Florida is seeing a surge in sales of medical marijuana and CBD hemp products as more people turn to them to treat their anxiety, insomnia, and pain during the CBD and Coronavirus pandemic.
Voters in 2016 approved the state’s new medical marijuana industry, and sales have been rising ever since. With patients limiting their trips out of their homes during the pandemic, some have been buying more each time they go to dispensaries. With the rise in demands, wait times at dispensaries in some instances rose from what used to take only 10 to 15 minutes – even without an appointment – to backlogs of dozens of patients at any given time, potentially lasting hours.
Sales have risen significantly compared to last year. Cannabidiol, often called CBD, saw a more dramatic increase. CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not result in the same euphoric effects as marijuana. It’s marketed as a way to treat anxiety and depression.
CBD and Coronavirus
People have sought remedies as they have wrangled with stress and depression. Mental health experts and police and fire officials have seen spikes in mental-health emergencies as a result of people being unemployed and unable to pay bills or feeling isolated from quarantining.
Scott Sutter, a professional musician from Deerfield Beach, said he lost all of his gigs because of the pandemic. He said he used medical marijuana to treat glaucoma and a heart condition for years, but said it’s also been effective for stress and anxiety. “At least with cannabis, every little thing I do, I can make it into a little adventure and it’s not mundane.” Scheril Murray Powell is a 45-year-old North Lauderdale attorney who said she turned to medical marijuana and CBD to treat her anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
There were business shutdowns across Florida, but patients always had somewhere to go buy marijuana and other related products. The state labeled dispensaries as an essential business, allowing them to stay open during the shutdowns. In turn, dispensaries took steps to comply with health and safety guidelines such as limiting the number of people in buildings for social distancing and expanding delivery and curbside pickup options.
Being able to provide patients access to their medicine in a safe environment was really important and a key priority for CBD companies. Nass Valley Gardens change to values transparency and that’s why we believe that our non-GMO seed is what makes our products so incredible. Our CBD is sourced from natural seed only and uses organic, safe, and efficient practices to maintain integrity all the way through its creation. The company even offers delivery with free shipping for orders over $100, even when the pandemic was in full swing. It was really important for the company to be able to provide patients access to their medicine in a safe environment.
CBD for treating coronavirus
Lack of research has sparked statements such as “CBD can cure coronavirus!” or questions like “How might CBD interact with other drugs a person might be taking?”
Renee Proffetta of Boca Raton, a proponent, and user of CBD products, see the risks. She says the CBD oils and vape help alleviate her anxiety and mood swings, improve sleep issues, and allow her to cut back on pharmaceuticals. But consistency is her big concern. At times, when she has replenished her supply, the product seemed different, even from the same dispensary. “You might not get the same effect with every batch, but you know when something isn’t right,” she said.
On May 31, 2019, the FDA held the first-of-its-kind hearing on CBD to determine if or how to regulate the industry to ensure products are safe and health claims have data to back them up.
The lineup of 110 speakers included representatives of companies with a lot of money at stake, as well as researchers, scientists, and organizations charged with protecting public health. With billions at stake in how the FDA decides to regulate the compound, exactly how long the agency will need to figure it out remains unclear. The FDA continued to accept public comments until July 2, 2019.
In the meantime, every consumer must do their own research and beware. Companies aren’t following testing protocol, and some are disingenuous about what is in their product. Sometimes there is less cannabinoid and sometimes there’s more. There are times when other additives like Viagra, THC, or pain-killer compounds. This is one area where there need to be tight regulations.
Legalization and Authenticity of Cannabis oils. Legally, Floridians need a medical marijuana card to buy marijuana CBD oils and products. However, because hemp has less than 0.3% THC – the psychoactive compound in marijuana that gives the high sensation – the state does not consider it marijuana under Florida law, and CBD products with it are legal. Legal, however, does not mean regulated, standardized, safe, or even effective.
Florida will need to figure it out, too. In Florida, the industry is poised to become a booming source of growth for the economy. A bill approved by the state legislature last month gave Florida growers the green light to create hemp programs beyond the university research setting. More hemp growing will lead to more CBD-infused wellness products. Florida in turn will need to get a regulatory handle on the industry. That oversight, and enforcement, could take a while, though.
With no regulation, some lab operators say they are finding odd ingredients – and lots of inconsistency. Chris Martinez operates Evio Labs, an industry-accredited cannabis testing laboratory in Davie. He has observed the ways in which companies are taking advantage of the absence of regulations. His lab tests CBD products for pesticides, bacteria, metal, solvents, and potency (the levels of cannabis). Martinez said not all labs have the same machinery and the ability to detect smaller levels of substances.
Buy organic CBD oil, cultivated without pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or heavy metals. Nass Valley Gardens’ dedication to research and development is shown through our promise to source ethically, formulate with efficacy, and test honestly. Get your hands on our CBD oil here!
Recommended Read: CBD And Mental Health: How CBD Can Help