All Posts by Ashley Lange

New Podcast with Rebecca C. White!

Tonight we had cannabis nurse Rebecca C. White join us to talk about health and cbd. We talk about drug interactions, how cannabis works with your body and some success stories as well. It was a great conversation with lots of great information. I know you'll get something from this episode!

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California’s Ban on CBD

This past summer The California Department of Public Health dealt a blow to hemp-based CBD companies statewide clarifying that in accordance with the FDA, CBD derived from industrial hemp is not approved in food and beverage. Here’s what you need to know.

As the popularity of CBD has grown, so has the trend to put CBD in a variety of food and beverage products. Retailers advertise CBD in Beer, Lattes, Chocolate and gummies. But not all CBD products have what it takes to be approved for consumption. On July 6th, The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released a FAQ memo which declared that industrial hemp derived CBD and CBD Oil is currently not approved for food and beverage products until the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declares otherwise.

The CDPH’s declaration isn’t a new ruling but merely a clarification on legalities that have become murky between Federal laws and State laws around industrial-hemp products and marijuana products. The memo came in response to a growing number of California companies reaching out with intent to use industrial hemp-derived CBD  for food and beverage products. California’s stance on hemp-based CBD has created some controversy between the industrial-hemp industry and the marijuana Industry as the ruling only singles out the use of industrial hemp-derived CBD from food, placing many hemp farmers and companies in a confusing legal limbo.

CDPH declares that, excluding the usage of hemp-derived CBD from food conforms to the FDA ruling that all products produced from the genus cannabis are currently considered a Schedule I drug and therefore not approved or legal for food products. This places hemp and marijuana-derived CBD products as illegal at the federal level. But with California’s passage of Proposition 64, the state legalized adult-recreational marijuana and The CDPH Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch regulates all marijuana production, therefore approves marijuana-derived CBD food products (edibles) to be sold at properly licensed dispensaries.

Industrial Hemp in California is regulated by the Federal law and the California Industrial Hemp Law. The cultivation of industrial hemp is only allowed in states where it is legal and only  by registered seed cultivators and licensed research institutions under a pilot program for research and educational purposes. For commercial purposes,  Hemp may only be grown as a fiber or oilseed crop. Currently under Federal and California State law, Hemp is not approved for food products.

So, by excluding hemp derived CBD from food and beverage, California is only following the current state and federal laws regarding Hemp. Marijuana is excluded from this ruling because California has legalized and regulates the manufacturing of cannabis products.

Another concern that comes up with Industrial hemp-derived CBD that creates an issue for its use in food and beverage is that there are no laws at the state or federal level that regulate CBD derived from industrial-hemp. There is growing concern that without proper regulations, more contaminants such as pesticides may be present and concentrated when CBD from industrial-hemp is extracted, posing unknown health risks to consumers.

CBD: Do you Really Know what you are Taking?

In today’s market the demand for CBD has skyrocketed. With recent studies suggesting the health benefits, consumers are turning to CBD products as a natural source for their ailments, but can you trust your CBD product?

​Everyone is talking about CBD these days, and putting it in almost everything. Recent studies that show the potential for CBD as a natural source for pain relief, sleep aid, tumor reduction and so much more, have people flocking to their local dispensary - or really anywhere they can get it.

​This is where a red flag shows up. Marijuana is not legal in all 50 states, making it difficult for some to purchase CBD from a trusted dispensary-leading them to purchase products online. But with the booming CBD market, and with quality control standards varying from state to state, not all company’s can be trusted that their CBD products are free of contaminants.

Here are some growing concerns of contaminants in hemp- and cannabis-based CBD products that aren’t widely talked about, and some things you should consider before purchasing any CBD product:

Quality Concerns With Hemp or Cannabis-based CBD:

The major issue found with industrial hemp and cannabis crops is that they make amazing phytoremediation sources. Hemp and Cannabis suck up all sorts of toxins, chemicals, and metals from the soil - good or bad. But the bad is what we are worried about. When plants are doused with pesticides, or soils have heavy metals, these toxins are absorbed by cannabis and hemp and can be transferred to humans or pets through use.

It’s when we’re talking about CBD extractions where things get even more scary. There is growing concern that the extraction process of CBD when other toxins are present, can cause an alarming level of contaminants to be concentrated in the product - which are then consumed. This is in part why California recently banned industrial hemp-based CBD from all food and beverage products.

You must be thinking that just like California, other states have regulations in order that keep these products from entering our market today. Which leads me to the next major factor affecting consistent quality of hemp or cannabis-based CBD. At this time, third-party testing isn’t regulated the same from state to state; allowing some companies to find ways to sale CBD with questionable quality and save a pretty penny.

