The ABCs of CBD

Let’s clear up some cannabis confusion.

A few years ago, the CBD market blew up. A combination of new research, trend-following and less regulation made this cannabis product the hot new item. Gas stations and liquor stores started throwing it on the counter. Family Video even thought it could save their business for some reason.

The only problem: There was barely any regulation, and you could easily buy a 1000 mg CBD gummy that actually had little to no CBD in it at all. It’s like buying some “magic mushrooms” that are really a bag of dried-out portobellos.

This messy, unmonitored rollout has not helped tell CBD’s story at all, and it even turned me into a huge skeptic for years. So let’s get the facts straight with the help of Brandy Palmer, owner of Green Wellness in Caledonia.

What is CBD, really?

Everything on Earth is made up of chemical compounds — H2O, CO2, C2H6O (this one is alcohol), etc. 

CBD is just the short name for cannabidiol, a major compound (C21H30O2) found in the cannabis plant. THC is another major compound, but they do very different things. 

Cannabis has hundreds of compounds — it just so happens that these two have a uniquely noticeable impact on our bodies. In THC’s case, that impact often is getting you high. In CBD’s case, that impact is mainly reducing inflammation and anxiety. I’m oversimplifying, but we’re starting with the basics!

So what does it do?

That’s a big question, so let’s start with one thing it can’t do: Cure all your problems. As the saying goes, “cure-alls cure nothing.”

However, if you struggle with sleep, anxiety, inflammation, pain, stress or even seizures, CBD products might just be right for you. 

In Palmer’s words, “CBD is part of maintaining daily wellness for my family. It’s really a neutralizer. I think we’re all looking for balance in our lives, and this starts that at the cellular level.”

Does it really work?

When it “works,” CBD can feel like a miracle. When it doesn’t, people think it’s a snake-oil scam. Would you believe the answer lies somewhere in the middle?

Thanks to federal law, we only have so much research available, but more is coming out every day. Studies trend toward legit CBD products having a noticeable positive impact on the body, with the potential to help with quite a few issues.

However, if your problem can’t be addressed by CBD, a good shop will gladly say so! You might be better off with THC, or a combination of the two. And you should always consult a medical professional. But Palmer got into the CBD business after seeing the impact it had on herself and others, and her anecdotal evidence is mounting by the day.

“We have people that call us and say they’ve been able to stop taking their anxiety medications. We’ve got a customer just last week telling us her son has been seizure-free for almost a year (an idea supported by the FDA). We’re animal people here, and we’ve got people that are just shocked because they’re like, my 12-year-old dog that I thought was near end of life is acting like a puppy again.”

Where do I start?

Even with strict testing, there are endless products to choose from. Not only are they designed to address different issues, but they’ll interact with each person in a different way. Luckily, you don’t have to go it alone — stores like Green Wellness can teach you everything there is to know.

“We want to focus on educating people first,” Palmer said. “I think a lot of people get frustrated with CBD, because they don’t know what they’re buying, how much to take, or how to take it. And then they just end up saying, ‘This was no good, it didn’t work for me.’ 

“Well, either they were buying lousy product, or they just didn’t have the education they needed to make sure they gave it time to be a good fit.”

Stores like Green Wellness can help you decide what to buy and tell you how to use it. CBD isn’t like aspirin where you pop two and call it a day — you incorporate it into your life. And if it still doesn’t work quite the way you were hoping, the experts can help course correct. As much as it pains me to say, some patience may be required.

When CBD works, though, and your arthritis eases up or you’re finally able to get a good night’s sleep, that’s when it’s all worth it — both for you and for Palmer.

“That is that is 100% why we do it, even though it’s hard to be in small business right now. It’s that reward of having somebody call us and saying that what we did makes a difference.”

Green Wellness
9175 Cherry Valley Ave. SE, Caledonia

Brandy Palmer fell for CBD while working as a project manager at a hemp-based manufacturer. She decided to open her own store with hundreds of products from over 30 different brands to address as many issues as possible. On top of testing, every product has been tried and approved by a staff member or someone they know. If you’re looking for an entry point, Palmer is a huge fan of Endoca Hemp Salve, thanks to the miracles it performs on burns, bug bites and sore muscles.