Clarke estimates about one in every three individuals get some benefit from CBD treatments, but he says it is no "utopia" and more research is needed. He says doctors need more clinical trials and proven data to confidently discuss CBD with their patients. He agrees with Busse that the legal hurdles placed by Health Canada around testing and research need to be removed.
"Show me that it works better than a placebo," Clarke said. "Until we can get some of that data, which we are handcuffed right now to get, that's when we can actually be certain what we're doing."
Pet owners treating their animals is another big growth area for CBD, and another example of consumers often crossing into illicit territory and maybe not realizing it.
What's in black market CBD?
So when palliative care veterinarian Dr. Sarah Silcox was called to help Robyn Golding find an end-of-life treatment for Golding's dog, Georgia, Silcox could only offer "guidance" and dosage help. Silcox recommended Golding try CBD, and suggested human CBD from a legal dispensary on the nine-year-old Shiloh Shepherd.
The claim from the sales person to the undercover Marketplace crew seemed straightforward enough: a CBD-infused balm will "100 per cent" help with back pain and "in 15 minutes it will feel like relief." But not only is that promise a complete exaggeration, both that claim and the product are illegal.
Experts say because of widespread availability in the U.S., Canadians may not realize that the CBD products that have sprung up at their local farmer's market, CBD boutique store, unlicensed websites or even pet stores are all illegal.
An exploding market
"We have a real problem in terms of what people think they're buying and in many cases what they actually get," Busse said, noting CBD products are not cheap and can cost up to hundreds of dollars.
CBD metabolizes in the liver, and both Clarke and Busse want to see more research done on how CBD can interact with medications like blood thinners, antidepressants, opioids and benzodiazepines, as well as anti-seizure and chemotherapy drugs.
This means many US brands haven’t bothered to apply and don’t offer direct shipping to Canada. It also means the CBD marketplace in Canada is very unique to the country. Many of the brands operating here aren’t offered anywhere else in the world.
2. Honest Botanicals
For consumers, it’s easy to order CBD oils if you live in Canada. The hard part is for the people and companies selling CBD oil.
Tips for Buying CBD in Canada
Delta 8 THC actually has a different high than the standard delta 9 isomer. It’s much more chilled-out and relaxing. People who find regular THC products too “anxiety-inducing” will likely prefer the effects of delta 8.
O’Canada, how do you feel about hemp? Let’s discuss the dilemma.
The Current Status of CBD in Canada
Although transporting products to Canada derived from hemp may not be easy, the laws concerning it are pretty loose. By loose, I mean about as accessible as alcohol which is considered fairly accessible.
Possession Limits of Hemp
CBD is legal in Canada and is accessible to anyone 18 years of age and over. Canada had one of the most strict and expensive hemp production regulation systems in the world. For hemp to be legally grown, extracted, sold, and purchased, one must obtain an industrial hemp processing license under the country of Canada. Hemp is still considered a controlled substance and must meet strict guidelines for sale under the Cannabis Act , which opened hemp to the public.