Sourcing Concerns of Hemp or Cannabis-based CBD:

The legalities of growing hemp and cannabis crops in the U.S. make it difficult for farmers to consistently source and meet the demands of CBD in our market today. This at times has caused some companies to outsource their CBD product; meaning they are sourcing from another country with different regulations on the cultivation of hemp and cannabis.

The concern is similar to what was mentioned previously - other countries have different regulations on pesticide or other chemical use to treat their crops. They also may have different regulations on where they can grow their crops and whether or not they test for heavy metals. If we don’t know where our CBD is sourced, how can we know exactly what we are taking?

When these products enter the U.S. market where we currently do not have standard regulations on third-party testing across all 50 states, there is no way to guaranteed that every CBD product in the market is free of contaminants such as pesticides and heavy metals.

What you can do to avoid the issues facing the CBD market:

If you are seeking CBD for medicinal purposes and depending on the severity it is advised to speak with a medical professional. If Marijuana is legal in your state for either medical or recreational use, ask your local dispensary where your product is coming from and if they have public third-party test results where you can research what exactly is in the product you are buying. Doing a little bit of research and knowing what questions to ask can help you find the best product and avoid contaminants.

If medical and recreational marijuana is not legal in your state or you simply want an alternative to hemp or cannabis based CBD, Citrus CBD may be a good option for you! Our daily CBD supplement is not associated with hemp or cannabis and is THC-free making is legal. We also have third-party test results of 99.7-99.9% purity, making our products free of contaminants.

Will CBD Show on my Drug Test?

​Will CBD Show on my Drug Test?

With the growing CBD market, many are interested in trying CBD but may be hesitant due to their employer’s drug test policy. If you are concerned about drug screening here is what you should know about cannabis-based CBD products.

Nothing is more nerve wracking than a workplace drug test. Your results can determine your ability to be hired with a company or affect your current employment. Even in states where marijuana is legalized for recreational or medical use, employer’s reserve the right to a drug and alcohol-free workplace. You can be asked to perform a drug test during their hiring process, at random, or with cause such as a workplace accident. Legally, employers must provide a drug policy document for their employees to ensure that everyone is aware of what is allowed during employment.

So let’s tackle the million dollar question: If you take CBD, will it show up on your drug test? Most employers are only looking for THC with drug-screening. So technically no, CBD will not show up on your drug test.  If you are taking a CBD product that is not derived from cannabis or hemp and CBD is the only cannabinoid in the product then you should be assured that you will pass, unless you are taking other drugs they might be looking for. If you are taking a CBD product that is derived from hemp or cannabis then the answer is still no, CBD will not show up on your drug test, but THC might.

If you’re concerned about drug testing, there are a few things you should be aware of before you try cannabis-derived CBD products:

You Could Test Positive for THC When Taking CBD Derived from Hemp or Cannabis:

January 2018, Jeff Anderson of Beaverton, OR lost his job as a bus driver for the Beaverton School District due to using a hemp-based CBD tincture. In an article posted by the local paper Willamette Week (WW) Anderson began using a CBD tincture to relieve pain caused by arthritis. He was aware of his employer’s drug policy and was explicit when buying the product that he could not test positive for THC. The dispensary where he purchased this tincture assured him that the trace amounts of THC would not be detected on a drug test. They were wrong, and in result Anderson lost his job due to high-levels of THC in his system.

So how did this happen? Well, the article goes on to explain that overtime, with daily uses of CBD products that have low-levels of THC present, THC can build up in fat cells causing it to show up on urine tests. Willamette Week even spoke to the company of the tincture Anderson was using and they state that they would never recommend using their CBD product to those subjected to drug-screening. It was a misconception on the budtenders part that these products with low-THC would not show up on a drug test, but there seems to be a common misunderstanding nationally.  WW called multiple dispensaries in Oregon, Washington and Colorado that gave mixed responses on whether or not CBD products derived from hemp or marijuana with low levels of THC will show up on a drug test.

Inconsistency in Hemp and Marijuana Derived CBD products Could Present Unknown THC Levels:

Cannabis is illegal at a federal level in the United States and therefore has no universal regulations on quality control. A growing concern has developed around purity and consistency within the cannabis industry due to the state by state legalization. Since cannabis is regulated at a state level, there are varying requirements on testing and labeling standards across the nation. Customers run into situations where they begin using a CBD product that works for them only to purchase that same product again with different results. This issue in part is an outcome of companies changing strains of weed for a product when previously used strains aren’t available or farmers changing crops due to infestations or climate. Alongside these changes, some companies don’t retest and then label their products with accurate CBD/THC levels or even ingredients.

