Those of you who follow my cannabis adventures are familiar with my gypsy lifestyle. I will provide just a bit of substantiating detail for those of you that don’t know me yet. In 2018, the Plant a Seed for Cannabis Education Tour that The eCS Therapy Center hosts has covered nearly 30,000 U.S. miles, plus we visited three countries (The Netherlands, Germany, and Spain). The significant decrease from 2017 (88,000 miles; U.S., Canada, and Mexico) and 2016 (65,000 miles, U.S.) can be attributed to my summer months being spent in Europe—and the focus around education in Oklahoma (since my arrest in February, my home state of Oklahoma has given me multiple opportunities to educate).
Several times this year in Oklahoma and other Southern States, I’ve found myself presenting to an audience of CBD store owners. I love these experiences for a number of reasons. First, I am simply excited that CBD stores exist. It has only been 7 years since I learned of Cannabidiol or CBD and it’s only been 5 years since Dr. Sanjay Gupta pushed the conversation about CBD outside the cannabis community and into the mainstream.
Seven years ago, I was not the cannabis expert I am now, but a very sick, new medical cannabis patient in New Mexico. At that time, I could only dream of CBD access being expanded beyond the very, very limited supply medical cannabis patients could acquire into mainstream retail. Though it seemed a far-fetched dream at the time, for several years now, states like Oklahoma and New Mexico have offered retail availability of CBD. However, Oklahoma, unlike New Mexico, did not have a medical cannabis market alongside the CBD market until just this year. This meant that citizens of Oklahoma had access to U.S. Farm Bill hemp products rich in CBD, but not to THC products for several years. As a patient and a researcher, I am curious about the experiences people have had with these products. What I’ve learned is that even though Oklahomans were not using cannabis products that contained THC, many still had profound changes in their health. The cannabis plant really is amazing—and it is a blessing to hear stories of healing from so many people in my home state.
Yet, with all that said, I am still quite leery of CBD products. Why? Because of the history of industrial hemp and CBD isolates—often imported from China and full of heavy metals, pesticides, fungicides, and other ‘icides’ that I don’t want to ingest. For this reason, I ask good questions of each producer I encounter as a customer. Where do they source their hemp or CBD? But most importantly I ask for test results and ask questions about testing procedures. If I can’t view recent batch test results, then I do not purchase or consume the product being offered.
Recently, I was invited to present “Best in CBD” awards at the New Mexico Essie Awards. How wonderful it is that categories like these exist in the cannabis industry! To me, it is just incredible! In a very short time, only a couple of years, the CBD portion of the cannabis industry has significantly grown. I remind myself frequently that I find myself at an amazing time and place in history!