STAUNTON – Six months ago Kevin Swisher wouldn’t have been able to be sitting in a new storefront talking to customers. He suffers from crippling social anxiety disorders and depression.
Then he started taking hemp-derived CBD oil, or Cannabidiol, to help with it. He says it has. He’s slowly tapering off his anti-depression medication and relying on CBD oil, with the guidance of his doctor.
„Six months ago I wouldn’t be able to sit here on a stool and talk to you,” he said.
So he started doing more research on hemp-derived CBD and reaching out to manufacturers to get samples.
„I was just doing research on it was just hearing all this stuff about it how great it was,” he said. „So I tried everything out myself and my friends first before selling it.”
The new shop, Nature’s Bliss, opened on the corner of New and East Beverley streets. What Swisher offers in his shop is hemp-derived CBD oil.
Swisher, who lives in Goshen, said he invested all his money in the new shop. He receives his hemp-derived products from Colorado and Oregon and says they are all organic, and some are fair trade.
CBD is said to have a calming effect. It can be used as a pain reliever, for stress management or a sleep aid. Hemp-derived CBD oil doesn’t get you high though, it doesn’t contain enough THC to do so.
His store offers hemp-derived CBD oils, vape pens and vape juice, CBD lotions and other hemp products like candles, soaps and shampoos.
Is it legal?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it depends on the intended use of the product and how it is labeled and marketed. Even if a CBD product meets the definition of hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill, it still must comply with all other applicable laws, including the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the FDA said.
„There are many unanswered questions about the science, safety, and quality of products containing CBD,” the FDA said on its website. „The FDA has not approved any other CBD products, and there is very limited available information about CBD, including about its effects on the body.”
Under the Controlled Substance Act, hemp was considered a Schedule 1 drug since it was in the same family as marijuana — Cannabis sativa. The big difference between the two is hemp won’t get you stoned. To be hemp it has to have 0.3 percent THC.
After the 2018 Farm Bill passed, it made it legal for cultivation, processing and sale of industrial hemp. As of July 1 in Virginia, all you have to do is register with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
More: Does CBD oil get you high? 8 things to understand as Virginia marijuana legalization considered
What is CBD?
- CBD (cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid, a family of compounds in cannabis plants. THC is another cannabinoid.
- CBD supplements can be sourced from hemp or marijuana. CBD products that can be purchased in Virginia are non-intoxicating.
- CBD oil is not the same as hemp oil.
What can CBD do?
- CBD has a variety of impacts on the body: analgesic, neuroprotective, calming/sedating, anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, anti-spasmodic, anti-epileptic, antidepressant, anti-anxiety, antimicrobial, anti-insomnia, anti-proliferative, antipsychotic, bone stimulant, immunosuppressive, vasorelaxant and more.
- CBD may positively impact a wide array of health conditions: chronic pain, neuropathy, anxiety, depression, arthritis, IBS, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, cancer, glaucoma, diabetes/insulin resistance, epilepsy/seizures, heart disease, stroke/traumatic brain injury, migraines, nausea, skin conditions, sleep issues, autism, anorexia, ALS, MS, Parkinson’s, Lyme disease and anything else caused by inflammation or an overactive immune response.
- Generally, CBD balances the stress response, which reduces inflammation.
How does CBD work?
- All cannabinoids interface with the endocannabinoid system, which maintains balance among the body’s other systems (cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, integumentary, nervous, elimination, musculoskeletal, immune, reproductive and endocrine).
Want to support more great journalism by The News Leader? Click here to get a subscription.
More: Innovation Hub hits snag in funding, project stalls but receives state grant for outdoor space
What is hemp?
Hemp can be used for fiber, oil, food — basically, the entire crop can be used in one form or another. Think rope, fabric, bedding, insulation, food products like flour, oil and seeds, and even biodiesel.
The plant can grow 8 feet in 30 days and at 60 days the average yield can be 1,000 pounds of seed per acre. Potentially, farmers could be making $200 to $5,000 per acre by growing hemp.
For more information on Nature’s Bliss visit them on Instagram or at the store at 34 E. Beverley St. Current hours include: Tuesday 11 to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, Sunday Noon to 4 p.m.
Reporter Monique Calello contributed to this story.
More: Alternative school founded in Staunton relocates to Lexington
More: Board of Supervisors recap: infrastructure projects and comments about board transparency
Have a news tip?
You can reach reporter Laura Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her @peterslaura.