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One-stop CBD Store Opens in Downtown El Dorado

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After the three-year legalization of medical marijuana in Arkansas, long-time cannabis activist Michael Cary opens his CBD franchise at a prime location in downtown El Dorado.

Cary opened his first enterprise in a shopping center located at Madison Avenue and Fifth Street in 2002, naming it At Ease Licensed Massage Therapy Clinic. It was during these years when medical marijuana made an early buzz across the US.

In 1996, medical cannabis became legal in California and was followed by seven other states in 2002, advancing the popularity of medical marijuana.

How it started

Cary suffered from a form of epilepsy back in the late 90s, taking 29 pills daily as part of his drug regimen to treat aphasic seizures. He made the switch from pharmaceuticals to cannabis after reading reports that the substance is shown to treat symptoms of epilepsy.

As a Nazarene minister’s grandchild, Cary didn’t want to live life taking medication like Lorazepam and Klonazapam, especially since he was in college at that time. Cannabis had become his primary treatment until 2000.

Cary has been a cannabis advocate ever since he started his journey as a business owner. He moved to gather signatures for the legalization of medical marijuana through Arkansas for Compassionate Care Campaign in 2011. While it failed to pass that year, Cary refused to give up. He joined the Drug Policy Education Group that advocates the reform of drug policies in the state, which was also the organization that helped marijuana to be legalized eventually in 2016.

Cary now serves as the Arkansans for Cannabis Reform vice president. It is a committee made by DPEG to push two new cannabis-related initiatives the group wishes to include in the 2020 ballot. Cary said that the two initiatives would help eliminate ambiguity in cannabis laws.

The proposed initiatives

The Arkansas Marijuana Legalization Initiative, or Adult-Use Cannabis Amendment as it’s also known, targets the authorization of recreational marijuana to adults over 21 years old. It proposes procedures and rules for the regulation of marijuana cultivation and sale. Also included are guidelines for the allowable volume of cannabis in possession, and tax revenue issuance from the sale to school programs from the pre-kindergarten level and the University of Medical Sciences.

Cary believes that this initiative will ease the burden on law enforcers relating to the incarceration of marijuana cases, which uses up a lot of police funds.

The second proposal, Arkansas Marijuana Expungement Initiative, moves to allow individuals charged with a minor marijuana-related offense like possession or sale of not more than one pound of cannabis to make a petition for expungement on the record. The initiative includes measures relating to the restoration of voting rights, reduction of sentence, release from incarceration and expungement of a conviction. It also drafts the Cannabis Conviction Relief Court.

Expanding to CBD

After advocating medical marijuana for years, Cary expanded his enterprise to include several cannabidiol products that he found to help clients who suffer from pain and tension.

CBD or cannabidiol is a compound derived from cannabis but does not cause the high associated with tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. The Arkansas law only allows CBD with no more than 0.3% of THC.

Cary offered topical treatments and homemade lotions incorporated with CBD at the start, which later drew waves, enabling him to open a second franchise called At Ease Essentials, which is a Mellor Park Mall kiosk. Fulfilling a need for quality CBD items is what drove Cary to establish the second At Ease. He also stated that consumers need to check for things like a Certificate of Analysis and labels when buying CBD products.

This year, Cary’s new store will serve as the El Dorado headquarters for his brand, At Ease. The storefront is located at 209 Main Street and will be a welcome addition to the other storefront on Jackson Street in Magnolia. The new store has its fulfillment center for orders made online, and as well as a showroom, laboratory, and a massage clinic using CBD products.

Cary is also eyeing to build more storefronts in Texarkana, Texas, and Ruston, Louisiana. The At Ease products will be sold to adults over 18 years old only, but minors are welcome to go inside the stores. He reckons that the El Dorado store could have been a hemp-selling establishment back in 1927 when the crop was still legal for sale until 1937.

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CBD Pillows: Is the Trend Getting Out of Hand?

