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CBD continues to make waves
CBD users are crying 'Hemp Hemp Horray' for this versitile product
CBD continues to gain in popularity across Wisconsin and the nation.
“I have absolutely no doubt that CBD works. It works really, really well,” That was how Suppz owner Brent Sheckler described his experience with Cannabidiol, or CBD.
It seems as though CBD is everywhere right now. A magic cure all to all of your possible ailments.
According to the Harvard Medical School, CBD is the “second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis.” It is derived directly from the hemp plant and according to the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.” And, it’s totally legal in Wisconsin.
The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill made it legal to sell hemp and hemp products in the U.S. Although CBD is federally legal, and legal in Wisconsin, it is of note that it is still illegal at a state level in Idaho, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas.
The FDA has approved the first ever cannabis derived medicine, Epidiolex, which also contains CBD. The medication helps control aggressive epilepsy in children. Many have seen the videos online of children who suffer from sometimes hundreds of seizures a day, and begin ingesting CBD to see them reduced to no occurrences.
Other common uses for it include anxiety, sleep, pain, Parkinson’s disease, and Crones disease.
Tisha Earle, a Registered Nurse, has been hosting CBD classes at Cafe Hope in Prairie du Chien. Earle hopes that those who attend the class will be armed with the knowledge of hemp and specifically CBD as the shift away from opioid use continues.
“It’s been positive,” Earle shared. “We’ve had upwards of 20 people in some of the classes who want to learn more about CBD. When it comes to CBD we aren’t just talking about only physical health. We are talking about quality of life.”
Earle shared a brief history of hemp with the class, which consisted of a majority of senior citizens, many of whom remembered the glory days of hemp as a industrial product.
“Basically, hemp was stuck in the middle of a political war,” Earle said. “And it was forgotten about as a health aide.”
Earle explained that most commonly, CBD is consumed as a oil under the tongue. But users can also smoke the flower, use it as a salve, or consume it in CBD dried fruit, honey, or  in water and more. There are even CBD gummy bears available as well as pet treats.
For Sheckler, CBD was life changing.
“About a year and half ago I was going through excruciating back pain,” Sheckler shared. “I was almost not walking. After using CBD though, I am 100 times better.”
Sheckler touts CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties as what saved him from a life of pain.
He also notes that he is hearing the same from his customers.
“We keep hearing more and more awesome results,” Sheckler said.  
Suppz, located in Fennimore has been serving approximately 20-30 returning customers, which Sheckler notes are mostly senior citizens.
“By far most of our customers are elderly,” Sheckler said. “I think it’s because, for the most part, the people we seem to be serving are using it for pain relief and inflammation. Problems you have as you get older.”
One elderly woman in attendance at the Cafe Hope class shared with the group that a friend had given her a salve for hip pain. She found that it had nearly immediate results in stopping her pain. In spite of that the second salve she purchased on her own did not have the same effect. This brought the woman to the class to learn more about dosage and products.
Earle shared a story about someone who attended the class and had such a horrible skin ailment that they needed to wear gloves. They left with a CBD cream and within 24 hours reported an improvement.
Earle notes that everyone should ‘work up’ to a dose that works for them. Suggesting to start with a low dose, because your body will only ‘use as much as you need.’ of the dose of CBD with the ‘left over unused portion’ being excreted through urine.
In this same vein, many continue to seek CBD as an alternative to addictive opioids.
“We all know there is an opioid crisis,” Earle said. “We have to find another solution and this (CBD) will continue to move forward and we need to be informed.”
Both Earle and Sheckler advised those interested in CBD to consult with their health care providers about CBD as well.
“Document it for yourself, the time you’re taking it, what you experience, any details so you have something to show your provider and for yourself,”  Earle said.
Purity of the product is also a facet of the CBD trend.
“You should be able to walk into where you buy your CBD from and ask questions and if they can’t answer them don’t buy it,” Earle advised.  “You should ask if your CBD is Co2 extracted, is it lab tested by a third party? If they don’t have it lab tested, you shouldn’t buy it.”
Director of the Grant County Department of Health Jeff Kindrai also notes that due to the fact that CBD is not closely regulated, purity may be an issue.
“The long and short of it is it needs to be studied more,”  Kindrai said. “The regulatory industry needs to be tightened. One major concern is the quality of the product, and because it isn’t so closely regulated you might not know what’s actually in it.”
Kindrai noted that, surprisingly the health department has not received many calls regarding CBD.  But he, (along with Earle and Sheckler) urge anyone considering trying CBD to consult with their doctor before.
Despite the popularity of CBD there are still plenty of grey areas for all involved.
“If you get pulled over and there is a drug sniffing dog, they will smell your CBD ,” Earle said. Earle notes that they provide their customers with a slip of paper indicating that the CBD flower, which is indistinguishable from marijuana visually, is actually in fact only CBD. She also advised consumers not to travel by airplane with their CBD because of complications, instead, Earle suggests that users mail their CBD to their destinations. “Everything should be fine in the end, but it could be a big headache and you may miss a flight,” Earle said.
Fennimore Police Chief, Chris French noted that the department has not come across any individuals with CBD bud during traffic stops,yet. Adding, “if an officer has reasonable suspicion the plant material contains THC, he/she can field test it for THC on the traffic stop and return the material if it tests negative.”
Many questions have been raised about legality of age for purchase or consumption, but at this time there is no restriction to selling to minors.
However, many like Sheckler, choose not to sell CBD products to those who are underage. It is perfectly legal though for minors to consume CBD.
“My daughter has started using CBD every day,” Earle said. “And there are days I thank God that she does.”  Earle added that CBD fruit, honey, and gummies are popular options for parents to try CBD for their children.
Although as the trend continues to rise and many continue to swear by the stuff, Kindrai and others note that at times, it can also ‘just not work.’
“Some people find that it cures what they are seeking to use it for and for some people it just doesn’t work,” Kindrai said.
One area resident who shared their story with CBD anonymously also found that the product wasn’t for them.
“I have chronic migraines, fibromyalgia, and severe anxiety and drug resistant depression. My doctor told me to go to a reputable source to make sure I was getting high quality CBD. They recommended a high concentration for over $200 for a little bottle with high doses twice a day. I did the regimen for well over two months and felt no different. Many people swear by the stuff, so it must work on a higher level than placebo, but I tried it under the best controls for potency and purity and felt nothing. Glad I tried it though so I can make it off the list. But I did have a hard time swallowing the cost for such a small bottle.”
Despite some mixed reviews, one thing is for certain, the CBD industry is booming.
A study published in Forbes notes “Leading cannabis researchers BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research projects that the collective market for CBD sales in the U.S. will surpass $20 billion by 2024.” The article goes on to state “Interestingly, this figure is a slight increase from the recent forecast made by New York based investment bank Cowen & Co, which estimated that the market could pull in $15 billion by 2025.
“Good CBD isn’t cheap, and cheap CBD isn’t good,” Sheckler shared.  He added that Suppz works to keep the price of their CBD low, in part because they would like it to be accessible to all who need it.
CBD products are also available at Cafe Hope along with many other retail outfits across the state.
However, it is important to remember that CBD isn’t a ‘cure all,’ as Earle points out.

“Self care is the most important thing. CBD is part of the picture. It’s not going to miraculously cure everything..”