HARRISONBURG — As hemp production in Virginia ramps up, one hemp product, Cannabidiol oil, has found its way into many Harrisonburg stores.
Cannabidiol oil, otherwise known as CBD oil, is widely available over-the-counter, and can even be bought online.
But not all CBD oil is the same, said John Bell, pharmacist with Williamson Hughes Pharmacy and Home Health, in Harrisonburg.
“It’s kind of the wild west in terms of products out there,” he said.
Williamson and Hughes has sold CBD oil products over-the-counter since fall, when the 2018 federal Farm Bill allowed hemp products to be sold, Bell said.
Since the products are easier to get now that they can be bought over-the-counter, CBD oil products are subject to less regulation than prescribed products, he said.
Some CBD oil can trace its roots to Eastern European countries, where a number of unhealthy chemicals are used to grow hemp, adding that Chinese synthetics are also to be avoided, Bell said.
“I think you just have to be really careful,” he said.
CBD oil products come in a variety of styles including topical ointments, liquids, gel capsules and tinctures, which are a less concentrated form of liquid CBD oil.
And in these forms, CBD oil is used to treat different conditions including sleep problems, anxiety, pain and even Parkinson’s disease, a nervous system disorder that makes moving increasingly difficult, Bell said.
Some studies have shown benefits from CBD oil for such conditions, and others like seizures and arthritis, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
Williamson and Hughes is not the only place in town that sells CBD products, as the items have also regularly been carried by vaporizer shops over the last year.
AVAIL Vapor, which has a location in Harrisonburg, was set up in 2013. After Virginia clarified its stance on CBD in a bill to bring the state in line with the 2018 Farm Bill, AVAIL added a CBD oil production facility onto its headquarters in Richmond, said Russ Rogers, AVAIL chief operating officer.
AVAIL is “very appreciative of the state of Virginia for clarifying their case for CBD so we didn’t have to manufacture that out of state,” he said.
Customers had asked AVAIL to start carrying the product, Rogers said.
Five CBD and THC-A, another compound, dispensaries are set to open across Virginia later this year, with stricter consumer regulations than CBD oil in health food stores or vape shops, according to previous reports.