PHARMACY

CBDMedic products bring hemp-derived ingredient to shelves

BY DSN STAFF

Cannabidiol, or CBD, the nonpsychoactive, hemp-derived ingredient, is having a moment. The product, which is used in creams, supplements, tinctures and edibles, has seen increased consumer interest as manufacturers tout its benefits. Among those companies is Abacus Health Products, whose CBDMedic brand’s line of products includes an arthritis cream and active sport ointment, which use camphor and menthol alongside CBD. Drug Store News caught up with Perry Antelman, CEO Abacus Health Products, to discuss the opportunities for retailers in CBD.

Drug Store News: The question that most retailers probably ask themselves when it comes to CBD is: Are your products legal and safe to sell?

Perry Antelman: Yes. All CBDMedic products are produced in conformance with Food and Drug Administration requirements and registered as OTC nonprescription topical analgesics. In addition, the CBD derived from industrial hemp used in all CBDMedic products is 100% federally legal, because it complies with applicable federal laws. Menthol and camphor are the active pain-relief ingredients in our products, and no medical claims are attributed to the CBD/hemp extract. Our attorney in these matters is a former associate chief counsel at the FDA, so the guidance we receive is grounded in FDA regulations. Our products are as legally safe to market as any other FDA-compliant topical pain relief product already sold on retailers’ shelves. Further, all CBDMedic products are made with THC-free hemp extract, so there is no concern regarding any effects from or testing of THC.

DSN: Explain how is CBD/hemp legal at the federal level?

PA: The CBD in all CBDMedic products is sourced from industrial hemp plants grown in accordance with the Agricultural Act of 2014, Section 7606, of the USDA Farm Bill, passed by Congress. The farm bill, subject to renewal, carved out an exception to the Controlled Substances Act for industrial hemp when the percent of THC is 0.3% or less. CBDMedic has 0.0% THC. Each state’s department of agriculture has the option of adopting the farm bill guidelines for licensing and managing cultivation of hemp within their state. Currently, 40 states — via their legislatures — have adopted the farm bill guidelines. On June 5, 2018, the Senate adopted the 2018 U.S. farm bill legislation to permanently legalize hemp and remove it from the Controlled Substances Act. The bill is currently under review in the House/Senate SubCommittee, and passage with the hemp provisions is considered likely this year.

In addition to the USDA guidelines, the federal government’s Omnibus Appropriations Acts of 2016, 2017 and 2018 prohibited federal agencies from interfering with the interstate transport and sale of hemp.

DSN: What is the difference between marijuana and hemp?

PA: Marijuana has a high concentration of THC — the psychoactive component that produces the “high” — and a low concentration of CBD. Hemp plants are the opposite; they have a high concentration of CBD and a low concentration of THC. Hemp is not marijuana and should not be confused with marijuana. For thousands of years, hemp has been grown principally for its fiber, which can be used to make rope, clothing and other materials. CBD is extracted from hemp and is only one of hemp’s useful properties.

DSN: What should retailers look for and avoid when selecting products with CBD/hemp?

PA: First, it’s important to distinguish between oral products with CBD/hemp, such as tinctures, pills or edibles, and topicals, such as creams, ointments and gels. Oral products may be considered dietary supplements and are governed by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. The FDA has authority over DSHEA and restricts claims that can be made for such products. A topical made with CBD/hemp can’t make any medical claims unless it is an FDA-registered medication produced in an FDA-registered facility and in compliance with FDA labeling requirements.

It’s important for retailers to select CBD/hemp-infused products where: A) the CBD is derived from hemp plants grown in conformance with USDA requirements — no more than 0.3% THC; B) the CBD is produced in facilities with audited quality systems to ensure consistent product quality from batch to batch; C) manufacturers can make legal claims on its label so customers understand the products’ intended benefits, and can logically be placed in a store location where customers expect to find solutions for their specific needs, such as the external analgesics section; and D) if the product is making medical claims, such as “muscle and joint pain relief,” it must be FDA registered to be sold legally.

CBDMedic’s products meet all of the above criteria.

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