There are now around eight CBD shops in Norman despite the fact there is no law regulating CBD use.
There is not a specific law in Oklahoma stating that hemp CBD (cannabidiol) oil, which is CBD oil that contains less than 0.3 percent THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), is legal for non-medically qualifying patients, but it is one of the states that tolerate the sale, possession and use of the compound, according to a MarijuanaBreak article.
CBD is a cannabis compound that offers medical benefits and does not make people feel high. It is the opposite of the compound THC in cannabis, which causes psychoactivity and gives people a high, according to Project CBD’s website.
In 2015, Gov. Mary Fallin signed HB 2154 (Katie and Cayman’s Law), which allowed Oklahoma physicians to recommend a high-CBD cannabis oil with less than 0.3 percent THC to minors suffering from severe epilepsy disorders, according to Americans for Safe Access’ website.
Then in 2016, the state approved HB 2835, which legalized CBD oil for patients of all ages and added several new qualifying conditions — such as spasticity from multiple sclerosis or paraplegia, intractable nausea, and vomiting and appetite stimulation with chronic wasting disease, according to Americans for Safe Access’ website.
Neither of these bills constructed a framework for the production, distribution or analysis of CBD oil, according to Americans for Safe Access’ website.
Oklahoma District 93 Rep. Mickey Dollens (D-Oklahoma City) said that because of the lack of a formal policy surrounding CBD, it is hard to control the sale of it.
“It’s pretty unregulated right now,” Dollens said. “I’m introducing a bill that would ensure quality by requiring lab testing. Some stores are trying to make a quick buck by selling oil that’s not CBD.”
Oklahoma State Question 788 was passed in June 2018 and legalized the cultivation, use and possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The online application process for medical marijuana licenses opened on Aug. 24, 2018, on the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority's website, according to Ballotpedia.
Jed Green, political director of the medical marijuana trade group New Health Solutions Oklahoma, said it is possible that the increase of CBD shops in Oklahoma resulted from the passage of State Question 788.
“I believe that we have seen an increase in shops that sell CBD products in Oklahoma since June,” Green said. “Whether that can be attributed to the passage of State Question 788 is speculative. There may or may not have been some correlation, and I would not be surprised if most shops that open up as MMJ (medical marijuana) dispensaries also carry CBD lines along with MMJ.”
Regardless of the questions surrounding CBD in Oklahoma, many have come to find the medical benefits of CBD products to be an essential part of their lives.
Green said that he has only heard positive feedback from those who use CBD products, and any negative feedback he has heard is minor.
“So far as I can tell, in a positive way, any negative feedback that I’ve heard is that, ‘This stuff doesn’t work for me,'” Green said. “As far as any ill effects or side effects, I have not heard any.”
Susie Rossman, a call center representative for CBD Plus USA, which has three locations in Norman, said that CBD counteracts the effects of THC by producing relaxation of the mind.
“CBD can be used as an antidote to THC-induced anxiety by functioning as an antagonist to the THC and helping to physically and mentally calm you,” Rossman said.
The scientific and clinical research into CBD’s medical benefits show it has the potential to treat a wide variety of conditions, such as arthritis, alcoholism, chronic pain, schizophrenia, diabetes, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and other neurological disorders, according to Project CBD’s website.
Rossman said that CBD offers a lot of therapeutic benefits, and she has seen it change lives.
“My mom has been using our 1,000 milligram isolate tincture (purified CBD) and has told me that her depression has been helped considerably — she can sleep better, and she has less arthritic pain,” Rossman said. “We also have people with fibromyalgia who have had such great success using CBD products that they are able to get off of their pain medications entirely.”
Rossman said that CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory and is non-toxic, so there is no risk of overdosing on CBD products.
CBD can also be effective in helping college students with some of the most common mental illnesses: depression and anxiety. Studies suggest that between a quarter and a third of college students meet the criteria for an anxiety or depressive illness during their time at college, according to Psychology Today.
“CBD has been shown to act similarly to both Prozac and Xanax,” Rossman said. “It stimulates the brain into producing new neurons in a process known as neurogenesis, which results in less anxiety and depression.”
Rossman said that treating these disorders with CBD depends on the severity of the mental illness and how the CBD is consumed. Each condition requires a different dosage of CBD.
Lower doses of CBD are best for social anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder, medium to high doses are best for obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic attacks, and post-traumatic stress disorder sufferers should use frequent, high doses of CBD, according to Rossman.
However, Rossman said that CBD products have to build up in your endocannabinoid system before they work, so it’s important to remain patient when using CBD to treat mental illnesses.
The endocannabinoid system is a biochemical communication system in the human body, and it plays an essential role in regulating mood, physiology and everyday experience, according to Project CBD’s website.
“There is also a build-up time with CBD products of about 15 to 30 days —sometimes more, sometimes less,” Rossman said. “It all depends on your particular endocannabinoid system.”
Maci Hopwood, a Norman resident, has been using CBD products for about eight months and said she gets her CBD from the CBD store Natural Native in Norman.
“I started using it because I used to have chronic migraines,” Hopwood said. “I used to have to take medication each night called amitriptyline, and it still did not do the trick. Ever since I started taking CBD, I hardly ever have a headache, and if I feel one coming on, I drink CBD water, and it takes it right away.”
Hopwood said she has also seen CBD products positively impact the people in her life, including her grandma, parents, younger brother and even her dog.
“My dog is a 2-year-old goldendoodle and has been using CBD for six months now because he got a lockjaw disease called MMM,” Hopwood said. “He had to be on steroids because of it, and after a month of using pet CBD, it went away. He still uses it in case it comes back but is so happy now.”