CBD Oil: Miracle or Hoax?

The hemp-based products are used
to address many ailments

Area retailers who sell CBD oil say
customer support is strong

2019 Cover

(March 2019) – A substance that may relieve anxiety, pain, insomnia, seizures and more sounds like a miracle or a hoax. CBD (cannabidiol) products have been called both. More recently, research, product testing and quality control have created an industry that is growing fast based on reports of positive outcomes after the use of CBD products. CBD products are produced from hemp and do not contain THC, a psychoactive chemical that causes the high in marijuana use. These products are available as oils, sublingual drops, gummies, creams, vapes, popcorn and bath bombs, to name just a few products available locally.
Erik Grove, pharmacist and owner of Madison Apothecary at 835 W. Main St. in Madison, Ind., explained that CBD isolates are now licensed by the Federal Drug Administration as a specific pharmaceutical product that can be prescribed by physicians for seizures. That is currently the only licensed FDA product. Any other CBD products produced must be sold as herbal supplements and remedies.
Therefore, no standards are established and no testing is required of these supplements. Producers of CBD products create them to their own specifications. While testing is optional, Grove said that reputable companies are adamant about insisting on strict standards, testing and quality control, to support their brand quality and marketing.

Photo provided

Phyllis and John Smith of New Castle, Ky., produce hemp-based products at their Henry County, Ky., farm.

Madison Apothecary carries CBD products from Bluegrass Hemp Oil, located in Lexington, Ky. It is a high-quality product that appears to be in demand. Each producer will readily provide reports on the purity and quality of the products produced. Grove said that Indiana requires that products have a QR code on the label that customers can scan to access lab reports. He said that reputable companies will always want to discuss their product, answer questions  and provide quality reports. 
Grove noted that over-the-counter products are often less expensive than pharmaceuticals. If CBD products can maintain high standards for purity and potency without being regulated as pharmaceuticals, they will be readily available to more individuals at lower costs. While CBD is most often sold as an oil, it is also available as an extract, a vaporized liquid and an oil-based capsule. CBD can also be infused into foods, drinks and beauty products.
According to Brent A. Bauer, MD, writing for the Mayo Clinic, “CBD use carries some risks. Though it is often well-tolerated, CBD can cause side effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness and fatigue. CBD can also interact with other medications you are taking, such as blood thinners. If you plan to use products containing CBD, talk to your doctor.”
Daniel Barhorst of Prospect, Ky., has personally experienced dramatic relief through the use of CBD therapy. Barhorst spent most of his career in the Louisville area radio and television industry. In 2016, he suffered a neck injury as a result of a car accident. His neck was swollen, and he could not turn his head. It appeared that surgery was his only option. He decided to try CBD “inside/outside” therapy before surgery. That therapy consists of using CBD drops under the tongue (sublingual “inside”) as well as CBD cream massaged on his neck (“outside”). He stated that he has regained full mobility of his neck.

Photo by Sharyn Whitman

Bridget Sargent manages Herbs & More in Madison, Ind., where CBD oil is sold.

Barhorst said he has always been interested in CBD products because of his involvement in his family’s farm in Breckenridge County, Ky. Hemp provided a new crop for former tobacco farmers. Barhorst, 58, decided to open a business providing CBD products to individuals who could possibly benefit from local availability. In fall 2018, he opened the CBD Pure Hemp Oil store at 9535 Hwy. 42 in Prospect. He also operates an e-commerce website. His previous career in media sales and marketing provided valuable experience and skills for this new business venture. Barhorst is quick to explain that advertisements for CBD state that the products do not diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, as required disclaimers. “Word of mouth” tells the rest of the story. Individuals report how various products have worked in their own circumstances.
Barhorst also found that a local veterinarian had some success using CBD products on arthritic animals. The product for animals is called “Fetch.” A recent customer, Kathryn Jackson of Prospect, visited the store to purchase “Fetch” for her Australian Shepherd dog, Sonny. Sonny is a trained therapy dog who was limping due to a possible muscle strain. Barhorst provided directions for Jackson to either squirt the CBD oil into the dog’s mouth or add drops of the CBD oil to the bowl of dog food. Jackson is hoping that the CBD oil will help heal Sonny’s leg.
Statistics show that the average age of CBD users is 61. Barhorst said that he sees more of a combination of two age brackets. The first group is busy women in their 30s and 40s who use CBD products to help reduce anxiety. The second group is older adults in their 70s and 80s who report that CBD products help with joint pain and insomnia.
Barhorst said he has found that some medical doctors support the use of CBD products by their patients. These physicians want to see specific lab results and testing for each lot number of a given product. Barhorst said that reputable CBD suppliers readily provide printouts of lab testing by lot number. He noted that another factor that impacts the efficacy of CBD products is shelf life and storage temperatures. Consumers should be aware of these factors when choosing CBD products.

