MASHANTUCKET — A North Stonington woman has jumped onto the CBD train, recently opening a kiosk featuring her own brand of CBD products called “Remedy Tree” at Tanger Outlets at the Foxwoods Resort Casino. For now, the kiosk is only open on weekends.
Jodi Harvey says she got into using CBD a few months ago when her beagle fell off the front steps of her house and injured its hind leg, and also because her mother had continuous problems with arthritis.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the active ingredients in marijuana, and is also found in the hemp plant. Unlike THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is another ingredient in both plants, CBD does not cause a feeling of being “high,” and has been extremely useful in treating some types of juvenile epilepsy. It is also touted as a treatment for anxiety, insomnia, pain, and other ailments. It is manufactured in a number of forms, including “gummie” candies, ingestible oils, creams, and vape oils.
“For months I just couldn’t get (the dog) to recover,” Harvey said. “If I took her for a short walk, she’d limp. I did all the regular vet stuff.”
Harvey said she was aware of CBD, but had never used it, and began educating herself about it in order to help out both her mother and her dog.
“I just started reading about it,” she said. “I got the CBD for my dog and started putting it in her food every morning. And hand to God, she has not limped a day since.”
However, it took some convincing to get Harvey’s mother on CBD about three months ago.
“She’s got some pretty amazing results too, especially with the arthritis in her hands,” Harvey said, “to the point where she ran out of it for five or six days, and it all flared right back up.”
“So getting her back on it and keeping her on has helped alleviate a lot of problems,” Harvey said. “She had a regular prescription for Noproxin and Advil and all that, but now she just takes CBD.”
“So it kind of went from those two experiences to me continuing to learn more and looking around,” Harvey said. “It was really, really confusing for me at first to make sure I was getting a quality product.”
Because of the exploding CBD market, Harvey says she found it difficult to navigate the different web sites with contradicting information.
“I kind of felt like I wanted to provide something I was giving my pet, and to provide something locally,” she said, “so people can come and talk to someone and get educated a little bit and see if it’s the right fit for them.”
Harvey eventually found a firm in Colorado that provides the type of products she was looking for, and made the decision to use THC-free products because of the negative stigma that goes along with THC due to marijuana. She noted a THC-free product is also safer.
“There are people who thought they were taking .03 or less CBD, and have tested positive, and that can affect their work,” Harvey said. “So I just felt it was better to go with a higher quality product and insuring people there was no THC in it.”
“I felt like having the retail location was the best way to help educate people,” Harvey said, noting that it was important to make sure CBD products are third-party tested, which means an independent organization has tested the product.
Her product line includes pet tincture, soft gels, pain cream, oil tincture, gummies and vape juice.
Harvey noted all her products have a QR code on the label, so buyers can know what the product contains, and that the product is third-party tested.
Harvey said she chose Foxwoods for the kiosk because it’s close by and because the casino generates a lot of foot traffic.
“I’m not sure CBD is the right product for a cart, where you’re talking to people about their health and wellness,” she said. “Ideally I’d love to have a spot in town where people can come in, and have bigger and better product range outside of CBD, but hemp in general right now there’s a bigger market for it.”
Harvey noted her kiosk is on tribal land, so she had to go through a unique process to be approved for the CBD business.
“I felt really supported, but I had to go through nine different commissions for approval,” she said. “I went with the casino too because they go off the federal laws.”
“One of the really big things with CBD is creating homeostasis, like a balance in the body,” Harvey said. “You know, we have different receptors in our brain in our belly everywhere, and when you get CBD in there it starts triggering, then all of a sudden your body is able to balance itself out, and you start to feel a little bit better.”
“We all have endocannabinoid systems,” she said. “They just lie dormant. Now they’re allowing science to study the plant. CBD is the first thing to come out of it but there are going to be other cannabinoids that you’re going to see that are going to be helpful too.”
“It lays dormant because we don’t put cannabinoids into our system, but you hear of all those people getting results even with THC,” Harvey said. “This is non-psychoactive so we’re getting people used to the idea. The education is letting people know that it’s safe. We’re getting there.”
“I mean, everybody’s got something going on,” she said. “The other thing is, everybody has different results. Some people it takes three or four weeks to kick in, other people, like with my mom, it was pretty quickly.”
Harvey said taking CBD can be off-putting because there’s no set dosage, and people have to figure out what works for them.
“There’s different ways to take it,” she said. “It really comes down to what your personal preference is.”
“The other trickiness to CBD is the daily dose,” she said. “I think people who have a lot of issues and take a little, it can be helpful, but it’s tricky figuring what your dose is.”
“My mom takes a morning gummy, and then one in the evening,” Harvey said.
Harvey said her schooling is for recreation management, and she has a master’s degree in elementary education, but she has mostly worked for health clubs.
“I’m not a doctor but I’m trying to learn as much as I can and help people as much as I can,” Harvey said.
“I’m just a super-active person,” Harvey said. “I’m always looking for healthier and better ways to improve how people are feeling.”
Harvey said she also recently acquired her state hemp-growing license with the hope of growing her own CBD hemp and marketing it as a local “farm-to-table” product.
“So my CBD oil would be coming from the dirt of North Stonington,” she said.