CBD Brings Health Home

Brittany Bailey

Brittany Bailey

Mississippi Retailer Emphasizes Consistency and Quality

by Meredith Montgomery

Two years ago, Brittany Bailey was a preschool teacher in Louisiana relying on prescription medications to manage her epilepsy and migraines. That all changed when a friend in New Orleans introduced her to CBD, the hemp-derived cannabidiol. “I felt I had more control of my body, I had less migraines and I felt calmer. I thought, ‘I have to share this with everyone!’” she recalls.

Bailey moved to Mississippi after the 2018 school year to open Your CBD Store in Gulfport, the first store of its kind in the area. “Originally I was told I couldn’t open the store but I fought for it because I moved here to start this business,” she recalls. Her persistence paved the way for future businesses like hers—the city amended paperwork to accommodate CBD-focused businesses and after a month and a half of meetings with the legal department and the city council, she was granted city approval to open her doors. Less than a year later, the city of Ocean Springs welcomed the opening of her second location.

With hemp-focused retailers popping up everywhere, Bailey believes the company’s consistency of product is what sets them apart. Unlike other retailers, Your CBD Stores only carry a single brand—SunMed—and with locations in 38 states across the country, there’s a good chance a Your CBD Store is nearby when you’re away from home. “We carry SunMed because quality and potency are really important and when stores carry multiple brands, they’re not all consistent. When you just have one brand, you know you have the same quality in every product and it’s easier to determine proper dosage and which products to use.”

Your CBD Store offers a wide variety of inventory, from tinctures and skincare to a pet line, plus much more to come, including CBD patches. All of their products are made using organically grown hemp from Colorado that has been certified by the state’s Department of Agriculture. In addition to having a naturally high level of CBD, the hemp has an abundance of other beneficial cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes and amino acids.

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Bailey notes the value of terpene-rich CBD, saying, “Terpenes are hemp’s essential oils. The more research they’re doing, the more they’re finding out how important terpenes are to the body.” Myrcene, the primary terpene found in cannabis (giving the plant its distinct aroma) has relaxing and anti-inflammatory properties. “Typically in the extraction process, terpenes burn off and you lose them in the end product, but SunMed takes extra time to extract the terpenes and add them back to the CBD oil,” explains Bailey.

They utilize a CO2 extraction process, which eliminates the need for chemical solvents, to produce both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum (THC-free) options. Rigorous testing is performed on all products and lab results are available to customers online.

With most of her customers coming in to try CBD for the first time, Bailey still feels like she’s teaching every day, even though she’s no longer in a classroom. But it’s CBD’s impact on her personal life that she is most passionate about.

“For 17 years I was given prescriptions for my migraines and epilepsy. Pain meds would leave me completely out of it and they didn’t even help stop the headaches. Who wants to live like that? You can’t function as a parent like that,” Bailey says. CBD allows her to more calmly deal with life’s hurdles while helping her to feel more in control of her daily routine. “Our company saying is ‘Where good health hits home’ because finding a natural-based solution that works for you is so important for not only yourself, but for the whole family.”

For more information, visit GulfportMS.CBDrx4u.com.

How CannaBama is Changing Lives

From Pills to Plants

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by Bexley McLennan

Jennifer Boozer is constantly asking herself, “How can CBD help this situation?” As the owner of CannaBama, it’s evident that she is on a mission to introduce everyone to the powers of this medicinal plant, whether they’re suffering from pain, insomnia, disease, addiction or they’re perfectly healthy. “It changed my whole life,” she says. “One capsule full of raw hemp oil paste changed my life.”

Before she heard of CBD, Boozer had a near death experience with the birth of her second son, Elijah, who lived for only five days. Her body was permanently damaged, requiring several surgeries over a 14-year span. The physical complications coupled with the grief and anger were crippling, and Boozer began self-medicating with pain pills. “Pills took the pain away, but emotionally I was a zombie and 10 years later I had no connection to my friends and family,” she recalls.

When Boozer got clean, the recovery process took several years. “I had suffered from chronic pain and migraines since I was 15 and I had insomnia since Elijah died, but I couldn’t take any medication at that point because I was in recovery,” she says.

Eventually a friend told her about cannabidiol (CBD), which is derived from hemp. It’s non-psychoactive and promotes self-healing within the body. “It seemed an awful lot like weed, which I didn’t think was an option for someone in recovery, and it was expensive because it was hard to find at the time,” Boozer says. “So I initially wrote it off thinking it sounds nice to try, but here are all these reasons I’m not going to. I was ignorant just like everybody else.”

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After hearing accounts of how CBD resolved autoimmune issues and triggered immense physical improvements in others, Boozer was ready to give it a try for herself. She had just had her third surgery since Elijah’s birth and while she was able to take pain medication without relapse, she struggled with the lingering pain and onset of withdrawal symptoms when she finished her prescription. “I was in misery at that point,” she recalls.

