People who are eligible for AARP memberships, teenagers, and even pets, make up the fastest growing demographics of those who are consuming cannabidiol or CBD.
Former New York resident Cory Gleichenhaus, 42, grew tired of the harsh winters, and relocated to Florida for the warmth and palm trees. Last week, he opened a CBD American Shaman store in Delray Beach. Â Not surprisingly, many of his customers are senior citizens, who, like him, became full-time snowbirds, Ă la âSeinfeld migration.â
CBD American Shaman is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, and has over 150 stores in the Midwest. Although CBD is not legal in all 50 states, their CBD is sourced from industrial hemp grown in Kentucky, which is legal under the farm bill.
During Gleichenhausâ grand opening, he was pleasantly surprised to hear from a number of his new customers, that they ordered his products from the Internet, and were excited that the brand had finally come to Delray.
The foot traffic has been equally rewarding. âUsually older people are walking by in a group of three or four friends. One person in the group is aware of, or knowledgeable about, CBD and is excited to bring the others up to speed. They do the selling for me,â Gleichenhaus says honestly.
American Shaman does not believe in hard sell tactics. Gleichenhaus candidly admits that senior citizens have enough to deal with, both health-wise, and to avoid being taken in by pushy salespeople and scam artists.
âOur older customers are generally more cautious and skeptical,â he says. Â âThey are worried, âIs this marijuana?â No. âIs this legal?â Yes. Education is a big part of our ethos. Â We are happy to answer any questions. We have a lot of samples on display that we encourage people to try and experience first hand.â
His typical customers are seeking relief from Fibromyalgia, Parkinsonâs disease,Â arthritis, and general aches and pains.
âOne of our first customers was a lady in her 50s who has Parkinsonâs disease. When she came in, she couldnât control her head. I gave her a stronger product called âEquine,â that was originally formulated for horses. It is a 900mg water-soluble CBD. Â By the time she left the store, her head was shaking slightly but she was no longer having such serious tremors. We all know there is growing anecdotal evidence about the efficacy of CBD, but when you see it with your own eyes, it makes a lasting impact,â says Gleichenhaus.
Helping people naturally is what CBD is all about. âWe are definitely seeing a huge shift away from pharmaceuticals,â he says.
Aside from senior citizens, Gleichenhaus recalls noticing two teenagers during his week-long trip to one of CBD American Shamanâs Missouri locations. The teenage customers, who came in separately, had both just turned 18. Each disclosed that they had been on mood and behavior modification medicines for most of their lives. However, when they reached the legal age of consent and were allowed to refuse to be on mood-stabilizers, the two teens wanted to try transitioning to CBD instead. However, it is recommended to attempt this transition under a doctorâs supervision, since it is an adjustment.
One such teenager, a 15-year-old LaCrosse player from Las Vegas, Nevada, was on Zoloft, to help reduce his anxiety, which was exacerbated by his Touretteâs Syndrome. In his case, his mother Roxanne Benton was able to wean him off Zoloft using CBD and they, âhave never looked back,â she says. Not only did CBD work much better to control his Touretteâs tics, it greatly reduced his subsequent anxiety.
While physicians are not yet fully aware of what causes Touretteâs, other than the fact that it stems from a neurological issue, taking CBD is a multifaceted approach to helping the body and the mind. An added bonus, her son is achieving a deeper REM sleep, so his brain is potentially being purged of toxins.
His mother Roxanne Benton was so impressed with the positive effects CBD had on her child, that she started her own CBD company called Patriot Botanicals. The hemp used in her products is also sourced legally from a federal pilot program in Kentucky.
Gleichenhausâ store even has a section for senior pets. âWe see pets with separation anxiety, or they have trouble navigating stairs like they used to. Some pets have thunder anxiety during the rainy season,â he says.
All mammals have an endocannabinoid system. The CBD that his company provides to treat pets is human grade.
âIt is the same product, just with different flavors,â he says.
While humans are trying blueberry and strawberry flavors, cats are consuming fish flavor, and there is a meat flavor for dogs.
âI have healthy friends who have tried CBD for no particular reason,â says Gleichenhaus. âOne said it gave him energy and that it âtook the edge off thingsâ. Another one said he wanted to take a nap. The reaction is tailored to the person.â
Another significant portion of his clientele are people who want to transition off opioids.
âI had a tenant in a townhouse that I own who overdosed on opioids and died,â Gleichenhaus admitted. âWhen I had surgery on my knee, I never even filled the painkiller prescription.â He credits a topical CBD salve that he rubs on his knee every morning, for providing pain relief.
âA lot of patients are ditching painkillers for CBD,â he says. âThere is much less risk of addiction.â
Gleichenhaus claims that his company uses nanotechnology in the manufacturing process, which shrinks the CBD molecules so it has more bio-availability. In other words, your body absorbs more of it, unlike sublingual tinctures. Still, some people prefer the tinctures because they want to taste the product and feel it working, as opposed to consuming water-soluble CBD, or capsules.
âWhat you are smelling are the terpenes. Â Some people are reluctant to try a shot of CBD because they think it will taste bad. Most of these same folks are willing to overlook that concern when doing a shot of Tequila,â he laughs.
The good thing about CBD, Gleichenhaus points out, is that there are various ways in which to consume it. Some people might want to vape it, which is helpful as a smoking cessation aid, while others might want to swallow CBD capsules, so it feels more like taking traditional medicine. âAs long as you get it into your body somehow, you will start to feel better.â