By John Conley & Wayne Streble
Over the past few years, cannabidoil(CBD) has entered into American society becoming popular for the medical benefits the hemp plant produces.
The state of Ohio recently signed Senate Bill 57, which decriminalized hemp products and gives farmers a chance to cultivate it, yet people are still cautious over whether CBD is worth the purchase.
“I think the general populous is really starting to recognize what CBD is doing as far as health benefits. It’s starting to pick up,” said Owner of Groove-E-Juice Jason Noble.
CBD’s health benefits range from dealing with chronic pain to treating Anxiety and ADHD.
“I’ve always had depression, anxiety, and even a little of PTSD too,” said CBD user Kahli Potts.
Potts tried other forms of medication to help deal with her issues, but found CBD to be the most efficient.
“I took depression medication; I’ve tried every single one of them and nothing ever worked. I tried CBD completely and it did take away the pain for the most part,” said Potts.
When looking at how medical marijuana and hemp compare to recreational marijuana is where things start to get complex.
“Honestly, things are getting really blurry in the state of Ohio right now and across the nation when it comes to marijuana laws,” said Kent City Police Lt. Michael Lewis.
The difference between hemp and recreational marijuana is the amount of Tetrahydrocannabinol(THC) in the plant itself, which is causing issues for determining the amount of THC it contains.
“The state of Ohio has now said that hemp is legal. So, anything below 0.3% THC is legal,” said Kent City Police Lt. Michael Lewis.
With hemp being legal in Ohio, the issues are being focused on what the recreational marijuana laws are as Ohio has changed the laws over the past few years.
“Several years ago, you could look at a bag of weed and say that’s a bag of weed. You could know by the appearance of it, the odor, that it is likely marijuana. But now, looking at what appears to be the same substance, you might question is it marijuana, is it hemp? The only way to determine that is to test it and find out what THC content it has. Probably 90% of the time, we are able to make that determination right then and there if it is marijuana or hemp,” said Lewis.
Recreational marijuana is still illegal in the state of Ohio, and CBD users are steering away from that and sticking to hemp. When comparing CBD to recreational marijuana, the difference is not getting that high feeling when smoking CBD and the THC content is below the 0.3% level.
“Smoking both are comparable. CBD was like what weed did, but without the feeling of being high,” Potts said.
According to the Food and Drug Administration(FDA), CBD is not approved because some companies are marketing products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds in ways that violate the Federal Food and Drug Cosmetic Act(FD&C Act) and that may put the health and safety of consumers at risk.*
Potts, a mother of an infant, used CBD throughout her pregnancy to relieve some of the pain she was dealing with, but was cautious on asking doctors about it.
“I didn’t ask a doctor because I knew that’s it’s not FDA approved, so I knew the doctors couldn’t tell me yes or no. They’re more than likely going to tell you to stay away from it because they don’t know the full science behind it,” said Potts.
Issues like the FDA not approving CBD as well as determining what the legal age to use CBD have caused problems for Ohio vaporizer stores and owners like Noble.
“I have called Mike Dewine’s office six times asking what the legal age of CBD is for the state of Ohio and they have yet to have been able to provide me with an answer,” said Noble. “When it comes to vapes, anything vape related, anything nicotine the legal age is 21. CBD, however, is the grey area where not even the lawmakers admit to knowing what the legal purchase age is.”
Noble has set his own restrictions inside Groove-E-Juice, knowing that CBD can’t be sold to anyone.
“Just like when vapes first started out, it’s kind of a self-regulated thing. 18 just makes sense. You have to be 18 to make a CBD purchase. Of course, there are exceptions with adults or whatever, like an adult can make a purchase for you because it’s medicine. It’s got medicinal value,” said Noble.
Groove-E-Juice sells multiple forms of CBD from edibles to lotion and many more and Noble expects the hemp industry to only keep growing.
“What I’ve seen over the last three years with CBD is, the prices are dropping and the main reason is the market for it is growing so fast right now,” said Noble. “We expect to see that trend to continue as far as prices dropping and quality increasing.”
Since Ohio recently approved for the legal growing of hemp to licensed farmers, this trend is only likely to continue as growing season comes upon Ohio farmers.
“When you’re talking about the cultivation of CBD, what’s going there is you have to be a licensed grower to grow hemp,” said Lewis. “There are restrictions and regulations as to where you can grow the hemp. A lot of citizens of Ohio are confused by the marijuana laws and they’re not getting the full understanding of what is legal and what is not.”
For officers like Lt. Lewis, the constant changes made to marijuana laws make things tougher for law enforcement and how they judge it.
“I think it would be easier for law enforcement, for everybody involved if we could make a decision one way or another as to whether or not marijuana is going to be legal in the state of Ohio,” said Lewis. “We’re seeing the trend nationwide, where many other states are going the route of decriminalizing marijuana or making marijuna legal in some way form of way.”
After all these issues currently going on regarding hemp and recreational marijuana, CBD users like Potts have seen how much it benefits more than it hurts and results have shown.
“I think that it will be a lot better if we have hemp again because everything used to be made out of hemp,” said Potts. “It was inexpensive, it was just all around better, and you can even make it biodegradable. It’s more healthy for the environment. You can do a lot more with it.”
Now that Ohio has began the legal growing of hemp, CBD products will become more accessible and cheaper for consumers which helps businesses like Groove-E-Juice in the long run.
“As this progresses, my goal for Groove-E-Juice is to have the biggest selection and lowest prices of CBD. Anytime I see something I have yet to have seen on the market, we grab. We make sure that it’s good and we’ll stock it,” Noble said.
John Conley – Writing, editing
Wayne Streble – Video, photos, audio