Brandon Wood, the manager at Kactus Kush Farms, has an autoimmune version of rheumatoid arthritis, resulting in some serious health issues and having to take several pharmaceuticals to deal with the pain. Wood, however, doesn’t reach for the ibuprofen anymore; he reaches for CBD oil.
CBD oil has been sweeping the nation, providing users an alternative way to treat anxiety, depression and pain, no medical marijuana card needed. As of yet, there is not much scientific research supporting purported health benefits of CBD.
“CBD stands for cannabidiol,” Wood said. “Cannabidiol is the concentration oil that you get from the cannabis family. We source from the hemp plant, cannabis ruderalis, which is the non-psychoactive sister in the cannabis family. Hemp has extremely high levels of CBD and very low levels of THC, which makes it legal and we are able to use it.”
Unlike medical marijuana, CBD oil doesn’t have high levels of THC. In order to be sold, CBD oil must have 0.3 percent or lower THC, which won’t make the user fail a drug test.
Seth Kent, a University of Arizona alumnus, is passionate when it comes to CBD oil and what he wants to accomplish with it. After working in produce and growing his own organic produce, Kent created the Kactus Kush Farms store in 2018, recently bringing it to Tucson.
“We want to educate people about alternative medicine,” Kent said. “It’s how this whole thing evolved. We realized that there is a need to educate people out there and bring people in and show them the other alternatives that are out there.”
What many people might not know is our bodies create cannabinoids on a daily basis. Wood said that we have an endocannabinoid system in our bodies that fills the gap between the immune system and the brain, making us able to process the identical plant based version.
“It allows our body to do things like fight inflammation, pain, diabetes, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, dementia, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease and cancer,” Wood said. “It helps people with mental disorders like anxiety, depression and schizophrenia.”
In addition to helping with mental disorders and pain, CBD oil has also allowed some of its users to fight addiction and take a step back from opioid painkillers, he added.
“I’ve got a good friend with diverticulitis that called me a month ago and said he’s been on these meds that make him sick to his stomach,” Kent said. “He heard CBD oil might be an option, he tried it, and now he said he hasn’t felt this good in months.”
CBD oil has also been claimed to help people de-stress and recharge, but research has not proven any of these claims, either. Brooke Boshears, a worker at Kactus Kush Farms, said she likes to use CBD oil after a long day at work.
“I like to feel stress free after coming home from a day at work and just letting it all go,” Boshears said.
Wood also said CBD oil can come in handy to stressed college students. He said students can use the CBD oil as a way to focus and help with pre-test jitters.
“A lot of college kids that are under large amounts of stress have succumbed to supplementing their lifestyles with Adderall and Ritalin to stay awake and keep up,” Wood alleged. “We found that this is a really good market to get those kids away from the pharmaceuticals. This will help with mental focus, stability, rest and test anxiety.”
Another Tucson CBD oil location, Your CBD Store, has also noticed the supposed beneficial effects CBD oil has on college kids. In addition to helping them stay focused and get a goodnight sleep, Tina Thompson, the manager for the Wilmot location, said she has noticed many customers buy it for anxiety issues.
“We’ve seen a lot of millennials come in with anxiety issues,” Thompson said.
CBD oil also comes in many different forms. At Kactus Kush Farms, everything from the bottled water to lotion has CBD in it.
“The sky is the limit with what you can do with it,” Wood said.
Similar to Kactus Kush, Your CBD Store also carries various products that all contain CBD oil.
“We offer water solubles, pain creams, vaping, different edibles and facial products,” Thompson said.
Since cannabis has a negative stigma around it, many people may perceive CBD oil as something dangerous, Wood said, adding that it’s important to sit down with the customer and educate them about the product.
“The moment you say cannabis, a lot of people think it’s bad, so we do a lot of educating,” Wood said. “When you take a step back and look at it from a different perspective, people tend to take another look at it.”
Walgreens and CVS announced CBD oil products will be sold at certain locations and more research is being done on the topic.
“It will only continue to grow,” Kent said.
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