BY Cecilia Chan
GSN Managing Editor
Chris O’Brien has acid reflux and a deviated septum, which means plenty of sleepless nights.
On top of that, the Gilbert man deals with the stress that comes with owning a business.
Lately he’s found relief on the shelves of Your CBD Store — hemp oil.
“It’s helped me sleep a lot better,” O’Brien said. “I’m probably asleep within 10 minutes.”
He’s also noticed on his fitness watch that his stress level went way down since he’s been using the oil daily.
Matt Jones and his dad, Don Jones, opened the store April 22 on Williams Field Road, selling hemp products, including oils, creams, edibles, capsules and skin care.
“We already have repeat customers after the first month,” Matt Jones said. “So, our one best Saturday we had 29 transactions, 40 people in the door that day, which is pretty solid for being in our first month and half now.”
CBD, or cannabidiol, is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant but is non-psychoactive.
The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp-derived CBD legal in all 50 states as long as it did not contain more than 0.3 percent THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that causes a euphoric high.
The latest fad is touted for its health benefits with CBD found in everything from beauty products to soaps to edibles such as gummies and even coffee.
The hemp-derived CBD market is expected to reach $22 billion by 2022 and is growing faster than cannabis in the country, according to Brightfield Group, a research firm.
“It’s been flying under the radar but is set to explode having profound impacts on CPG and Pharma,” according to Brightfield.
Currently, over 350 Your CDB Store locations are in the country, all exclusively selling SunMed products. There are seven locations in Arizona with the other Valley store in Peoria.
The products are made from organic hemp grown in Colorado, Jones said.
“Colorado is the only state to regulate hemp and marijuana for organic growing,” he said.
The hemp is then sent to Florida where it undergoes extraction with pressurized carbon dioxide.
“No chemicals are used from growing to extraction,” Jones noted.
All products are then tested by a third-party laboratory, which consumers can see the results online.
Jones said his store educates consumers about the products and offers free samples.
“A lot of them feel relief right away,” he said. “What makes us different from other CBD stores is when you come in it’s more tranquil, you’re not seeing all the crazy neon like in a vape shop.”
The two best selling products at the store are the SunMed CBD Topical Cream with Peppermint and the SunMed Water Soluble CBD Oil, according to Jones.
The fast-acting oil comes in different strengths for oral consumption and in flavors such as grape, pina colada and lemonade.
The products will set some people back — a 500-milliliter jar of the topical cream costs $90 and the 1000-milliliter jar costs $110. A 1-fluid ounce of the soluble, depending on the strength, ranges from $60 to $90 a bottle.
A majority of Jones’ customers are aged 40-45 and older.
“They are here more for pain relief,” Jones said. “Anybody that is younger unless it’s major surgery is coming in for anxiety or relief from ADD.”
According to Harvard Health Publishing, CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain, although more research is needed, and strong scientific evidence showed its effectiveness in treating some childhood epilepsy syndromes.
CBD also is commonly used to address anxiety and for patients who suffer insomnia with studies suggesting it may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep, Harvard Health said. Some CBD side effects include nausea, fatigue and irritability and it can interfere with blood thinners.
“Most of our customers are looking for alternatives to prescription drugs,” Jones said. “They are looking to limit the long lists of medications that come with a long list of side effects. However, no matter what, we always tell people if you are on some type of medication, you have to talk to your doctor.”
Jones said he’s heard stories of people who, with the help of their doctors, have been able to wean themselves off their medications by using CBD.
He said his dad, who grew up in Chandler and now lives in Queen Creek, was on blood-pressure medication for 20 years. But since taking the CBD oil, he no longer needs his prescription, Jones said. But, he cautioned that everyone reacts differently with CBD.
Other popular sale items at the store are CBD canine treats and soft chews that help with inflammation, stress, anxiety, age-related issues and overall health in a pet.
“Lots of people without issues often times buy for their pets for arthritis, hip dysplasia and anxiety whether from a storm or left alone at home,” Jones said. “I use it for my own dog. He’s a little over 1, a golden retriever. I believe he has seasonable allergies. Around summer time, he was chewing on his legs and got hot spots.”
Jones said he applied CBD oil on his dog’s legs and on the third morning, he noticed a remarkable improvement.
“It had scabbed over and healed,” he said. “It took away the pain and inflammation.”
Business has grown to the point the Queen Creek resident said he and his dad are actively looking for a new location in their hometown.
Since Your CBD Store opened, O’Brien is a regular customer and so is his wife, who has scar tissue in her back and takes the product to help her sleep.
“I do it every day and she does it here and there,” he said. “It’s worth the money to me.”