Photo by Sharyn Whitman

Daniel Barhorst, owner of CBD Pure Hemp Oil store in Prospect, Ky., examines a bottle of oil.

Barhorst uses two suppliers: a newer local Kentucky supplier and an experienced Colorado supplier. He orders products directly from these production facilities. In this way, he saves both time-to-market and cost, due to eliminating warehouse and distributions expenses. The local Kentucky CBD oil has some hemp-taste and is a light brown color. The Colorado CBD oil is refined from organic hempseed and is clear, odorless and tasteless. Both are reported to be effective. 
In Madison, Ind., customers can also purchase a variety of CBD products from at Herbs & More, 180 Clifty Dr., next door to Home Again new and used furniture store. Bridget Sargent, store manager, explained that they carry Green Roads CBD oil, which is manufactured in Florida and PHARM CBD oil, which is a local Kentucky product. Both are third-party laboratory tested and pharmacy-formulated, using a CO-2 extraction process to produce the purest quality. Herbs & More offers CBD oils and creams, plus other products such as gummies, popcorn, coffee, CBD-infused honey, bath bombs and CBD vaping. Sargent researched many companies before recommending Green Roads and PHARM products to store owner, Vivian McIntosh. 
Sargent observed that a customer who periodically came to look at furniture always walked with a cane. After he had been using CBD products, she noticed that he no longer needed a cane. Other people try the gummies or drops to help children with ADD and ADHD. Personally, Sargent said she finds vaping CBD is relaxing. Sargent also reports that customers purchase CBD oil to help their pets who experience separation anxiety or seizures.
In New Castle, Ky., Phyllis and John Smith turned their seventh-generation family tobacco farm to hemp production. Phyllis Smith had previous background in healthcare and laboratory medicine. She researched the techniques to extract CBD from their own hemp. Their farm is not yet officially an “organic” farm, but by definition Kentucky law requires that hemp must be grown organically. Within the next few years, they plan to take the additional steps and paperwork to officially register the farm to be an organic producer of hemp.

Photo by Patti Watson

Madison Apothecary owner and pharmacist Erik Grove sells CBD oil at his Madison, Ind., store.

Smith distributes products under their brand, Essentially Hemp, at Clubb Pharmacy in New Castle, Ky., and Spodas Gift and Store in Dillsboro, Ind., plus online at www.essentiallyhemp.net.  
Essentially Hemp products are “processed from the floral material of a hemp variety that contains high levels of Phyto-cannabinoids referred to as Cannabidiol, or CBD. Research is showing CBD is an appealing option for patients looking for relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis, seizures, spasms and other conditions,” according to the website. However, the products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  As with other producers, this language is required of all CBD producers, vendors, labels, and promotional materials.
Smith first tests the harvested hemp to ensure there are no contaminants. After the hemp has been certified clean, it can be processed to extract the CBD. The extraction process requires food-grade facilities, equipment and processes.
The Smiths recently finished a new facility specifically constructed for the production of Essentially Hemp products. Smith uses an ethanol extraction process because it provides a mild-tasting product with a bit of an earthy taste. The oil is light brown in color. Some customers report a “chocolaty” type taste. 

Essentially Hemp products are available in four sizes of oils: 300 mg. in 1 oz. bottle, 600 mg. in 1 oz bottle, 1,200 mg. in a 2 oz bottle, and 2,400 mg. in a 2 oz bottle. The Essentially Hemp brand also offers small tins of relieving balms for external use. These products are called “full-spectrum” oils because they are not stripped.

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