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Cannabidiol or CBD has achieved a substantial following in the marketplace, with many users touting its efficacy. One alleged benefit of CBD that creates a buzz is improved sleep, which is a strong reason why people want to try it.

The usual forms of CBD that are popular among buyers are CBD-infused gummy bears and CBD oil capsules or tincture. As trends go, manufacturers get creative by making CBD pillows that target individuals suffering from poor or deprived sleep.

Consumer reports

A Consumer Report survey conducted recently revealed that 10% of Americans have used CBD products to improve their sleep. However, many of the respondents are yet to try CBD pillows, which in itself has an interesting concept.

In a study showcased in the journal Medicines, 409 respondents with insomnia initially rated their condition at 6.6 on average, with ten being the most severe. They were then treated with CBD in different combustion methods. The average rating after treatment went down to only 2.2, a significant decrease from the start.

However, there are still many questions regarding CBD for sleep, including the dosage, route, and timing. The effect of CBD in the sleep pattern of an individual also varies on a case-to-case basis.

Recent studies show that cannabis compounds can interact with the endocannabinoid system, or the receptors in the body, which include the brain. It is suggested that CBD affects the sleep and wake cycles due to one of these said receptors.

The CBD Pillow

The CBD pillow, the new addition to a broad range of cannabidiol products, works through micro-encapsulation. It is the process of capturing microscopic CBD particles into capsules that protect the substance from oxidation, evaporation, and contamination. It can only be released via friction, specifically your head on the pillow.

The released CBD is then supposed to be taken up through skin and hair follicle absorption. By theory, more CBD can be released if you are more restless when sleeping.

As of writing, two companies have started marketing the micro-encapsulated CBD pillow, namely Brookstone and CBD Pillow.

How it helps

Cannabidiol is one of the most popular cannabis derivatives, taken from the source plant Cannabis sativa L. that also produces marijuana. It contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the substance that causes psychoactive effects for cannabis users. However, CBD has little to no THC content, which makes it non-intoxicating.

CBD is thought to interact with the endocannabinoid system, which then prompts several physiological reactions, including appetite, pain, and mood.

CBD Pillow VP of Content said the pillow is made to release CBD micro-doses for many days to help the user sustain a healthy nighttime routine. It also aims to introduce CBD and its number of alleged benefits, which includes sleep.

The prominent issue, however, is that most pieces of evidence are anecdotal. There aren’t many studies and research that offer solid proof regarding CBD’s benefits. The FDA is yet to present a framework for the use and sale of CBD, which industry players feel should be hastened so that more people can try cannabidiol for themselves.

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CBD User Sues Former Employer for Firing Her After Testing Positive for Marijuana

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A drug counselor from San Antonio who uses cannabidiol oil as part of her treatment regimen for multiple sclerosis has sued her ex-employer for sacking her following a positive result on a marijuana test.

The 48-year-old addiction counselor, Melanie Farr, works for a Management and Training Corporation in Utah, an institution offering rehabilitation programs that cater to incarcerated persons.

CBD oil for MS

Melanie Farr started using CBD oil last year, placing several drops under the tongue to alleviate her symptoms of multiple sclerosis. This condition is lifelong and debilitating, wherein the immune system starts attacking the body, resulting in damaged nerves in the spinal cord and brain.

In a statement to the San Antonio Express-News, Farr stated the CBD oil helped ease her pain and correct her gait, and even reduced her blood pressure.

The lawsuit filed by her legally cited her capability to perform on her job despite suffering from MS, stating that the disease could have had limited her from performing in her daily activities such as balancing, walking, working and caring for herself.

Farr stated her bosses knew that she was using CBD oil for her MS. She maintains that they have discussed it many times. She also pointed out that she has taken cannabidiol while working for the company for a long time.

She insisted that no one had ever asked or mentioned that she looked high while on the job.

Farr is a licensed counselor for chemical dependency since October 2018 and has been assigned to handle prisoners from the Dominguez State Jail in San Antonio. Her company is in contract with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

False-positive drug test

Farr’s physician suggested she try using cannabidiol to alleviate her MS symptoms. In the lawsuit, she stated that CBD oil has helped her walk better since her pain has lessened.

