(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
The Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce (SRCC) hosted a CBD discussion panel at the Topics @ Twelve event on Tuesday, July 30 at the Armory. Over 80 guests were in attendance, making it the largest Topics @ Twelve event ever. The guest panel included AJ Gajera (owner of Village Care Pharmacy), Beau Parmenter (owner of OrganiLife Group LLC) and Hollie Drake (owner of Healthy Living by Hollie and co-owner of Good Energy Natural Foods). David Hood of Wells Fargo Advisors, emceed the discussion.
Though it is a commonly discussed topic, for those who might not know, CBD represents cannabidiol, a product found in cannabis plants that can be pharmaceutically introduced into the body in a number of ways. It is often taken for pain, inflammation, sleep disorders, anxiety and for a variety of health concerns. SRCC offered the discussion because CBD has so rapidly become a part of the local community through marketing, signage and use – leading to many questions on the product(s). It is important to differentiate CBD from THC, which also comes from cannabis, but is the psychoactive part of the plant. RSO or Rick Simpson Oil is yet another cannabis drug product, though currently it is CBD that is being seen most often in Shiawassee County.
One issue brought up and agreed upon by the panel is the need for people to be cautious of what they are purchasing if they are after CBD and don’t hesitate to ask questions. Parmenter warned people to try to locate products that are as natural as possible.
Clarifying the difference between marijuana and hemp, Parmenter also stated, “they are the same plant, however the genetics are different within the plant. Hemp generally has less than .3 percent THC, however varying temperatures, water control, all play a role in that … it all boils down to the genetics of it.”
Hood asked the question of how someone goes about introducing CBD into their lifestyle and Drake answered with “CBD is the receptor that binds to your body to create homeostasis, so if it is already in your body, it isn’t foreign to the body.” Drake brought three products that she offers, explaining that there are appropriate products for varying levels of treatment. She recommends “starting slow, going low” to figure out what is best for every individual.
Gajera shared that he wants to see people receive the maximum benefit from the products as they are absorbed into the system and that often takes adjustments.
“There is a very big difference in quality everywhere you go,” shared Parmenter. The terminology can be confusing and there are quality risks involved in the growing and processing of the product. He continued with, “There are 4,000 minerals and vitamins in the plant. It is an amazing plant. I feel like I should just eat a salad of it every day.”
It is critical to remember that CBD is now federally legal, but is not subject to regulation under FDA guidelines. Depending on personal budgets, product costs also factor into the decision process.