In fact, a study was done in 2016 and published on JAMA to examine the accuracy of labels on CBD products found online. The professionals of this study bought 84 online CBD products and removed their labeling for blind testing. What they found was, out of 84 CBD products online, only 30.95% were labelled accurately. For the other 69.05% of the products: 42.85% were underlabelled (they had less CBD than advertised) and 29.18% were overlabelled (they had more CBD than advertised). They also found that 18 of the 84 products (21.43% of the products) contained THC, some with levels high enough to produce psychoactive effects. With inconsistent testing and labeling it can be hard to guarantee that a CBD product derived from hemp or cannabis will not contain THC levels that may cause a failed drug-test.

Moral of the Blog:

All in all, No CBD will not show up on your drug test, but THC might. If you are not careful about where you get your product, or research third-party lab results, then there is no guarantee on what levels of CBD or THC are in any given product.  

There are many jobs that require drug-testing, make sure you understand your employers drug policy. If you are concerned about THC in your system, consider using a CBD product that is not derived from marijuana or hemp.

The Legal Status of CBD in The United States

​The Legal Status of CBD in The United States

While the market for CBD is through the roof, the legalities of this miracle drug get confusing. CBD derived from hemp and cannabis may be legal at a state level, but it’s still federally illegal. If you are shopping around for a CBD product, there are some legal issues you should know about hemp or cannabis-derived products.

If you’re living in the United States chances are you’ve heard, seen or perhaps even tried CBD and are now a total convert. CBD- short for Cannabidiol- is one of many cannabinoids commonly found in hemp and marijuana that has no psychoactive effect and has been marketed as a cure-all drug in the health and wellness industry due to growing research suggesting it as a remedy for a long list of ailments.

You can find CBD products at dispensaries, grocery stores and even readily available online… which can make its legal status a little confusing. If you can buy CBD online and at the local market, it must be legal right? Well… not exactly and certainly not everywhere.

As of now, the legalities of CBD in the United States are swimming in a grey area of what is considered legal at a federal level and at a state level. Here is an update on where we are with the legalities of CBD in the United States so that you won’t be on the wrong side of the law due to faulty interpretations of federal laws:

CBD Extracted from Cannabis and the Federal Government:

According to the DEA (The Drug Enforcement Administration), CBD derived from cannabis is still considered a Schedule I drug, a class of drugs considered high risk for abuse with no medical purposes. It’s hard to believe that even CBD, a non psychoactive drug remains in this Schedule. The catch is, CBD itself isn’t listed as a Schedule I drug, only cannabis and anything that is connected to the plant. So, CBD can be legal so long as it’s NOT derived from a plant of the genus Cannabis (that includes hemp!).

There has been talk about rescheduling CBD to a Schedule II or III drug, due to the FDA’s (Food and Drug Administration) acceptance of Epidiolex – a cannabis derived pure CBD pharmaceutical drug for epilepsy- to be sold by prescription in pharmacies nationwide. Because of the FDA’s acceptance of Epidiolex, CBD must be rescheduled in order for this drug to legally enter the market.

But until then, at a Federal level, CBD derived from cannabis is still illegal and it is still illegal to sell and ship CBD across state lines. The DEA has admitted that they have bigger concerns than busting people for buying CBD products; but in some states such as Tennessee, retailers are being raided by local police for selling  cannabis derived CBD products that they thought were legal.

CBD Extracted from Industrial Hemp and the Federal Government:

According to Leafly, In 2016 the DEA made a ruling that created a new Controlled Substance Act Drug Code for “Marijuana Extracts” which places extracts as a Schedule I drug and Federally illegal. The new CSA defines extracts, “Meaning an extract containing one or more cannabinoids that has been derived from any plant of the genus cannabis, other than the separate resin (whether crude or purified) obtained from the plant.” Because  industrial hemp’s genus is Cannabis Sativa L, it too falls under this new CSA code and places industrial hemp-derived CBD as illegal by federal law in the United States.

A lot of the confusion surrounding the legalities of CBD derived from industrial hemp comes from the Federal Agricultural Act of 2014, or better known as the Farm Bill. According to the Farm Bill, the cultivation of industrial hemp is legal so long as a state’s Department of Agriculture grows industrial hemp for research or an approved institution under an agricultural pilot program cultivates hemp strictly for educational and research purposes.

Its legal in some states to grow industrial hemp for research, but that doesn’t mean its legal to sell as CBD extracts, although many companies in the industrial hemp industry interpret it that way! And because of that,  we see industrial hemp-derived CBD products being falsely marketed as legal in all 50 states. Industrial-hemp based CBD follows the same federal laws as cannabis-based CBD. It is federally illegal and it is illegal to ship across state lines because of its connection as a genus cannabis plant.

In September 2018,  Congress may pass legislation in the 2018 Farm Bill that will federally legalize the cultivation of hemp as an agricultural commodity.  Senators such as Mitch McConnell and James Comer from Kentucky are on the Farm Bills Congressional committee and will be advocating for the legalization of hemp. This could potential remove hemp-derived CBD from the federal control substance list, but until then hemp-derived CBD is still considered illegal at a federal level.

