“Unless you really know that it’s something reputable, I would say to be wary because you don’t really know that it is even CBD,” Kerver said.
Much of the sudden spike in popularity is thanks to a Texas law last year that legalized hemp, the plant from which CBD is derived.
In June, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill legalizing hemp and bringing state policy in line with federal law.
The Austin Chamber of Commerce counted at least three CBD-related relocations or expansions since the bill passed last summer, creating about 140 new jobs in the emerging sector. But the list, which is compiled from public media announcements and deals the chamber is involved in, isn’t comprehensive.
And because of lax labeling and licensing regulations, unsuspecting consumers may not actually know what they’re buying.
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis. Cannabidiol is the second-most abundant cannabinoid in the plant after tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It has many potential therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety, and seizure-suppressant properties. CBD can be sourced from both marijuana and hemp plants.
On June 10, 2019, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 1325, which established broad regulations for hemp production, cultivation, and testing. The bill sought to create rules to match the federal definition of hemp-derived CBD products.
What is CBD?
The Texas Department of State Health Services formally removed CBD from the Schedule I controlled substances list on April 5, 2019, following the adoption of the 2018 Hemp Farming Bill, which federally removed CBD from the category.
Access to CBD in Texas requires patients go through a strict medical process that is available only to people with severe illnesses. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Even though hemp strains don’t produce enough THC to cause intoxication, all types of cannabis, including hemp, were illegal under the 1970 Federal Controlled Substances Act. The legislation swept all cannabis into the Schedule I category, which defined cannabis as a substance with a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use, and a likelihood for addiction.