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CBD Oil at the Bayboro Pharmacy
Oils, creme, even dog treats
October 22, 2019

A
t Bayboro Pharmacy, sales of a new product are outpacing all other over-the-counter remedies: CBD oil. CBD oil, short for cannabidiol, is hemp flower extract. It is not marijuana – an illegal drug in many states including North Carolina.

Both come from cannabis plants; CBD from hemp and marijuana from the plant of the same name. Both are chemical compounds called cannabinoids. Only Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is psychoactive, producing the ‘high’ associated with marijuana. Hemp plants produce more cannabidiol (CBD) than THC, while marijuana produces more THC.

CBD Oil at Bayboro Pharmacy
Sandra Holton holds the dropper and and bottle of Bayboro Pharmacy’s CBD Oil product, Historical Remedy Hemp Flower Extract.

Bayboro Pharmacy, founded in 1978 by Herb Purser, is now run by pharmacist Dr. Lori Altman and her husband Jonathan.
 
Both are Pamlico County natives, describing themselves as steeped in traditions and values common to this area. Dr. Altman said, “I never experimented with marijuana.  It was illegal and that was enough for our families not to indulge in it.”

But legal CBD oil was rising in popularity. So Dr. Altman did what pharmacists are trained to do: rely on clinical research that yields facts.

CBD Oil at Bayboro Pharmacy
Dr. Lori Altman behind the counter at Bayboro Pharmacy.

“When it was new on the market, there was no science, no clinical trials, and no evidence to support claims of any medicinal benefit.  There is no record of how this oil will interact with other medications,” she said.
 
“And, according to the FDA, that is still the case.  Medical providers, doctors or pharmacists, can make no claims about the benefits of using this oil.  Federal law prevents me from telling a customer that this oil will treat any medical condition.”

She was also concerned about potential public backlash.

“One of the reasons I hesitated to bring these products in was I could just hear people saying, ‘Oh, Lori is selling marijuana.’  I was concerned about what the public would think but some of the people I consider most conservative are now repeat customers.”

Dr. Altman set about educating herself and her customers.

“This is not an abuse product.  You cannot make yourself high with our brand of hemp extract. To get high, you would have to buy marijuana on the street.  This product is not a get high drug; it will never be used for that purpose.”

CBD Oil at Bayboro Pharmacy
On the left: hemp plants. On the right, a marijuana plant. The left one is currently legal. The right one – not so much.

So what does it do? Dr. Altman can’t legally say. But she can say what she’s heard from her customers.

“All of the information I provide is strictly anecdotal.  I can tell customers what other customers tell me who are using it, or what has been repeated on the street, or what can be read on the Internet.  I do not make any claim about how it will benefit anyone; I can only relate what has been told to me by others.”

Anecdotes reported to Dr. Altman say that her product promotes a general well being, making one feel better, combats anxiety, acts as a sleep aid, and diminishes pain and inflammation.

CBD Oil at Bayboro Pharmacy
Sandra Holton and Dr. Altman stock a CBD oil display.

“I can tell you this: we have repeat customers who have decreased their opioid use and decreased anxiolytics – drugs that help with anxiety and nerves.  A couple of customers use it just for sleep because it relaxes them and helps them go to sleep.  But you have to take it every day, not sporadically.  The benefits all depend on an individual’s internal receptors for endocannabinoids.”

Dr. Altman says a typical does is between 5 and 15 mg. Bayboro Pharmacy sells a 250mg and a 500mg per ounce bottle. “If somebody is using it for joint pain, after three days, if they still have significant pain, they can increase their dosage by a half dropperful for 3 or 4 days.”

There is a limit, however. “If at a certain point, it’s not doing any good, it’s not going to do any good.  Again, this is all anecdotal information, not scientific,” she said. “I learn from customers who come back and tell us what is happening.  It is relatively expensive, so nobody wants to take more than they need.”  She added, “It is just so important to buy from a reputable source.

CBD Oil at Bayboro Pharmacy
Bayboro Pharmacy sells CBD oil with or without 0.3% of the THC compound. At that level, THC produces no mind altering effects.
  Dr. Altman was also concerned about the quality of her product. “We started researching companies that were trustworthy, ones that were doing a regular analysis of their products, ones that were able to back up what they said was in their product.  We finally decided the best company for us was right here in North Carolina, in Asheboro.”

The Asheboro company provides an analysis of their product conducted by an independent third party. Each shipment dispensed by that company arrives with an analysis of that particular batch of hemp extract.

“The hemp flower extract we sell contains all 80 cannabinoids found in the hemp flower, including CBD and THC.  For those not wanting THC, we stock a THC-free version in which the THC has simply been extracted from the tincture,” she said. “This hemp farm in Asheboro is not regulated by the FDA, but, instead it gets inspected by the NC Department of Agriculture.  If they find crops that contain more than 0.3% of THC, the farm can ultimately be shut down and its permit yanked.”

CBD Oil at Bayboro Pharmacy
Creams containing CBD oil are reported to be a topical pain reliever. The oil in the bottles at right is said to have the same effect for dogs that the oil has for humans.

“This is where the public needs to understand the difference between just plain CBD oil from the hemp flower and what is called full spectrum CBD oil that contains 0.3% THC.   The hemp flowers on this farm all contain the 0.3% or less of THC, but it can be extracted so the result is THC free.” 

Based on what she has learned from customer anecdotes, Dr. Altman recommends the full spectrum version containing  THC.  It is reported to have more benefits, she said, especially in terms of antioxidants.
 
But for those who are on narcotic pain medications, the full spectrum can pose a problem. Most patients who regularly take opioids are subjected to drug tests to determine if they are following the guidelines set by the prescribing physician.  Though the 0.3% THC allowed in the full spectrum will not cause any psychotropic effects, it will cause a drug screen to be positive for marijuana.

CBD Oil at Bayboro Pharmacy
Hemp chews can be a dog treat instead of the oil dispensed by dropper.

“Everyone needs to know, you cannot get a high with the THC level contained in the full spectrum hemp flower extract we sell. If someone drinks the whole bottle, they will not get high,” said Dr. Altman. “But they are likely to have nausea and get diarrhea.”
 
“For those who want to use the full spectrum product, I recommend they consult the physician who prescribes their pain medications.  It has been my experience that oncologists treating cancer patients are often very accommodating.”
 
Bayboro Pharmacy has been selling CBD oil less than a year with sales increasing every month.  Dr. Altman credits this success in sales with word-of-mouth contact between customers.

Dr. Altman emphasized again and again that she could make no claim about the medicinal benefits of CBD oil. But she did state, without reservation, that no one would have any mind altering experience from the CBD products she sells.
 

Posted Tuesday October 22, 2019 by Ben Casey


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