Separated shoulders hurt.
Jimmy Elder, a member of K-State men’s rugby club team, experienced that last weekend while playing a game against Nebraska.
Looking for a way to relieve his pain Thursday, Elder and a couple of friends stopped by CBD American Shaman, the new hemp oil store at 704 N. 11th St.
The shop sells medicine with cannabidiol (CBD), which is extracted from hemp and can be used for pain relief, seizure reduction, anti-anxiety and anti-inflammation among other things.
“I saw it passing by, and I was curious,” Elder said. “I’ve heard about it, but never really knew much about it.”
While Elder talked about his experience that led him to try a sample of the equine ointment, CBD employee Brad Benco asked him if his shoulder felt better.
“It’s feeling good actually,” Elder said. “That’s pretty wild.”
It surprised Elder because it had only been a few minutes since he rubbed the ointment on his shoulder.
“The pain has definitely reduced,” he said. “There’s a lot of tension that’s not there anymore.”
The experience that Elder had Thursday — Day 12 of the business — is similar to the other days that have come before it.
Last week, a man spent $1,100 buying multiple products to alleviate his back pain after trying a sample. “Don’t ever do anything that will ever hurt your back,” the man told anyone who would listen at the shop.
In a window, there’s a flyer that shows THC crossed out, indicating that the products don’t have mind-altering ingredient that creates the “high” from marijuana use. That’s an important distinction, especially in Kansas.
Many stores selling CBD medicine use products with less than 0.3 percent THC, so that it won’t be considered the same as marijuana, but there’s a zero tolerance policy in Kansas.
CBD American Shaman, headquartered in Mission, found this out the hard way earlier this year when police seized its products being sold at Into the Mystic in Mission. After that incident, American Shaman owner Vince Sanders said the company has removed all THC from its products.
The lack of THC is fine with Donald Ence, who runs the local store.
“It’s not for getting high,” he said. “It’s getting normal. There’s a lot of people that have issues with getting normal.”
The company has stores in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas, selling numerous products such as water solubles, smokeables and vape products, lotions and creams, capsules, and even cookies and candy.
The prices range from $14.99 for cookies and candies to $149.99 for a 750mg tincture, which is taken orally under the tongue. The product of your choice mainly depends on the preferred method of application.
“You get all of the benefits with all of the products,” Benco said. “Really, the main difference is the dosage.”
The samples are an important aspect of the business for a couple of reasons.
It helps because people are likely unfamiliar with the medicines.
Perhaps a bigger reason is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate CBD products. The lack of regulation means customers can experience a great variance in the products’ effectiveness.
“Because CBD isn’t regulated, there’s a lot of fake CBD or CBD that is lower in potency than what it says on the bottle,” Ence said. “We want them to know the difference between our brand and what they’re used to.”
As far as the customer unfamiliarity, Ence said he also didn’t know much about CBD medicine until learning about the experience of his friend, Jason Todack of Topeka.
Todack dealt with nasal polyps, a noncancerous growth in the nose, and Todack’s girlfriend had frequent seizures.
Ence said the growth got so big that it started coming out of his nose, and Todack’s girlfriend had about 100 seizures a week.
“They started using CBD for their symptoms,” he said. “Eventually, it started shrinking and getting smaller to where he could breathe and eventually went away. She goes about three months before she has a seizure.”
After Todack opened an American Shaman store, Ence said Todack asked him if he wanted to get involved.
With Bi Bim Bap Korean-Japanese Restaurant reducing in size, Ence’s shop is next door in the space vacated by the restaurant. Ence said he did the remodeling himself.
Both Benco and Ence believe that the products can wean people off some of their medications.
Since the shop has opened, Benco said people have told them that CBD products have helped them get off of “addictive painkillers.”
Ence said there’s a lot of people taking medicine for their medicine because of side effects.
“Ideally, we’d like to see people stop taking their medicine, especially opioids,” he said. “Opioids don’t actually help with pain. They just distracts you from it. (CBD products) actually alleviates the pain with no kind of side effects.”