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CBD Oil: What's the truth behind this new panacea

 What exactly is CBD oil, what is the legality of it, and how does the flood of CBD oil in Texas affect businesses?

What is CBD Oil?

CBD oil, a product made from the non-THC elements of the cannabis plant, has seen a steep incline in sales since 2017. In the past two years, it has gone from a product sold in head shops and alternative medicine clinics to a product so ubiquitous that you can hardly drive down the road without seeing a CBD oil sign. So far the industry is on track to hit $591 million in 2018, and thanks to a number of factors — including, surprisingly, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — that could increase 40 times in the next four years. Every major news media has published about it, from US News to Rolling Stone.

“What we started tracking this year was an explosion — face mask, bug bites, skin care, topicals,” says Bethany Gomez, director of research for the Brightfield Group, who shared the analysis exclusively with Rolling Stone. “It’s being used for everything you can think of — sports, triathlons. People want to buy it for their grandma, for arthritis. Women get it for PMS and endometriosis — common things that people have been using over the counter medications.”

What is the legality of CBD Oil in Texas?

The number one thing to keep in mind is that CBD oil is not federally regulated (unless prescribed), which equates to buyers beware.  CBD oil with any trace of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), is currently considered a felony for possession of a controlled substance in Texas.  The key is that the CBD oil must contain less than .3% THC to be legal and be negative on a drug test.

The sellers don't always know the THC content when the product come from the laboratory. Top-quality sellers will have new lots tested by a third-party lab to ensure it has less than .3% THC.

According to WebMD, 1 in 5 bottles of CBD oil came back THC positive, which means it will absolutely show up on a drug test. Conversely, 43 percent contain too little CBD to be effective. The lack of regulation makes every bottle a surprise. Some businesses that use CBD oil have even gone so far as testing each batch at an independent lab to verify the potency of each ingredient.

To acquire legitimate, medically approved CBD oil, and a prescription for it, there are only three dispensaries and 18 approved physicians in the state of Texas (in 2018). There is a very long process to getting to a doctor that will prescribe CBD Oil.

To qualify for the medicine, Texans must have tried two FDA-approved drugs and found them to be ineffective. The patients also must be permanent residents of Texas and get approval from two of the 18 doctors listed on the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas.

Under the law, a physician can only sign up for the state registry if, among several other requirements, the doctor has dedicated a significant portion of his or her clinical practice to the evaluation and treatment of epilepsy and is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in either epilepsy or neurology.

How does CBD oil affect your business?

Most likely, your employees are using non-prescriptive CBD oil. All CBD oil likely has THC in it, even by prescription, but those without FDA approval are not required to report the levels of THC vs. CBD. If an employee has been exposed to any THC, he or she will test positive.

If you're drug testing, let your employees know the facts about CBD oil before they take a positive drug test. More than one MRO has reported back conversations about CBD oil positives.

CBD oil is the new thing, but consumers need to be aware of three things: the medically certified uses, the legality of it, and the likelihood that it will show up on a drug test. 

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