Hemp CBD v. Medical Marijuana

At just 6 years old, Zoe Adams’ body rocks with seizures, sleep problems and hyperactivity thanks to a diagnosis of Sanfilippo syndrome.

Even though it’s incurable, her parents found an over the counter supplement that helps to alleviate their daughter’s symptoms – including the seizures. Hemp cannabidiol oil, commonly referred to as CBD.

“The first time we put her on it, she slept all night,” said mother Kim Adams. Zoe’s movements become less hyperactive because she was able to get much needed sleep. “Her heart and brain were resting because of the CBD oil.”

[READ MORE: Volusia school district to consider medical marijuana policy, despite federal laws]

[READ MORE: Citing federal law, Florida school officials won’t give hemp extract to 6-year-old]

What tends to trip many consumers up is how hemp CBD oil is different than medical marijuana. The main difference between the two is hemp CBD oil contains trace amounts or no THC – the part of the marijuana plant that causes the high feeling – while medical marijuana has notable amounts of THC.

What is Hemp CBD oil?

Hemp CBD oil can be bought over the counter at smoke shops, CBD shops and at various convenience stores.

“You do not need a medical marijuana card for this CBD oil,” said Sean Yereance, dispensary manager at VidaCann in Daytona Beach. “It comes from the hemp plant not a marijuana plant.”

The oil can be bought in a variety of different forms including oil, dip, flower – to roll in papers like tobacco – dog treats, gummies, salves and food products like honey sticks or lollipops. There is even dog biscuits for pets. The oil is used to treat a variety of different ailements including trouble sleeping, pain, seizures and anxiety.

For JMJ Tobacco Palm Coast owner Maureen Vitello, her favorite use is the salve for foot pain.

“I put it on my foot and it’s fine,” Vitello said. “A majority of customers that come in here for the CBD oil come in to help get them off of their pills.”

Vitello said the CBD infused gummies they carry help her and her employee Mike D’Ascheberg relax and fall asleep.

“It worked just 20 minutes after I took it much like melatonin,” D’Ascheberg said. “Our most popular seller though is the oil and I recommend it for anyone who is looking to try CBD for the first time.”

D’Ashceberg said that the best part about the CBD oil they carry is it doesn’t get you high and the likelihood of overdosing on it is very low.

“There are, of course, recommended doses depending on strength,” D’Ascheberg said. “If you take too much the only thing that’s going to happen is you are going to fall asleep.”

The negative side to hemp CBD oil is that it is illegal to grow in Florida and many manufactures do not test their products for chemicals, pesticides fungus or mold.

“We only buy products from companies that provide us a license telling us what is in their products,”Vitello said. “In the beginning it was a little scary because half the people weren’t giving pure CBD.”

Yereance said that often times retailers and consumers do not know what they are getting when they buy CBD oil over the counter.

“There is no testing results to go with the products,” Yereance said. “You have to do your research and buy from a trusted company like Charlotte’s Web by Stanley Brothers.”

What is medical marijuana?

Medical marijuana contains THC which works in conjunction with CBD to give patients the desired impact.

“The THC helps to activate the CBD which is how you get that sense of wellbeing,” said Michael Singleton, dispensary manager at Trulieve in Palm Coast. “Overall it’s just more effective then what you can get over the counter.”

Singleton said changing the amount of THC in the products is what tailors them to different ailments.

In Florida, to obtain a medical marijuana card to get the product a person must be suffering from cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, PTSD, ALS, Crohn’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.

“They have to be approved by the state,” said Singleton. “Not just anyone can get it.”

To get a medical marijuana card patients must see a qualifying doctor and they have to recommend the card and dosage. Patients can apply online through the Florida Department of Health. Once they get the card they can go to a dispensary.

[READ MORE: Medical pot dispensary opens in Holly Hill, becomes 3rd in Volusia]

[READ MORE: Flagler’s first medical pot shop set to open in Palm Coast]

[READ MORE: Medical marijuana dispensary opens in Deltona]

At dispensaries like Trulieve, it’s up to the patient consultants like Finn Olson to educate patients on the products. The doctor gives the recommendations of dosage and THC content.

“We try to find the best and tailor it to what they need,” Olson said.

At Trulieve, medical marijuana comes in the forms of capsules, vapes and oils.

While medical marijuana is legal in the state of Florida, it is still illegal under federal law, which means dispensaries have to follow the laws closely and the product is not covered by any health insurance.

The benefit of medical marijuana over hemp CBD oil is all of the products are tested for purity, chemicals, pesticides, mold and fungus.

“Medical marijuana goes through testing facilities and there is analytical data from all of it,” Yereance said. “There are no chemicals, no pesticides and it’s 100 percent natural.”

Source: http://www.news-journalonline.com/entertainmentlife/20180917/hemp-cbd-v-medical-marijuana

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