CBD oils trickle into Bay Area as retailers tout benefits

Cannabidiolu2014CBD oilu2014is becoming more popular in Texas, and some shops have started selling the products in the Bay Area. But how and why is this legal compared to marijuana?

Cannabidiolu2014CBD oilu2014is becoming more popular in Texas, and some shops have started selling the products in the Bay Area. But how and why is this legal compared to marijuana?

Image description
Testing the waters
Image description
CBD effects
Cannabidiol—commonly called CBD oil—is becoming more available to Bay Area residents as local retailers begin to sell the products.

A common misconception surrounding CBD oil is its relation to marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Although marijuana and CBD products come from plants in the cannabis family, CBD oils, such as the ones sold at The Hemp Man of Texas in League City, are harvested from industrial hemp plants that do not contain enough THC to result in psychoactive effects, Hemp Man of Texas owner Zach Adair said.

While retailers can sell CBD products to help with anxiety, joint pain and other ailments, physicians are also able to prescribe CBD to treat epilepsy and seizures.

“Certainly, CBD oil is an agent that has been discussed in national epilepsy journals for the last few years, and it’s natural that we would want to investigate and use these compounds due to the fact that it is a benign substance but also has some efficacy,” Kelsey-Seybold neurologist Michael Newmark said.

RULES AND REGULATIONS


CBD oil products with THC levels of 0.3% or lower are legal to purchase and consume in Texas.

In 2014, President Barack Obama signed the federal Farm Bill, which legalized industrial hemp, including CBD oil. The legality was blurry, however, so in December 2018, President Donald Trump signed a new Farm Bill to fully legalize CBD oil, Adair said.

CBD oil was still legal when Adair’s business started in 2016, but many were ignorant of the law, he said.

“Now we’re trying to come out more into the sunlight,” Adair said.

However, the process for patients to receive CBD prescriptions is more involved than walking into a store and buying oils on the spot. One brand—Compassionate Cultivation, based in Austin—provides medicinal CBD products used to help treat epilepsy that is intractable, or nonresponsive to surgery, said Michael Watkins, a pediatric neurologist at UTHealth and Memorial Hermann in The Medical Center.

To obtain these medical-grade CBD products, an epileptologist—someone who helps treats epilepsy—identifies the patient as an intractable epileptic. Another epileptologist must agree the patient would be a good candidate for the products before proceeding with a prescription.

“In a system like this where everything is new, I think it’s a way to make sure we’re all doing it the right way,” Watkins said.

Texas began allowing physicians to prescribe medicinal CBD less than one year ago, Watkins said.

“We have a lot more people asking about it,” he said. “For me, it gives you another tool in your arsenal of things that you can use for these severe forms of intractable epilepsy.”

Two CBD oil-related bills await Gov. Greg Abbott’s approval as of press time: House Bills 1325, which would legalize the farming of industrial hemp, and 3703, which would expand medical use for prescriptions with up to 0.5% THC to help treat patients diagnosed with epilepsy, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, autism, terminal cancer and other diseases.

While CBD oils are becoming more available, local legislators, such as state Rep. Ron Reynolds, D-Missouri City, are working to legalize medical marijuana.

“I believe Texas should join the rest of the 33 states, including Washington, D.C., that have some form of public marijuana or cannabis programs,” Reynolds said. “We’re certainly behind. We should leave it up to Texans to decide. I think it would pass overwhelmingly.”

Reynolds said he believes Texans having access to CBD oils is the right step.

“CBD is helpful to those who need it, and there is a big market for it,” he said. “I have talked to farmers and industry folks that said [marijuana] would help create jobs and consumers who said it would help them medically. It’s a win-win.”

TRICKLING INTO THE AREA


Adair started The Hemp Man of Texas after his wife suffered a major seizure that led to two brain surgeries and a spinal fusion. CBD oil helped her pain, sleep, inflammation and anxiety, Adair said.

CBD oil has helped Adair himself with his own anxiety, sleep, and neck pain and stiffness that he has been suffering from a years-old injury.

“Ever since using our oil daily for many years now, I have not had a single lock up, and the pain is almost 100% gone. Barely ever feel it or think about it,” he said. “[CBD oil has] been a huge blessing for our family.”

William Best opened Coastal CBD & Wellness in Kemah a few months ago after being convinced of CBD’s benefits.

Best suffers from a shoulder injury. Since starting CBD oil, he said he has not had to go to the doctor to manage pain.

“It seems like it’s really, really working,” he said.

He gave some to his 13-year-old beagle, who, at the time, was not chasing squirrels or doing the other activities she loved. After a few days on the oil, Best’s dog was back to acting like herself, he said.

