Chances are consumers have seen some new products on store shelves in Metropolis. They can be found everywhere from pharmacy shelves to gas stations, beauty shops and the local liquor store.
The popular products are known by three initials -- CBD -- which is short for Cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is legal in all 50 states without a prescription.
Last December President Donald Trump signed the Farm Bill, which legalized the compound, opening up a whole new business market. Earlier this year the pharmacy chain CVS announced CBD products would be available in its stores in eight states.
Hemp oil comes from the hemp seed, whereas the CBD oil is extracted from the whole hemp plant. Hemp is a close relative in the cannabis family, marijuana.
While CBD products are legal, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved CBD use in food or beverages. Just last week the FDA held hearings
At Metropolis Drugs I, Pharmacist and Owner Ashley Thompson says they offer Ananda Professional, which is only available in pharmacies. As for the forms it comes in, there is a topical salve, capsules and oil that can be placed under the tongue.
All of the products at Metropolis Drugs I are available for purchase without a prescription. The products come with a Certificate of Analysis (CofA), which states exactly what ingredients are in it and what ingredients are not in it.
Marijuana has the psychotropic THC, which causes people to get high. In order for CBD to be legal, it has to have less than 0.3 percent of THC.
Thompson says for people who have to be drug tested, there is a small chance a test could show positive because of the small amount of THC in some of the CBD products.
However, there are about 50 different kinds of cannabinoids, and Thompson said there are even CBD products, which are completely THC free.
Speaking only from her experience, Thompson explained she took a CBD product for five weeks and during that time also had four drug tests and her tests, came back negative.
Thompson points out CBD products are like other medications and people will have different reactions to them. She says people need to find the right dosage, which does work for them.
Since CBD products are available over-the-counter, there are no restrictions as to how many milligrams a person could take.
A person could take 1000 milligrams of CBD, but Thompson said she would not recommend it. "You could take a whole bottle of Tylenol too, but I would highly recommend against it," she says.
At Metropolis Drugs II, Owner and Pharmacist Tim Lawson said they also sell Ananda Professional, also in the salve, capsule and oil forms. "We're still researching other companies," he said, pointing out there are different extraction methods in obtaining CBD. Two of those extraction techniques are ethanol extraction and C02 extraction. The various extraction techniques have an effect on the CBD product.
According to Lawson he is looking at two other companies, which are owned by pharmacists. Some of their CBD products have additives, such as menthol or camphor. "We're always looking at the science behind the products," said Lawson.
He says they do have patients who have said CBD products have made a big difference in their lives. He urges individuals who are taking CBD products to see their physicians regularly and have blood and liver levels checked.
While most of the CBD products can be found at local pharmacies, there are other CBD products springing up in other locations around Metropolis, including Party Hut. Party Hut Manager Charlie Eichorn says he is selling a carbonated CBD beverage called Sprig as well as a CBD pain relief patch.
Sprig is a California company founded in 2015 which specializes in THC and CBD-infused drinks. Last October, Sprig announced it had expanded sales of the sodas to nine states, including: California, New York, Florida, Nevada, Illinois, Vermont, Washington, Texas and Pennsylvania.
The patches are similar to other patches such as nicotine or birth control patches and are adhesive bandages infused with the cannabis oil or isolates.
Additional benefits of the CBD patches include a slow-release of relief, it is long lasting and provides easy dosage control.
Cherity Caldwell, owner of Metro Botanicals, located at 704 E. Fifth Street, has been selling CBD products since before she opened the physical location of her store in 2017. Sales of her CBD products have increased over the last year, and there is an increase in popularity in them.
According to Caldwell, she sells CBD oil, gummies, gel caps and dog treats, which she has donated at times to Project Hope Humane Society. She explains the treats help with separation anxiety and also help treat aggressive animals who may have been involved in rescue situations.
As for negatives of the CBD products, she says some people may not like the taste of the oils and people sometimes do not try the product long enough and they stop taking it before finding out if it really works for them.
Caldwell always recommends, no matter where people get their CBD products from, they need to try it for about a month to see if it works for them.
She says with some peoples' body chemistry, the product may work right away, while with other people, it may take longer. "Don't give up. Keep trying," said Caldwell.
She says for individuals who may be coming off strong pain medication and trying CBD products, it might not be as strong as what they were used to, but she notes the CBD products will not have any psychological affect on individuals.
Caldwell says she hopes in the near future to also offer CBD water for sale as well as the Hemp flowers.
CBD products are available at Mixing It Up at 617 Market Street. Tish Brazell, owner of Mixing It Up, says she has three different brands of CBD products in her store now -- Green Lotus, Savage and CBD Drip.
Brazell, explains she uses the CBD salve after taking CBD oil orally twice. She says it has worked for her. "I didn't believe it really worked until I used it for my dog." She says her dog is 11 years old and could hardly get up, but she gave him the oil and could see a definite improvement. She said she has even used the CBD salve for her dog's skin allergies and it clears it up.
According to Brazell, she has used the salve for her leg and feet pain. "There's benefit enough for me to use it," says Brazell, who says she does not see many cons to using CBD products.
She says other benefits to using CBD products include it is non-addictive and from what she has researched, if a person's body does not need the CBD, it is urinated out of the body.
Because CBD products are different for everyone, Brazell says a possibly con to using CBD products is if a person is taking other medications, the CBD product might interfere with other medications.
Another con she does see is the perception some people have about CBD. She says some people might still think or believe CBD products are marijuana even though they are not and will not cause people to get high.
On May 31, the FDA held a public hearing regarding CBD products "We've seen an explosion of interest in products including CBD, [but] there is much we don't know," said Ned Sharpless, FDA acting commissioner. According to a Washington Post article during the 10 hours of testimony, hemp growers, start up businesses, academic researchers and consumer advocates argued about how FDA should regulate the CBD industry.
The common theme among them all, the article states, is the FDA needs to figure out its rules sooner, rather than later.
The article also notes market research firm New Frontier Data estimated that sales of CBD products in the U.S. more than tripled between 2014 and 2017 to $365 million.