CBD oil: What is it? Is it legal? And can it cause you to fail a drug test? – AL.com

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For proponents, CBD products can ease symptoms for everything from arthritis to anxiety. For critics, the influx of mostly unregulated CBD products is akin to a consumer version of the wild west.

Either way, CBD is now legal and on the market. Here’s what you need to know:

What is CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol. CBD is a naturally occurring substance derived from the hemp plant and, used by itself, does not cause a high. It comes in several forms, including lotions, pills, or edibles (usually gummies) but CBD oil is the most common.

What is CBD oil used for?

Proponents said it can be used to treat anxiety disorders, PTSD, addiction, arthritic, chronic plan and other conditions. Researchers are UAB also found success using CDB to lessen seizure frequency and treat those with epilepsy.

Why the sudden interest in CDB?

In December 2018, the U.S. House passed the Farm Bill, which contained a provision legalizing CDB derived from industrial hemp, as long as it has a THC concentration of no more than 0.3 percent. Technically, the bill changed the legal status of hemp from a controlled substance to an agricultural commodity.

That decision meant people could buy and sale CBD legally.

Is it legal in Alabama?

After the passage of the farm bill, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall issued a notice that “CBD derived from industrial hemp, with a THC concentration of not more than .3 percent on a dry weight basis, can be legally produced, sold and possessed in the state of Alabama.”

As a result, retailers across the state are now offering CDB products in Alabama.

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Is CBD the same as medical marijuana?

No.

Medical marijuana is prohibited in Alabama, with few exceptions: Products prescribed for those enrolled in a UAB Department of Neurology study under Carly’s Law; or those being treated for a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition, including one that produces seizures under Leni’s Law.

Is CBD addictive?

A 2017 study by the World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence found that, in its pure state, CBD does not appear to have abuse potential or cause harm.

Does CBD have side effects?

According to Harvard University, the side effects of CBD can include nausea, fatigue and irritability. Reports of side effects are not widespread under normal use.

Food and Drug Administration concerns

CBD products are not evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and that causes concern among health officials.

“FDA continues to be concerned at the proliferation of products asserting to contain CBD that are marketed for therapeutic or medical uses although they have not been approved by FDA. Often such products are sold online and are therefore available throughout the country. Selling unapproved products with unsubstantiated therapeutic claims is not only a violation of the law, but also can put patients at risk, as these products have not been proven to be safe or effective,” the agency said.

FDA hearing

The FDA is set its first public hearing on legalizing CBD in food and drinks. The hearing is set for May 31.

Alabama health officials issue warnings

The Alabama Department of Public Health has concerns about CDB.

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State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said cannabidiol can be tainted and possibly have negative side effects.

“Products labeled as CBD oil and/or other CBD-related products might contain any number of substances, and there is no assurance they are safe to consume as they have not been evaluated or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,” Dr. Harris said.

“Instead of helping relieve symptoms, using CBD products can have side effects that include harmful interactions with other medications. If you suspect a tainted CBD product has caused you to be ill, contact a poison control center and seek medical attention,” he advised.

Buying online

A 2017 study by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found nearly 70 percent of CBD extracts sold online are mislabeled.

The study found about 43 percent of the products surveyed contained too little CBD, while 26 percent contained too much. One in 5 of the products contained THC, that active compound chemical compound in cannabis responsible for making a person feel “high.”

Can CBD cause you to fail a drug test?

Yes, it can happen, though it’s rare, according to experts.

In some cases, the positive test can come from impure products sold as CDB.

“The big problem… is that the needed quality assurance oversight from the Food and Drug Administration is not available. There are currently no standards for producing, testing, or labeling these oils,” said Marcel Bonn-Miller, PhD, an adjunct assistant professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. “Selling these oils without oversight, there is no way to know what is actually in the bottle.”

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Other people may metabolize CDB differently, triggering a positive result, according to Tod Cooperman, president of Consumerlab, a company that tests natural supplements like hemp. Patients who consume more than 1,000 milligrams of CBD per day can have a false positive on a drug test, but the average user consumed between 120 to 160 milligrams daily.

About 10 percent of users who take the smaller dose experience a false positive, Cooperman said.

You can read more about CDB and drug tests here.

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