Use of Cannabidiol, or CBD, products is on the rise and are now available in Rock Hill. The store owner said CBD products have helped people with chronic pain.
But there are factors to consider before making a purchase.
CBD, a chemical found in cannabis plants, has become a popular natural remedy for ailments, including anxiety, seizures and pain. CBD oil products, derived from hemp plants, contain little to no THC, an active ingredient of cannabis that produces the high associated with marijuana.
However, CBD is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and can pose risks, said Danielle Center, executive director of Keystone Substance Abuse Services in Rock Hill.
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“Until it goes through the FDA process and it’s really studied and researched, then we can’t really say much about it,” she said. “We don’t really know long-term what it does to the body yet because there is no research.”
Center said there is anecdotal evidence that, If created correctly, CBD oil has helped with certain medical conditions.
Alison Sheppard opened the Your CBD Store Rock Hill at 1636 Ebenezer Road in November 2018. Sheppard’s store is the only Your CBD Store in the York County region. There are 150 stores in the U.S. with more planned, according to the company. There are 12 locations in South Carolina, including Myrtle Beach and in Columbia. There are seven stores in North Carolina, including Concord.
Sheppard said her customers have included people with anxiety, cancer patients going through chemo and people who live with chronic pain.
“There are so many testimonials of people coming in and saying they are off their pain medicines and have no pain at all,” Sheppard said. “We had customers come in and were almost on their deathbed. They ended up hospitalized from taking too many pain pills.”
Sheppard said one customer told her that he suffered from chronic pain but found relief after using the CBD oil.
“For the first time, he felt not drugged and pain-free,” she said.
Sheppard said more people may be turning to CBD to fight pain instead of using strong narcotics.
She said the staff at her store cannot tell people what medications to go off. They recommend that you consult with a doctor.
“People are wanting to take care of themselves, but they also are needing to be pain-free,” Sheppard said. “They’re seeing results and with it being legal, everyone is wanting to go CBD.”
Sheppard said her products contain no THC.
“You get the heal, but you don’t get the high,” she said.
Under federal law, CBD oil products are legal as long as they contain less than 0.3 percent of THC.
The Rock Hill store carries CBD-infused candies, water-soluble products, oil products and beauty products such as lotion and collagen face cream, said store manager Margaret Wilkerson. One of their best sellers, she said, is the pain cream.
The store also carries CBD pet treats.
“CBD is really great for animals. It helps in the same way that it helps us,” Wilkerson said.
Sheppard said she opened the store in Rock Hill after she used a pet product from a Your CBD Store in Georgia to help her dog’s anxiety. She said the vet had her dog on Xanax, causing him to act strange.
Sheppard said once she switched to CBD dog bones, she noticed a difference.
“Shockingly, my dog’s anxiety went away within hours,” Sheppard said.
CBD users must be cautious, Center said. She said Keystone has seen clients who say they have failed drug tests after taking CBD products.
“With no regulation, the people who have these shops can basically sell whatever product there is,” Center said. “Because there is no regulation, when you are taking those products, you are taking it at a risk. You don’t know what’s in there.”
Major Todd Hughey, director of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division’s forensic laboratory, said people need to do their own research.
“These CBD products are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which means that there are no mandatory quality control or manufacturing standards in place that have to be met,” Hughey said in a statement. “Anyone looking to purchase unregulated CBD products should understand the associated risks and do their homework and find out as much about the manufacturer and what testing they do to ensure the purity and concentration of the labeled product.”
Several cases have made the news highlighting problems with CBD products sold in stores.
SLED, along with the Myrtle Beach Police Department, is testing CBD oil products in Myrtle Beach stores to ensure THC levels are under the legal limit, according to The Sun News, an affiliate of The Herald.
In Utah, multiple people suffered seizures and hallucinations in late 2017 after being exposed to products labeled as CBD, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The products contained a synthetic cannabinoid, not CBD.
The Your CBD Oil Store products, including those sold in Rock Hill, are made from hemp sourced from Evergreen, Colo., near Denver, Sheppard said. They are supplied by SunFlora, a Florida-based company specializing in CBD products.
The products are third-party tested by laboratories that test cannabis products, according to product documents listed on the CBD store’s website and provided by Sheppard. These include Desert Valley Testing, a cannabis testing laboratory in Phoenix, Ariz., ProVerde Laboratories in Milford, Mass., and Botanica Testing located in Gainesville, Fla., according to the product documents.
Laboratory documents provided by SunFlora and posted to the store’s website show that the products contain zero percent THC.
Sheppard said it’s important for consumers to know their products are third-party tested.
“A lot of people ordering online said they weren’t getting what they paid for,” she said. “You want to make sure you know where it comes from. If it’s a 250 milligrams, you want to make sure it is 250.”
Sheppard said her store’s products are safe to use.
“We wouldn’t be in this store if we weren’t 100 percent legal and safe,” she said.
The Rock Hill store is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.