You might feel relaxed after using these products, but you're not going to get high.
That's the verdict from Lisa Tompkins of Bright Day: Your CBD Store. The Tacoma storefront focuses solely on products made with hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD), one of the compounds found in cannabis plants.
The main psychoactive component of cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is found in trace elements (less than 0.3 percent) in some of the products, and not at all in others.
Tompkins, of Gig Harbor, owns the store along with her sister, Gina Erni, of Lakewood. She said they decided to pursue opening the store a few months ago. The new business, which opened in early June, is in addition to Tompkins' work with her husband in marketing and consulting, and Erni's work in real estate.
The sisters started thinking about a business when relatives started seeing the benefits of CBD use in their own lives, Tompkins said.
"CBD has played an important part in some family members' lives," she said, noting they use the products to deal with severe chronic pain and skin issues. "They'd had great results with CBD ... so we wanted to bring it to other people."
Tompkins read about CBD stores opening in other states, and visited one in Oregon and one in Spokane.
"We thought, this is a great way to get the word out about how good CBD is and how beneficial it can be for people," she said.
Tompkins also visited cannabis stores to see what they had available. She knew some people seeking pain relief didn't like the psychoactive aspects of treatment, or "feeling high," so the sisters honed in on the hemp-derived CBD market.
Located at 12th Street and Union Avenue, the store notes that its products are considered supplements and nonpsychotropic. Tompkins stresses you won't get a buzz from using their balms, salves or bath bombs.
You could, though, experience relaxation and relief from muscle aches, which are the primary benefits touted from the products.
"Your body is full of CBD receptors," Tompkins said. "So the idea is that when you take a CBD supplement it can create a homeostasis in your body."
The store's inventory includes tinctures, capsules, vegan capsules, muscle freeze, balms, lotions, protein powder and CBD-infused teas. Its bath bombs contain 60 mg of CBD.
If there's a request for a product not in stock, the store can track it down.
Some CBD-infused edibles start at $5 while a larger bottle of CBD liquid can go for $249.
With pot legalization taking hold in more states, interest has turned to studying the various cannabis compounds, including CBD and THC, for their medical uses.
Amid all this, the CBD industry has doubled in size in the past two years, generating a worth of at least $200 million by one account. The nation's hemp industry, where most CBD extracts are derived, is estimated to grow to $1.8 billion by 2020.
Yet, hard science lags behind, thanks to federal drug laws.
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration classifies CBD extract as a Schedule 1 substance, defined as having "no currently accepted medical use and high potential for abuse."
CBD extract can be derived from hemp (what Tompkins' store sells) or from marijuana — the main difference being the amount of THC in each plant and the resulting effects. Laws for the marijuana-derived variety vary state to state.
The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board says it has jurisdiction and regulatory authority only over state licensees and marijuana-derived CBD products created in Washington.
"Businesses cannot re-use/resell CBD oil derived from marijuana and sold from within the state regulated market," said Mikhail Carpenter, a media representative for the board. "However, most CBD oil is sourced from hemp (out of state), widely available on the internet and sold directly to consumers through various means."
There currently is no regulatory structure for the CBD industry. Position papers and researchers note they need to study CBD extract's potential from both sources with clinical trials. So far, research has been limited to CBD's effects on animals and to small, short-term human studies, though clinical trials are starting to find funding.
Among the studies, researchers either have or are studying how CBD products might affect anxiety, depression, nerve pain, treatment for alcohol or opioid abuse and as a treatment for epilepsy. One high-profile trial authorized by the federal Food and Drug Administration focused on a proprietary oral CBD solution to treat severe seizures in children.
In April, an FDA panel recommended its approval.
In the meantime, Tompkins points to customers' anecdotal success stories.
"We had a gentleman — his wife had bought a tincture yesterday — and he got up in the wee hours of the night and he hadn't taken the tincture yet and he was all achy," Tompkins said. "He took it and when he got up in the morning he said he felt amazing.
"He said, 'I'm not ready to write a recommendation for it yet, but when I've had a few days of it I will,' " she said. "So that was really exciting."
Bright Day: Your CBD Store
Where: 1201 S. Union Ave., suite 3, Tacoma.
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday.