CBD products are hot sellers at Port health stores

Local merchants are tapping into the popularity of hemp derivatives that won’t get you high but are said to help cure everything from insomnia to aches and pains

ECLECTIC AVENUE OWNER Charlene Riedel stood with an assortment of cannabidiol (CBD) products that she said provides customers relief from pain, anxiety, insomnia and other health conditions. CBD became legal in Wisconsin in 2017, and it has quickly become a top-selling item at Riedel’s store. Photo by Sam Arendt
By 
JOE POIRIER
Ozaukee Press staff

Port Washington health stores are experiencing a high demand for hemp-related products, which owners say have been helping consumers remedy pain and other aliments.  

Cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive derivative of the hemp plant, better known as CBD, became legal in Wisconsin in November 2017. Two weeks ago, President Donald Trump signed a federal bill that removed hemp and its extracts, including CBD, from the Controlled Substance Act.

“There is a stigma attached to selling CBD. The first thing people ask is if it’s legal and why you are selling it?” Eclectic Avenue owner Charlene Riedel said. “There are some naysayers out there, and Port Washington is a pretty conservative town. But there is no THC in the product and you won’t be high. It’s a completely different product than medicinal marijuana. It’s legal, and it works.”

Riedel said she started selling CBD-based products when they became legal in the state and they quickly became a top selling item.

“It definitely holds up one corner of the store as far as sales go,” Riedel said. “We wanted natural CBD products along with essential oils that would help people be well without the use of pharmaceuticals.”

Riedel sells CBD topical creams, edibles like gummies and chocolates and a nasal spray. She said she listens to her customers’ requests and researches the quality of the brands.   

“Sometimes too many choices can be confusing for customers,” Riedel said. “I try to focus on what’s helping my customers, and I use their recommendations to help guide me.”   

Some critics have said the pain relief offered by CBD could be the result of a placebo effect, but Eclectic Avenue patron Shelley Stoffel disagrees.

“My 30-year-old son would never put cream on his body or face because he hated the texture. Not even ChapStick. Three months ago was the first time he touched cream because he started using this stuff for his lower back and chest pain and for sleeping,” she said. “His wife and I were shocked because it helped so much.”

Riedel said customers stop in her store because doctors recommend using CBD to help wean them off opioids. She also said parents are using it to help treat children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

“You need to seek a physician’s advice if you’re considering using CBD, especially if you have major issues,” Riedel said. “This is not a cure for anything, but it certainly can help with a multitude of issues.”

At That Natural Place, owner Shelly Skorik said CBD sales are steadily growing and she sold out of the product during the holiday season.   

She said most of the people who buy CBD products are 40 and older and have tried a number of other remedies for chronic pain, anxiety and insomnia.

“They are people who have tried a lot of other things that haven’t worked and they’re seeking something that will help them,” Skorik said. “CBD does work, and I think it could be a potential threat to big pharma.”

While doctors and parents recognize the benefits of her products, Skorik said, it is critical to understand the source of the CBD because the burgeoning industry doesn’t have strict regulations and guidelines for producers.

“There’s a lot of junk out there because it’s not regulated very well,” Skorik said. “Anybody can grow it and make it in their basement, so knowing the source is extremely important.”

In February, Skorik will host a class at her store about the beneficial properties of CBD and help reduce the stigma surrounding it.

“I think it’s really good for people to understand what the plant is and isn’t because there is that stigma and people are nervous that it’s going to do something bad,” Skorik said. “Hemp really is an amazing plant. It’s very high in protein and there’s a lot of nutritional benefits.”

Outside of selling CBD to people, Skorik also offers peanut butter treats for pets.

“I have a Lab at home and the treats really work to calm my dog down,” she said. “There’s endless possibilities where CBD will go.”

The business owners don’t believe CBD will be a short-lived craze and expect there to be a consistent demand for customers seeking relief with CBD for years to come.

“People are finding out about it because it really works,” Skorik said. “God gave us this plant for a reason.”

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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