by Cathy Martin
CBD products are everywhere, but determining which ones are safe and effective can be a challenge. Joslyn Brown, a licensed pharmacist and a health care administrator, started exploring CBD to relieve her symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
“I went to a couple of random places. I felt really uncomfortable, and they couldn’t answer any of my questions. So I started doing some research.” That’s when she and her husband, Colby, decided to open Blue Flowers, a CBD boutique in the Terraces at SouthPark featuring beauty, wellness, pet-care and other products hand-picked by Brown. The hemp-derived products are touted for their calming, stress-relieving properties, though clinical studies are still being conducted.
U.S. hemp production has soared since the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the definition of marijuana. But research takes time, and as of late 2019, the FDA had only approved one CBD product, a prescription epilepsy drug.
So before bringing a product into the store, Brown goes directly to the manufacturers and asks three specific questions: Where is the plant grown, what are their methods for extracting the CBD and how are the products tested? Based on those factors, she determines which companies she wants to represent.
Skin care is a growing segment of CBD — even established brands such as Kiehl’s are jumping on the hemp train. “It’s just got that anti-inflammatory, antioxidant effect, so it helps clear out the old and bring the new to the front,” Brown says. The cleansers, toners and serums her store carries are free of chemical additives; many products are blended with familiar herbal extracts such as chamomile and lavender. Lines carried by Blue Flowers include Beboe and Saint Jane, which was founded by Casey Georgeson, a Stanford MBA who worked in brand development for Marc Jacobs and Elizabeth and James Nirvana, among others.
Recovery is another popular category of CBD products, including salves and bath salts. “These products are great to soothe sore muscles and joints. CBD has anti-inflammatory benefits that may help reduce swelling,” Brown says. “CBD can be used topically, and it will absorb into the tissue and muscle, but not into the bloodstream.”
“For general wellness, CBD may be good to help restore the body back to homeostasis or balance,” Brown says. The Stay Sharp capsules sold at Blue Flowers also include ginkgo, which is known to improve brain health. “Quality sleep plays into wellness,” Brown says. She recommends tinctures from Yuyo Botanics as a sleep aid.
Despite the surge in hemp production, Brown finds that there is still a certain stigma attached to CBD products, which don’t contain the large amounts of THC — the compound that gets you high — found in its marijuana cousin. To ease concerns, Blue Flowers has introduced private parties in the store or in homes to educate and introduce the products to consumers. She also hosts “Fridays with the Pharmacist” where customers can test the products and ask questions.
“We’re trying to raise expectations [about CBD] and say, look, this is how it could be done.” SP