Patty Gilk hesitated, then relented. She would tell her story. This is how she was introduced to CBD products, made from cannabis-derived oil called cannabidiol (CBD) from the hemp plant. Unlike its cousin marijuana, CBD does not contain THC, therefore, it doesn’t produce a high.

“I was experiencing hormonal changes that were making me anxious. Things were bothering me more. A friend told me about CBD oil. She was using it for chronic pain. Since I’m a registered nurse, I looked into it. After researching it for a long time, I finally tried it, and it worked great for me. It changed everything.”

The timing was good. Gilk was ready to try something new, and her husband Mark was ending one job, and had free time before moving on to his next. The Gilks with their three children decided to open a CBD store in nearby Excelsior two months ago. It’s called JES Naturals at 370 Water St.

Since opening, Gilk realizes how curious the community is about CBD. And coming from her medical training as a nurse, Gilk understands the concerns many may have in trying out CBD for therapeutic use.

Q: CBD products seem to be sold all over, even gas stations and convenience stores. What makes your products different?

A: There’s a ton of information on the internet. Mark searched for CBD oil on Amazon. What he got instead was hemp seed oil. We know other people have struggled to find a consistent quality resource and supplier. And it’s an unregulated industry.

So we did a ton of research. We eventually put together a spread sheet of 40-50 companies, evaluating everything from taste, price, purity. We’ve curated a collection of CBD products we trust and a number of select suppliers.

Q: You don’t see yourself in sales as much as education?

A: Education is a big part of what I do. All the products we choose, we know where the hemp has been organically grown, how it was processed and how it was bottled. We only use companies that do independent purity testing. They’re tested for pesticides, metals. That’s important to me.

Q: What’s the best way to try CDB, to find if it’s beneficial for your particular health or well being concern?

A: People think of it just as an oil, but it comes in lots of forms — soft gels you take with water, and other ingestibles like coffee, hemp honey with hemp extract.

For examples if you need help with sleep, the soft gels are helpful. But you need to find your dosage. Everyone is different. I recommend keeping a notebook over the course of use. We start with a low dose until you get the benefit you’re looking for. Everyone is different. You need to journal; how did you feel, how much did you take? Write it down, and pay attention.

We don’t make any medical claims. We always suggest talking to your doctor before taking any CBD products. They’re not a silver bullet or a cure-all. But it has helped with a lot of ailments.

A guest came back. CBD was so effective, she’s working with her physician to wean off opiates and her other medications.

To learn more about CBD, go to www.jesnaturals.com.

— Unsie Zuege

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