Despite legal uncertainty, CBD stores are popping up all over Texas, including Killeen, to offer a variety of products containing the cannabidiol extract.

According to experts, the oil has the health benefits cannabis offers without the psychoactive effects of marijuana. CBD oil, made legal in Texas a few years ago, is sold as a supplement.

But what many consumers don’t know is that distributors of the CBD market currently operate in a legal gray zone.

Texas lawmakers approved the Compassionate Use Act, a restrictive medical cannabis law, in 2015. It allows dispensaries licensed by the Department of Public Safety to make and sell CBD products to patients whose physicians prescribed CBD for medical reasons.

However, vape shops, wellness centers and natural products retailers that sell CBD over the counter are becoming more and more the norm. They refer to its legalization under the newly approved U.S. Farm Bill, which has hemp managed by the Department of Agriculture as a crop rather than by the Justice Department as an illegal substance.

That has made CBD legal under federal law if it doesn’t contain more than 0.3 percent of the euphoria-inducing component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

One of Killeen’s CBD distributors is the Austin CBD & Kratom store located inside the Flawless Vape Shop at 2600 Trimmier Road.

The shop opened about six months ago “and we started carrying the CBD products about three months ago,” said Justin Cunningham from Flawless Vape Shop.

Cunningham offers a variety of CBD products, reaching from the actual liquid oil and CBD gummies to hemp oil in cremes and lotions.

“About half of my clientele comes here for the CBD,” he said. “There are new people every day looking for CBD oil.”

According to Cunningham, his customers are looking for the oil as an alternative for common pain medications or health problems like insomnia, nausea and anxiety.

While other distributors just want to make a good deal, Cunningham tries to give people who are new to CBD as much information as possible before starting a new health regimen.

According to Cunningham, gummies are a good way to start out with CBD. Prices range depending on the CBD concentration in milligrams but start at roughly $10 for an eight-count of gummies.

“The oil lasts me for about six months and starts at $99.99,” he said. “The dose is two to five drops underneath the tongue.”

Martin Tindall, CEO and founder of the healthcare solutions company Phoenix Life Sciences International, is researching the benefits of CBD as a diabetes medication. He is currently working on medical studies to get CBD approved by the FDA as an ongoing medication for diabetes treatment and management.

He was hoping the future holds more accurate laws regarding the medical use and purpose of CBD so patients can get accurate dosage prescriptions by their doctor.

“There is a whole range refinement happening in the industry and you’ve got everyone from back yard operators to pharmaceutical companies building up various different products,” he said.

Without proper regulations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the products’ ingredients and quality can vary from distributor to distributor.

Tindall started working in the industry five years ago, as his father died after his battle with cancer.

“I am a total believer in taking CBD for general wellness and I take it daily,” he said.

Tindall considers 25mg of CBD oil a wellness dose, but said patients can go up with their doses depending their medical conditions.

“We found that a patient being able to take 15 mg in the morning and 15 mg at night is seeing a reduction in their resting blood sugar,” he said.

According to Tindall, a common drug test should not test positive for marijuana, if CBD is taken in the correct doses. Typical drug tests are targeting the THC component, which should be minimal in high quality CBD.

Tindall said an overdose of CBD can lead to side effects like headaches, nausea and blurry vision.

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