Last February 14, 2019, Farr underwent a random drug test sanctioned by her employer. She mentioned that she was taking CBD oil as per doctor’s recommendation to the administering technician. A week after the test, her results came back positive.

Despite providing a doctor’s note and several news articles showing false-positive incidences of CBD users being subjected to a drug test, the firm still fired Farr on March 8, 2019.

Atty. Michael V. Galo Jr., Farr’s lawyer, filed the lawsuit last February 20 in the San Antonio Federal Court. He cited the company’s unlawful discrimination against Farr’s condition.

The company is being accused of reckless indifference or malice towards the patient’s rights, which is stated on the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In a report published by researches in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology, a third of vape users with CBD-laced tinctures had gotten positive urine drug test results. The proponents hope the study will warn CBD users of the implications of drug testing, particularly when taking products that have unclear THC content.

John Hopkins School of Medicine associate professor Ryan Vandrey stated the perception that CBD products are THC-free is not always true. Roadside, workplace or criminal justice testing purposes could come up positive despite CBD being touted as non-intoxicating and legal under federal laws.

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Four-time Champion Iditarod Musher Gives Race Dogs CBD Oil

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Some 800 dogs have started the 975-mile journey with their mushers to conquer the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Sunday. Four-time winner Lance Mackey made news when he revealed giving CBD oil to his dogs against head veterinarian’s advice.

Mackey declined the suggestion, citing cannabidiol being excluded in the banned substances list found on the competition’s rulebook.

Enhancing recovery times

Lance Mackey, currently in fifth place at the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, revealed to the Anchorage Daily News that he has been giving his race dogs cannabidiol oil to improve their performance and recovery times.

Iditarod head veterinarian Stuart Nelson has discouraged the use of CBD oil for competing dogs. Still, Mackey went against advice, saying there is nothing in the race’s rule book that mentions CBD oil as a banned substance.

Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a derivative of Cannabis sativa L., which is also the source plant for marijuana, an addictive substance containing high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compound. On the other hand, CBD is non-intoxicating due to a shallow THC content that causes the high.

CBD for pets has become a famous market currently, with owners praising its health and wellness benefits for animals. It is commonly used to manage pain and treat seizures, among others, despite the federal government’s lack of official standards for the said substance.

Mackey, a cancer survivor, considered getting medical marijuana treatment throughout his four-year consecutive victories from 2007. However, Iditarod barred marijuana use by 2010. He reasoned the other mushers were jealous of his wins; that’s why the ban was enforced.

In 2011, a year after the marijuana ban, Mackey bags his fourth consecutive championship.

CBD oil for pets

CBD oil has gained popularity over recent years for being a miracle remedy for many illnesses. Users have been lauding its efficacy to health conditions like arthritis, chronic pain, anxiety and more.

CBD manufacturers have entered the market successfully, producing a variety of products like lotions, gummies, tinctures, and others. CBD pet products have also found a great reception from owners who are curious about cannabidiol for pets.

Cannabidiol-based products for pets are mostly in the form of treats or oil. They are said to deliver promising results for alleviating pain and anxiety. However, there aren’t many studies to solidify the effectiveness of these items.

Pet experts advise that it’s best to consult with the veterinarian about the pet’s specific condition and evaluate whether CBD oil can be one of the viable options to improve their well-being.

About Iditarod

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race started on Sunday, with Paige Drobney, a Pennsylvania native from Cantwell Alaska, taking the lead last Wednesday. She was the first to leave among the mushers at the Ophir checkpoint.

The first to reach McGrath checkpoint was Jessie Royer who received handmade items as a token for the milestone.

The oldest musher to enter the race, Jim Lanier, 79 years old and a retired pathologist, withdrew from Iditarod last Tuesday at Rainy Pass for his well-being amid the virus outbreak.

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