CBD and the 50 states

Until cannabis is legalized nationally, most CBD products on the market today will remain illegal at a Federal level, but they may be legal depending on your state laws. The legalities of CBD based on state laws are pretty easy to comprehend.

If your state has passed a law allowing medical and recreational use of marijuana, then it is legal for you to use CBD products. If your state only allows medical marijuana, then you need a medical marijuana card to use CBD products unless the product is not derived from cannabis (Like us!). If marijuana is not legalized for medical or recreational purposes in your state, then you can only use CBD that is NOT derived from cannabis (Again, like us!).  Regardless of your State's laws around Marijuana, it is illegal to ship, or carry any marijuana or hemp products across state lines! because it’s not federally legal yet.

Here is a list of states and their laws around Medical and Recreational Marijuana:

States with legalized Marijuana for Recreational and Medical use:

Alaska, Washington State, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Vermont,  Massachusetts, Maine and lastly, Washington D.C.

States only with legalized Medical Marijuana:

Hawaii, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana.

States that have not yet legalized marijuana for recreational or medical use:

Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Has CBD Been Rescheduled? No, Only Epidiolex.

​Has CBD Been Rescheduled? No, Only Epidiolex

The FDA approved the first-ever CBD drug to be sold in pharmacies nationwide. While this led to the rescheduling of FDA approved CBD drugs in the Controlled Substance Act, it didn’t include CBD in itself, as many advocates had anticipated.

It’s no lie that the legalities around cannabis-based CBD in the U.S. are confusing: You have state laws vs. federal laws that have a combination of contradicting laws that can leave many unsure of what is legal or not. Well, to add to that confusion, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced this past June that they have approved of Epidiolex- a cannabis-based CBD drug used to treat two rare forms of epilepsy- to be distributed by prescription in pharmacies nationwide. This caused a stir of excitement as many in the Cannabis Industry and advocates had anticipated that this would push a rescheduling of CBD entirely.

Currently, all forms of cannabis or hemp derived CBD are considered a Schedule I narcotic: Drugs with high risk for abuse with no known medical purpose. So, in result of the FDA’s acceptance of Epidiolex to be distributed nationally, it became necessary that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reschedule CBD to a lower level on the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) within 90 days. It is the only way that this drug can be sold legally in the United States. According to Business Insider, the DEA’s public affairs spokesperson, Barbara Carreno, in response to the FDA’s decision stated that, CBD, “absolutely has to become Schedule 2, 3, 4, or 5.” Creating hope for many that Epidiolex may cause cannabis-derived CBD to be rescheduled.

But this past Friday, September 28th the DEA did not reschedule cannabis-derived CBD, they announced that only Epidiolex and other FDA approved cannabis-based drugs will be reclassified as a Schedule V drug- the lowest level on the CSA. This leaves all other cannabis and hemp-derived CBD products on the market today as Schedule I narcotics and federally illegal.

The acceptance of Epidiolex to be prescribed nationally serves as a huge milestone for the U.S. being that it is the first-ever cannabis-based drug to be approved by the FDA. This may open the door for more research around the medicinal uses of CBD and lead other CBD drugs to be approved by the FDA. In their press release, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. states, “This approval serves as a reminder that advancing sound development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies. And, the FDA is committed to this kind of careful scientific research and drug development.” While the FDA admits that cannabis can have medical purpose, they still have strict policies for cannabis-based drugs such as proof of proper clinical trials and that drugs cannot contain more than .1% THC.

Others are concerned that with the FDA regulating specific CBD drugs, big pharmaceutical companies will take advantage of the market, affecting patient’s access to affordable treatment. Leafly editor Ben Adlin states, “Some in the cannabis community have expressed concern that by narrowly opening the door to only certain CBD pharmaceuticals, patients may actually have a harder time obtaining—and affording—CBD medicine. Epidiolex, for example, is anticipated to cost $32,500 per year, which GW Pharmaceuticals’ CEO has said is roughly in line with other brand-name epilepsy drugs.” While other CBD drugs may become FDA approved, it may affect the already affordable CBD market that exists in states where marijuana has been legalized.

To clear up any confusion, here is what you should take away from all of this: Cannabis-based CBD was not rescheduled, only Epidiolex and other FDA approved drugs (which currently is only Epidiolex). All other cannabis-based (that includes hemp) CBD products are still Schedule I narcotics and federally illegal. So, if a product is hemp or cannabis derived CBD, you have to abide by the state and federal laws regarding cannabis. But there are CBD products available that are not derived from the genus cannabis and are not on the CSA, therefore legal nationwide.