CBD in Alabama
Residents of Alabama are enjoying the many benefits of CBD oil. But you may be wondering: what is CBD, how do you use it, is it legal in Alabama, and where can you buy it? CBD is an abbreviation for Cannabidiol, an extract of the cannabis plant. Let’s learn more about CBD in Alabama.
What You Need to Know About CBD in Alabama
What is CBD?
Even though CBD and marijuana are both derived from essentially the same plant (cannabis sativa), the most notable difference is that CBD oil is non-intoxicating, as it contains only trace amounts of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive element found in high amounts in marijuana. CBD does not produce the high that is associated with recreational and medical marijuana. CBD is currently being scientifically studied for its wide-reaching potential for health and wellness.
Despite its location in the deep south commonly known as the bible belt, Alabama currently has some of the most hemp-friendly policies in the nation, essentially creating legislation that reiterates and supports that of the federal level. As long as the CBD oil contains less than 0.3% THC it is legal federally. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall issued a notice regarding this, shortly after the U.S. Farm Bill passed in late 2018.
After the 2014 Farm Bill established an Industrial Hemp Program, Alabama’s legislators created the Industrial Hemp Research Program Act and designated the ADAI (Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries) to oversee this program. Later, in May of 2019 (following the passage of the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill), the state assigned to ADAI the task of regulating the commercial growth and production of hemp oil. Additional regulation is expected to be forthcoming.
How to Use CBD
There are essentially three ways to take CBD oil, depending on personal preference and the reason for use. CBD oil can be ingested, taken under the tongue, or applied topically. For localized pain or sore muscles, an individual may prefer to combine two of these methods. For example, ingestion and topical use. Generally, sublingual (under the tongue) is considered to provide the fastest rate of absorption.
You can easily find cannabidoil — a popular form of the cannabis plant more commonly known as CBD — in Alabama and it is legal in certain forms.
CBD is sold in many forms, including oils, skin creams, edibles resembling popular candies, pet treats and even bath bombs. After U.S. Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD was legalized as long as it is made from industrial hemp and contains less than 0.3 percent THC.
J.B. Autry owns The CBD Store on U.S. 280 in Birmingham. He was arrested last year, prior to the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.
“We had the news out here in July and we were open for almost 5 months before [law enforcement] decided to come pay us a visit, they gave us no warning,” Autry said.
Autry re-opened his store after the federal bill passed and has had so much success that he said he is now considering expanding his businesses to other cities in the area, including Alabaster.
“All of the stuff that’s on the shelves is zero THC,” Autry said. “We do have some full spectrum stuff for people that are going through chemotherapy and stuff like that, that need help with the nausea, that have the 0.3 percent but it’s still within the legal limits of — as Alabama law.”
Autry told CBS 42 his customers come from all walks of life, looking for pain relief, help quitting a nicotine or opioid addiction or a reduction in their anxiety or depression.
His oldest customer is 99, but Autry said he and his staff refuse to sell products to anyone under the age of 18. Despite that, Autry said he knows many of his customers purchase his products for their children in order to avoid putting them on prescription drugs.
Amy Bourlon-Hilterbran and her son, Austin, were recently featured in a medical marijuana commercial that was submitted but ultimately rejected by CBS to air during Super Bowl 53.
Austin suffers from a severe form of epilepsy and Amy said his condition is so severe that CBD does not contain enough THC to adequately help him. The entire family moved from Oklahoma to Colorado to take advantage of the full spectrum of marijuana products.
Amy’s two younger sons have more mild forms of epilepsy and Amy told CBS 42 that CBD has put an end to their seizures at this time.
“It was life changing for sure,” she said. “We were so shook up about our baby having a seizure too — of course he was 4 at the time — and it was with such gratitude that we have options.”
According to Harvard Medical School, CBD can have side effects including naseau, fatigue or irritability and can interact with other medications. Amy told CBS 42 that Austin did have some side effects with CBD, but only while he was also taking prescription drugs.