Pharmacist dispenses wisdom on CBD oil products

Q & A with Sean Gale, B.Pharm., Northwest Community Healthcare Pharmacy Manager

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

What is CBD*?

CBD is short for cannabidiol and is a 100% naturally occurring compound found in the hemp plant. The hemp plant is part of the marijuana family which has created some confusion over its legality. A farm bill passed in 2018 allows the hemp plant to be grown and harvested legally in the United States.

The NCH Pharmacy, located in the Busse Center on the hospital campus, offers a variety of CBD products, including CBD Hemp Oil.

What is hemp?

Hemp, or more commonly, industrial hemp has a variety of uses from food to clothes to cars. The hemp plant is very low in THC (0.3%) and is the only source for CBD products.

Have you tried it and does it work?

I’ve seen CBD work in two separate areas of my life. First, it helps me feel better in the mornings, by helping me to be more mentally alert. Second, it helps with my exercise. I’ve been running for over 30 years and I’ve noticed my legs ache less and feel stronger when using CBD.

What else does it help with?

Customers have purchased CBD to help with sleep and have been really impressed with it. 

Will CBD oil get you high?

The legal limit to sell CBD is 0.3% THC (the psychotropic part of marijuana plant) which in no way will get you high, no matter what the formulation is or how much you take of it. You would normally find THC in the marijuana plant at 15%-40% potency, which is 750 times stronger than the CBD formulation.

Is there controversy surrounding CBD oil?

Yes, there is a lot of confusion and controversy over this product. Some states have legalized the sale of it, and in others you will get arrested if caught with any CBD. Because of its relation to the marijuana family, prejudice still exists and lawmakers are resistant to legalize CBD even though harvesting of the hemp plant is legalized in all 50 states. 

Has CBD been a popular OTC item?

Yes, absolutely! The public interest in this product has been very intense which spurred me to further research the CBD industry. We started carrying CBD oil back in January 2019 and it increased our OTC sales by 50%.

NCH Pharmacy Manager Sean Gale

Who is buying it?

We sell CBD to many patients who come from the local Cancer Clinic looking for pain relief and help with anxiety. I also see a lot of employees who want it for the same reasons. It might be useful for sleep, arthritis and overall well-being, but more research is needed.

Is this a homeopathic medicine?

CBD is a homeopathic medication and its explosion into the market has the FDA struggling to regulate this substance. In 2018, the World Health Organization issued a report concluding that CBD is safe and the FDA made similar statements when approving the CBD seizure medication Epidiolex. But the U.S. marketplace is still waiting for the FDA to prioritize creating legislation for cannabis-based products and their manufacturing. 

What products do you carry?

We purchase a high quality CBD product from a national wholesaler, CBD Rethink. The company tests all of its products for CBD content and any potential impurities in the plant. The product we carry is also unique in that it has all the elements of the plant (terpenes, flavonoids, omega 3s, minerals) but does not have THC. This is especially important for people who may be drug tested at work or just want to stay away from THC. Our most popular sellers are the sublingual oil and topical cream. People also buy the gummies, roll-on, energy shots and sleep formula at a pretty steady rate, too.

How expensive is CBD?

It is a fairly refined process to produce CBD, so it can get expensive depending on the manufacturer. The most common sublingual oil which may be effective for most people costs $58.99, but we will give an additional 10% off for those who mention this article. One bottle typically lasts one month, depending on the person.

How do I know that what I’m buying is safe?

There are a few parameters that can help ensure a quality product:

  • Make sure the hemp was grown in the U.S.
  • Ensure post-production testing is done to indicate the proper amounts of CBD and THC. 
  • It should be organically grown (non-GMO).
  • It is harvested using the CO2 extraction method.
  • All of the components of the plant are used.
  • The farm is associated with a national hemp organization.

How do I know what form to use or how much to take?

This can be a complicated question because there is not a definitive answer. One of the general guidelines is to dose 1mg of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight. For example, a 150-pound adult would take 15mg of CBD per day. Total amount per day depends on the person and the condition, but this gives most people a place to start. Topical formulations might work best for local pain (arthritis or tendonitis) and the oral form might help for more general or nerve pain, anxiety, sleep and inflammation.

The NCH Pharmacy sells a variety of CBD products.

Why do you recommend CBD?

I have seen it work personally and in my family in many ways. I also have a large amount of anecdotal evidence from my customers who come back and buy more because it works so well. I would estimate 90% of people have some form of response to CBD. It’s just a matter of how strong the effect is and what is being treated. I think it’s a great addition to anyone’s diet, but consult with your doctor or pharmacist first before starting.

*Since this is a relatively new product in the U.S., more research is needed to establish safety and efficacy.

Meet Sean at the NCH Pharmacy to learn more about CBD products. Pharmacy hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Visit nch.org/pharmacy or call 847-618-7427.



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