After the original location was lost in a fire that devastated a total of three businesses in October, Bridgeportâ€™s HempWorks has returned to the area and is still providing the quality CBD products the business has become known for.
Having been in business a little over a year now, owner and former Harrison County educator Mary Frances Smith said it must have been faith that led her to her new temporary location. Her original plan to relocate did not pan out as expected, but Tim Gregis, a former student of hers, offered her the use of the current location.
â€śItâ€™s been great. The people have been really great, and I try to keep in touch with them during the down periods (after the fire) and tried to get them what they needed. Thatâ€™s mainly why we are here to begin with,â€ť she said.
HempWorks offers a variety of CBD products, including tinctures (drops), salves, gummies and even coffee, all from Medical Marijuana Inc. subsidiary company Hemp Meds.
â€śHemp Meds has a tincture line for intermediate pain (the drops on the tongue), the salve, which is topical, and the the gummies for intermittent pain like headache, back pain and anxiety,â€ť she said.
The products are of the highest quality, which Smith has done intensive research on.
Smith worked for decades as an instructor and an administrator in Bridgeport High School, but from being on her feet all those years, she developed pain.
Smith said she went to West Virginia University Medicine rheumatology for some tests, thinking she had arthritis, lupus or another ailment.
â€śI didnâ€™t test positive for lupus or anything, and they told me to take Aleve or otherâ€ť over-the-counter medications, she said.
Unfortunately, after taking such medications regularly, her stomach started hurting, and she decided there had to be a better way.
During the first few months of her retirement while watching her granddaughter, she started reading about CBD products, their origins, who makes the products and more.
After seeing a presentation on the product and seeing the company as a legitimate source, she began taking it.
â€śIt started working. For two years, I havenâ€™t had any pain meds,â€ť she said.
Because hemp is a bio-accumulator, she wanted to be sure she was providing the best products originating from the best environments. Hemp Meds is headquartered in California, but the product is grown in Northern France, away from harmful pesticides and other hazards.
â€śThatâ€™s where the best soil samples are. If you ingest it, you have to be careful of where the products come from,â€ť she said.
Though it doesnâ€™t cure anything medically, it does have its positive benefits and helps the body when it reacts to certain health issues, she said.
â€śItâ€™s more than just drops on your tongue. You make it part of your life. Mainly what they are saying is our bodies are used to having CBD. We used to get it from livestock that would graze, eat hemp and pass it on to us,â€ť she said.
But due to government restrictions, that has not been the case for a long time, she said.
â€śYou have CB 1 receptors that protect your nervous system, and the CB 2 receptor, which protects the immune system. If you keep those filled, it helps with the body when reacting to different health issues,â€ť she said.
Itâ€™s important that people know CBD is not like a prescription drug where it works immediately after taking it, she said. People may have to try different products and find a milligram dosage that works best for them, she said.
â€śYou have to be patient with it. Start out small and work your way up because you donâ€™t want to take more than you need. … What I try to do is I educate them on the product line. They tell me whatâ€™s going on, try something and we work from there,â€ť she said.
The salve, she said, has become one of the most popular products, as well as the CBD dietary supplements. The gold label is for pain and the blue is for anxiety and depression.
Going forward, Smith hopes to continue to educate and provide more people with a quality product that she knows works.
After retirement, â€śI needed something else to do. I knew it worked and knew there were some questionable products out there. I knew this would work and help a lot of people,â€ť she said.
HempWorks is now located at 362 E. Main St. in Bridgeport and is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Artworks owner Lotus MacDowell said she was glad to see Smithâ€™s business back up and running after the blaze that sent both businesses to new locations.
â€śIâ€™m very happy for her,â€ť she said.
MacDowell said Smith carries a wonderful product, and because she was a teacher and administrator for so many years, she wouldnâ€™t carry products without the proper research proving their quality.
â€śThe products she carries are really the best around,â€ť MacDowell said.