TIVERTON — Dawn Trudeau said it wasn’t easy opening a store that sells CBD products because so many officials she went to for permits and licenses did not know much about CBD — cannabidiol — an oil extracted from the hemp plant and considered a cousin of the marijuana plant. The federal government’s 2018 Farm
TIVERTON — Dawn Trudeau said it wasn’t easy opening a store that sells CBD products because so many officials she went to for permits and licenses did not know much about CBD — cannabidiol — an oil extracted from the hemp plant and considered a cousin of the marijuana plant.
The federal government’s 2018 Farm Bill, which Trudeau had to carry around with her to show officials, allows farmers to grow hemp and sell it across state lines, but the hemp cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC — Tetrahydrocannabinol — otherwise it would be considered marijuana.
The sale of CBD products is so new that the state Department of Business Regulation is in the process of writing regulations for CBD stores in Rhode Island, according to Annemarie Beardsworth, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health.
“We don’t license them so it’s not something we would track,” she said when asked if the Tiverton store is a first in the state, but said one opened in Johnston this summer.
CBD products are sold in many places, including gas stations and liquor stores.
Trudeau opened Your CBD Store, Tiverton — the 494th Your CBD Store franchise in the country — earlier this month that’s dedicated to selling just CBD-infused products with a “SunMed” label like creams, chewable gummies and honey straws, and bottles of oils and water-soluble CBD that can be added to a beverage. She’s spent much of her time educating potential customers about CBD.
“Our motto here is ’Health without the high,” said Trudeau. “If you want to get high you go down the street,” she said of the recreational marijuana store just over the line in Fall River, Massachusetts. “I’m not knocking the dispensary,” that initially opened to provide medical marijuana to card holders. “There are people who do need THC,” she said of the ingredient in marijuana that does give people who ingest or smoke it a “high.”
Many CBD stores across Massachusetts have been in flux after the FDA released information this summer stating that it is illegal to add CBD to food and drinks.
A health blog on CBD from Harvard Medical School, posted a couple of months ago, said CBD is “commonly used to address anxiety” and could help people with insomnia “and may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain, though “more study in humans is needed in this area to substantiate the claims of CBD proponents about pain control.” CBD has been approved by the FDA for just one application, a medicine called Epidiolex used to treat epilepsy in children who don’t respond to antiseizure medication.
The Harvard blog noted that side effects could include nausea, fatigue, and irritability, and could elevate levels of some medications like blood thinner.
CBD oil can help relieve anxiety and can help relieve pain. “It fills the receptors but is not addictive,” said Trudeau who has been a nurse since 1998 and is a board certified addiction specialist.
There is a sign in Trudeau’s shop that warns people allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, soy, milk, eggs or wheat that the products could contain trace amounts because they are made in facilities where those ingredients are also used.
She is careful about what she tells people about the products she sells.
“We don’t say treats, cures, prevents,” Trudeau said. “We can’t make claims,” she said.
On a recent Thursday, a woman came into the store to find relief for two things: Her elderly mother had pain in her knees and her dog was very anxious to the point that she couldn’t get it to go into a vehicle.
She left with a small amount of CBD cream for her mother and two doggie biscuits containing CBD for the dog. “I hope this is the magic pill,” she said as she walked to her car.
Another customer, Diane Barnhart, came into the store looking for a pain reliever for a friend who had a fall. Trudeau asked her the level of the pain and then suggested a dosage amount.
“We say ‘go slow’,” Trudeau said of recommending customers try a pea-sized amount of cream to rub on an area where they feel pain, or eat the smallest portion gummy ring, which is 10 mg, or have just half a honey straw at 5 mg.
Store manager Aly Brousseau, who said two gummies with a total of 20 mg CBD makes her relaxed, said a friend of hers once had 100 mg and was fatigued for a while.
Brousseau owns an animal farm in Little Compton and uses CBD to help relax her donkey, Patch, when he has to get his hooves trimmed.
“It calms him down,” Brousseau said of the effect on Patch.
Customers have come in for CBD doggie treats for dogs who are extremely sensitive to thunderstorms, she said, and those who don’t like to travel in cars with their owners who frequently travel great distances.
Asked if the state Department of Health has any advice for people who are considering using CBD, Beardsworth said: “If someone is looking to explore different treatment options for any health issue, we recommend that he or she start by having a conversation with their doctor. A doctor is a trusted voice who can talk to you about the potential benefits and potential risks of different courses of treatment. This is particularly important for CBD, given that the science is still evolving in this area.”
Information cards in the store do recommend “starting a conversation with your physician before taking any CBD products, especially if you are on any other medication,” and suggest providing the SunMed company’s lab reports on their products.
The shop is located at 1701 Stafford Road, in a plaza at the intersection of Stafford and Bulgarmarsh roads.
Hours are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.