containing CBD for two rare forms of epilepsy in children 2 years of age and older, on June 25, 2018.
Walgreens Pharmacy has also “taken a stand on the side of CBD products,” according to local Walgreens pharmacist Reyo Ordanza. He said his Montrose location should expect to see CBD products in their store sometime in the upcoming months.
“CBD has a place in the treatment for nausea and appetite increase,” Ordanza said. “It is good for mild aches and nerve pains.”
CBD products are currently sold in 17 states and 2,660 Walgreens locations nationwide.
Some prospective users, however, say they worry that the trace amounts of THC could show up on drug tests.
According to the University of St. Thomas Student-Athlete Handbook, UST uses the NCAA Banned Drug List to determine what substances can and cannot be used by student athletes. “Cannabinoids (marijuana and derivatives)” are included on that list.
UST junior business major and baseball player Noah Martinez said that he would be willing to try CBD products if it would help with his recovery time after workouts and games, but that he worries because of the NCAA rules on drugs.
According to Moulton, CBD has such low amounts of THC that it is unlikely to cause a failed drug test, although a positive result is not impossible.
Moulton said people who use products with .3 percent THC on a regular basis have a 90 percent pass rate on drug tests. However, consumers who take his store’s products that contain no THC, and that are filtered and tested three times, are certain to pass a drug test.
“We sell that to on-duty police officers, first responders – all across the board – and no one has had an issue failing a drug test,” he said.
For those who prefer organic alternatives to pharmaceuticals, CBD has a strong system of support backing its health claims, according to Cindy Moulton, co-owner and co-founder of Sacred Leaf Wellness.
“Several studies, as well as the experience of our customers, indicate CBD can be effective in reducing or eliminating pain, insomnia, anxiety, migraines, neuropathy, skin conditions, and a variety of other conditions,” she said.