Within 40 minutes of taking her first dose of CBD, Boozer wanted to know why no one knew about this miraculous medicine. “Eighty percent of the pain was gone and my withdrawal symptoms stopped—all of it, and never came back.” She also slept for the first time in 14 years. After a month her hair was thicker, her nails were stronger and she stopped taking migraine medicine. She says, “I had two to five migraines a week since I was 15 and now I don’t even think about them. That alone was life-changing.”

At that point CBD was mostly available through multilevel marketing companies and Boozer wanted to get involved. When she saw that the industry was up against a stigma, lack of education and misinformation, she started envisioning a retail space. “I had this burning passion in me to help people understand. You couldn’t just pitch CBD to people online. I wanted a place that you could go if you have two questions or 200 questions and the person standing in front of you has all the answers you need,” she says.

Jennifer Boozer, Owner

Jennifer Boozer, Owner

CannaBama is that place. Starting out with just 200 square feet of retail space in the corner of former partner Pam Davis’ salon in Satsuma, Alabama, CannaBama quickly evolved into a busy business in downtown Mobile that now sees more than 300 people a day. In their beautifully refurbished building, they stock over 100 CBD products—both full spectrum and isolate (THC-free)—including oral supplements, topical products, pure CBD vape options, edibles, water, lotions, bath bombs and pet products.

Education has always been paramount to CannaBama’s mission and Boozer has been leading free classes since she started the business. She also hosts Sweet Home CannaBama, a weekly radio show on FM Talk 106.5.

“It’s so much more than explaining what it is; you need to explain what it does and you have to know how it works. And you can know everything there is to know about it but if you don’t know how to use it, you’re not going to have a good experience,” says Boozer, who notes that ineffective dosage is often the reason someone doesn’t initially get good results.

She knows that the price of CBD can be daunting so she prices her inventory below the industry average. She also donates products to a women’s addiction recovery program and others in need. “I don’t need the money more than they need the products,” says Boozer. “What are we doing it for if we can’t give it away to the people who need it most?”

Despite the rapid growth her business has experienced, she still has moments where she wonders whether Alabama is ready for her vision. 2019 has been one of the greatest years of her life, but it’s also been one of the hardest. Luckily her optimism prevails. “We haven’t even scratched the surface,” she says. “Now I’m really about to spread my wings.”

For more information, visit CannaBamaCBD.com.

CBD 101

Jeff Sheldon on the Basics of Cannabidiol

The Health Hut has been serving Lower Alabama for more than 30 years. With a knowledgeable staff and a focus on high quality, whole-food vitamins, herbs and supplements, their stores started carrying a range of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products last year. As more people consider cannabinoids to be essential to overall health, Natural Awakenings asked owner Jeff Sheldon about CBD—what is it, who needs it and how to shop for it.

What is CBD?

CBD is cannabidiol, which is a plant-based cannabinoid that is almost identical to endocannabinoids—the cannabinoids that our body produces. Our endocannabinoid system is important because it’s like the conductor of the orchestra—it helps coordinate and maintain all the systems in our bodies. When we take CBD oil, it mimics the body’s endocannabinoids, filling the receptors and promoting balance. This gets all the body’s systems working more efficiently.

Why are people taking CBD?

Many of our customers are finding out about it by word of mouth from friends who are getting really good results. Most often they want it for pain and inflammation or stress and anxiety, but also for sleep issues, blood sugar regulation, PTSD or to help with symptoms of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Full-spectrum products like the ones we sell have so many beneficial properties and nutrients—anti-inflammatory, high in antioxidants, anti-convulsive, anti-psychotic. Studies have found that CBD is good for gut health too, enhancing the growth of good bacteria while preventing the growth of bad, and it mediates the permeability of the intestinal wall. There are benefits for almost everyone.

How can you enhance the effects of CBD?

Research is finding that the more inflammation someone has, the less benefits they experience. With higher omega-3 concentrations in the body, they will feel the effects of CBD more. So if you’re not getting enough omega-3 in your diet or through supplementation, you will not receive as great a benefit from taking CBD oil. Omega-3 can actually help synthesize cannabinoids within the body and regulate the whole endocannabinoid system. Also, the longer you use CBD, the better it works.

What are some common misconceptions about CBD?

That it’s marijuana. CBD comes from the hemp plant and has no psychoactive qualities. You can think of them as different subspecies of the cannabis plant.

Another misconception is that it’s a cure-all. It’s just one more feather in our cap of good health practices. We still need to hydrate, exercise, eat less sugar and more fruits and vegetables. This is just one more thing to add to our daily routine to improve our health.

What should consumers look for when they’re shopping for CBD?

Look for brands that are transparent with third party testing. With independent lab tests, as a consumer I can look at that analysis and see for myself how potent the CBD is and whether it contains things like pesticides, toxins or bad bacteria. Find someone knowledgeable to ask about the differences between products because not all CBD is created equally. We’re not going to know everything, but we’re trying to train our staff to be the best educated in the area.

For more information, visit HealthHutAL.com.