RUTHERFORDTON â€“ The first thing Joellyn Evans wants to make clear about what she’s selling in a little shop in downtown Rutherfordton is that it is not weed.
â€śThere’s no THC. There’s no getting high,â€ť she said Thursday. â€śYou will pass every single drug test.â€ť
The cannabidiol (CBD) oil in the products at My Green Room â€“ located down the hall and through the same street entrance as Main Street Coffee â€“ does come from the cannabis plant. Unlike marijuana, however, non-psychoactive CBD oil derived from hemp is legal in all 50 states. And it’s becoming increasingly popular due to a growing list of potential benefits.
Evans started selling the stuff online and at fairs in February and in the new space downtown about three weeks ago. She said there’s definitely been a mixed response. Some people are ecstatic, popping into the shop just to thank her for existing.
Wes Rose, an Air Force veteran who recently moved here from Texas, is already becoming a regular customer. He discovered My Green Room almost immediately upon his arrival in the county and he’s already been in several times.
â€śI know the value of what this does for you and I know that this is pretty much a cure-all,â€ť Rose said. â€ś… I suffer from anxiety because I’ve got PTSD, but this takes it right off.â€ť
Some people, on the other hand, can’t help but raise a skeptical eyebrow. Evans doesn’t mind the critics, though. She just smiles and says they don’t know better yet. Eventually, she hopes the stigma associated with CBD oil will be gone.
â€śThis is going to fix our county,â€ť she said.
Although none of the claims have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, fans of CBD oil have cited relief from anxiety, depression, inflammation, nausea, and joint and muscle pain, to name a few.
The My Green Room website is careful to note that the products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It also recommends speaking with a doctor before making changes to any prescribed medications.
However, Evans â€“ who is originally from Syracuse, New York, but moved to Rutherford County in 2014 â€“ said she’s seen CBD oil do wonders. Through her work, she said she’s seen people recover from lyme disease, non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver, and glaucoma. She even gives the product some credit for her full recovery from stage four metastatic cervical cancer.
Evans was diagnosed in the early 2000’s and, though she had several surgeries, her cancer kept coming back. In 2008, she began using CBD oil in place of prescribed medications and noticed that she was feeling better. After a radical hysterectomy that year, the cancer never returned.
â€śAnd I don’t have cancer now,â€ť she said.
She continues to take CBD oil to help with PTSD, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression. She said she takes a few extra drops under her tongue when she feels a panic attack coming.
â€śAnd within 25 to 35 seconds, the anxiety is gone,â€ť she said. â€śI’m chill, cool as a cucumber.â€ť
In March, North Carolina health officials warned about a rise in emergency room visits by people who had either smoked or vaped CBD oil or a similar product.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services said that the symptoms they were seeing â€“ altered mental states, hallucinations, seizures, loss of consciousness, and rapid heartbeat â€“ were not typical of CBD oil use and that people should be aware of all ingredients in CBD products before using them. No deaths were reported.
Evans said people should feel comfortable using her product, because it doesn’t contain any fillers.
â€śThe hemp that I sell is hemp â€“ no other product,â€ť she said. â€śThe oils I sell are hemp and coconut oils. That’s it. â€¦ All of the products that we have, there’s lab reports proving that they’re THC free or .3 percent THC or lower â€“ because that’s the legal limit.â€ť
The majority of the products are also made in North Carolina.
â€śSo we get to support North Carolina, because that’s what we should do,â€ť said Evans.
Evans is gearing up this week for My Green Room’s official grand opening on Tuesday, July 10, which will feature baked good and snacks, a giveaway, a nearly store-wide sale, and answers to all the questions customers have about the CBD oil and the products that contain it.
First timers already receive 10 percent off and there are incentives for repeat customers. The shop also gives a permanent 10 percent discount to all veterans and to people with chronic illness.
â€śThey need it,â€ť said Evans. â€śI mean, if I’m going to help the county, I’ve got to really help the county, you know?â€ť
My Green Room offers CBD oil in a variety of forms, from edibles to bath bombs to smoke-ables. They even sell dog treats, which were given out for free on July 4, to help pets deal with fireworks-related anxiety.
One of the most common questions Evans gets is what it feels like to ingest CBD oil.
â€śI always tell them it feels like a ball of happiness,â€ť she said. â€śI don’t know any other way to describe it, because your whole body just becomes really, really happy.â€ť
My Green Room is located at 185 N Main St, Suite E in Rutherfordton and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday. The shop also features local art and books. Evans welcomes local crafts people to contact her about selling their work. For more information, visit www.mygreenroom.net or call 828-289-1078.