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After a nice dinner out in Ybor City, Florida, my husband and I took a stroll and spotted a shop with glowing neon signs advertising itself as a CBD dispensary. We decided to go in and ask some questions to see what local store owners, managers, and employees who sell CBD actually know about the products they carry. It was the first time I ever entered a store exclusively devoted to smoking, vaping, and all things CBD.
In my college years, it would have been called a “head shop.” As a Christian, it felt a little bit uncomfortable, even forbidden, to walk into HotWax Glass, a retail establishment devoted to selling glass pipes, water pipes, and items associated with hookah and smoking marijuana. However, the store also had a huge display of thousands of CBD products, and I wanted to learn more.
I wanted to ask what they recommend to their customers and how they decide which CBD products to carry on their shelves. Most of all, I wanted to step into the role of a CBD newbie to find out whether I would get helpful information, even proper education, about CBD.
The store manager asked that her name not be used, but said she thought the owner would not mind if she answered some of my questions. She personally has found relief from joint pain, inflammation, and anxiety by using CBD. Our conversation went like this:
God’s Greenery: Hi, my name is Natalie, and I am the editor of GodsGreenery.com, the first website dedicated to educating people of faith about CBD oil. Can you tell me what you like personally about CBD?
Manager: I began using CBD myself about a year ago, because I deal with a lot of pain. Rheumatoid arthritis runs in my family and I have a condition that is close to it and will probably be diagnosed with it soon. I started taking CBD oil and the pain is often gone. I sometimes still have flare-ups, but not nearly as bad. It also helps me feel calmer, not in a way that is like a high, but just in a way that makes the anxiety go away. I don’t know exactly how to explain what it feels like, but the best way I know how to describe it is this: You know how it feels after you’ve have a really good cry, a big emotional freak out? Using CBD feels like the calm after that emotional release. It is really almost the opposite of a high. I don’t know how else to explain it.
God’s Greenery: Have you had to switch brands around because the benefits of the CBD you are using started lessening once your body got used to it?
Manager: Not really, no. We do not recommend what doses to take to our customers, because we are not doctors. We always recommend that you talk to your medical professional about dosages. But I personally started with 20 milligrams and increased to 25 mg, then 30. That works really well for me most of the time. I have not noticed less effectiveness, and I have not had to switch products around. Think you see that more when you are using the full-spectrum oils, which contain some of the THC. We do not sell the full-spectrum oils. For me, CBD has really helped. I used to take ibuprofen every day in huge amounts. You know those 500 or 600 tablet or capsule bottles like you buy at the drugstore, those really big ones? I’d go through a couple of those a month. Now I rarely have to take any ibuprofen. Once in a while, but not like I used to. The CBD has made my pain a lot less. And I am a lot less anxious.
God’s Greenery: If a customer comes in who is new to CBD, how can they trust the CBD lines you carry? How do you know that they contain all the CBD they promise and no THC?
Manager: We only carry a couple of brands, and our owner regularly goes to all three of our stores and randomly pulls products to send out for third-party testing to see what they really contain. Our products have always tested well.
God’s Greenery: Do you allow customers to see the results of that testing?
Manager: Yes. We have the latest reports right in the back and they are available for customers to see.
God’s Greenery: How would I know which CBD product to start with?
Manager: If you are new to CBD, most people choose the oils, or tinctures. You take drops of those under your tongue and hold it for at least 10 seconds for it to absorb. You can also take the gummies, and those are processed through your stomach. Almost all of our CBD oils are isolates of different strengths. That means they contain only the CBD, not all of the other cannabinoids. We do offer one broad-spectrum oil; but, again, we do not carry full-spectrum, because it contains the THC.
God’s Greenery: What about the gummies and dried fruit that is infused with CBD? Do those work as well?
Manager: A lot of people like the gummies because they taste better and are more fun. I tell customers it depends on what they are looking for and what they are dealing with. If they want something they are just going to use short-term, like for a week or so, the gummies might not help them because it takes a while for the CBD to build in your system. If they want more immediate relief, the oil is better because more of it goes into your system more quickly.
God’s Greenery: Why would customers buy their CBD here rather than at a medical dispensary or even a drug store like CVS?
Manager: Because our owner is very diligent about randomly sending out products for testing and because we only carry two brands, we can really know the products we sell and feel comfortable recommending them. We also offer 50% off CBD products every Tuesday and Friday, and 25% off all CBD every day. That helps too.
Whether you buy CBD online, from a medical dispensary, at a commercial chain retailer, or a local store like the one I visited, it is important to ask questions about the CBD products you might like to try. Make sure they are third-party tested for contaminants and THC levels. Make sure the testing shows the products truly contain the amounts of CBD and other cannabinoids their labels say they have. By asking the right questions and doing your own homework, you can avoid being sold the modern-day equivalent of snake oil. And, as always, before using CBD products or making any changes to your health routine, it is best to consult with your medical professional.
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