Some residents might be wary of CBD oil, but those in the Bay Area have been open and receptive, Best said. Both Best and Adair have stories of customers who swear by CBD oil’s effectiveness.

“It’s really been a welcomed thing in Kemah,” Best said.

Adair said the Texas Department of State Health Services in April removed hemp from the controlled substances list, which will lessen the stigma against CBD oil and make the public more receptive.

“It’s just gonna get bigger and bigger,” he said.

MEDICAL BENEFITS


As retail products are becoming more available to the general public, some physicians are embracing CBD oil’s medical benefits for patients suffering from seizures and epilepsy.

Newmark said some of his patients have seen their seizures reduced by up to 50% as a result of implementing CBD oil into their medication regimen. However, he has yet to see a patient become completely seizure-free.

Watkins said patients with epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome or Lennox-Gastaut syndrome—both of which are intractable—can benefit from implementing prescribed CBD medications into their regimen.

Watkins said he thinks it is possible for CBD oils to be used to treat epilepsy and seizures in lieu of other medications.

“I think it’s something that’s going to have to be heavily researched,” he said. “As time passes and restrictions change and stigma changes, you may see the ability to use CBD oils in other patients with epilepsy who don’t fit those exact criteria.”

Both Newmark and Watkins said they would not recommend prescription CBD oils be used on their own to treat epilepsy and seizures but should be paired with other prescribed medication.

“Even I, being cynical as I am, think it is useful for some pain disorders, particularly the pain disorders that are associated with Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis,” Newmark said. “I would start off at a low dose with those, but I have noticed some anecdotal improvement in folks who are really miserable.”
SHARE THIS STORY
By Jake Magee

Jake Magee has been a print journalist for a few years, covering topics such as city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be an editor with Community Impact. In his free time, Magee enjoys playing video games, jamming on the drums and bass, longboarding and petting his cat.

<

MOST RECENT

League City sign, League City stock image, League City stock photo
League City to receive award for excellence in parks and recreation management

League City will receive an award next month from the Texas Recreation and Park Society for excellence in the field of recreation and park management.

Houston-area hospitals to close include the Tomball, Spring, Heights and Bay Area locations of Kindred Hospital, according to the statement. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Kindred Healthcare to close 6 Houston, Dallas locations

Four Houston-area locations of Kindred Hospital will close by March 17.

Red Bluff Road widening underway

About 1.5 miles of Red Bluff Road between Hwy. 146 and Kirby Boulevard will be widened from three lanes to five.

Omaha Steaks closing in Clear Lake

An employee said sales had reduced to the point that the business was forced to shutter.

Front view of person holding ballot paper casting vote at a polling station for election vote in black background
Here are the local elections taking place in March, November for Bay Area residents

With May and November elections and their runoffs looming, voters will be heading to the polls often, and it all starts with the primary elections less than six weeks away.

(Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
Clear Creek ISD board approves partnership with child care centers in effort to implement House Bill 3

The Clear Creek ISD board of trustees on Jan. 20 approved a partnership between the district and select child care centers to help day care staff better prepare prekindergarten students for daily life at CCISD schools.

Courtesy of Clear Creek ISD
New reading assistance applications, approaches empower Clear Creek ISD students in special education

In an effort to better support Clear Creek ISD special education students’ reading skills, the district has implemented two web-based applications and a multi-sensory approach to word cards at various pilot campuses.

A Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County study on eliminating ride fares left both METRO board members and officials seemingly unconvinced of the likelihood of implementing it in Harris County. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
METRO board of directors say free fare 'not feasible' for transit authority

A METRO study on eliminating ride fares left board members and officials unconvinced of the likelihood of implementing it in Harris County.

Ralph Gordy Avenue construction close to finishing in Seabrook

A 2,000-foot road will be constructed between FM 518 and Hwy. 146 in Seabrook to create a new access point for residents and visitors who want to access retail and entertainment businesses.

Exploration Green, CLCWA
Clear Lake City Water Authority completes Phase 2 of Exploration Green

The second of five phases is complete in Exploration Green, Clear Lake City Water Authority’s project to turn a former golf course into a pond that will eventually hold 500 million gallons of stormwater.

I-45, League City Parkway intersection work underway

As a part of the I-45 widening project between FM 518 and FM 517, the Texas Department of Transportation will reconstruct the intersection of I-45 and League City Parkway.

Turner Street, Butler Road construction changed to complement other nearby road work

Turner Street will be rebuilt from the new roundabout on Calder Road to where it intersects with Butler Road to the west, and Butler will be reconstructed from that intersection north to where it intersects with League City Parkway.

Back to top