CBD in Carmel and Zionsville: A $16-Billion-Dollar Question Nationally
Writer // Janelle Morrison
You’ve seen the national and local headlines and have likely seen and/or have heard a commercial for cannabidiol, also known simply as CBD in Carmel and Zionsville in various forms, but what does it all mean? Is it all a masterfully disguised placebo effect crafted by the hemp industry or do these products really have beneficial properties? What do the recently passed laws mean for producers and consumers alike, and what should consumers be aware of when purchasing and using CBD products?
According to Fortune.com, “Nearly 7 percent of Americans are already using cannabidiol (CBD), placing the potential market opportunity for the much-hyped cannabis compound at $16 billion by 2025, according to a new analysis by Cowen & Co.”
I have been researching these questions for the last 90 days and am eager to share some of the basics of what I’ve learned about the industry, the products based on my personal usage and the laws that have been put in place to regulate the reemerging hemp industry and to protect consumers. I spoke with a Carmel-based family medicine physician and a local psychiatrist to gain a better understanding of how CBD is viewed by some in the medical field.
What Does CBD Stand For and What Is Its Purpose?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid that was discovered in 1940 by Dr. Roger Adams and his team at the University of Illinois. It is one of 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants. One of the most important qualities—from a legal perspective—is that CBD is nonpsychoactive. In layman’s terms, you won’t get “stoned” after using it.
Unlike marijuana, hemp’s cousin plant, hemp is regulated to only contain a maximum tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) level of 0.3%, in contrast to marijuana’s average 5–20% THC content and, in some cases, up to 30% in premium strains.
CBD has been found to have analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antianxiety properties without any psychoactive effects, and its popularity as a medical supplement is why Fortune.com and other analysts believe CBD to have such a lucrative future as one of the leading applications of hemp in the nation.
My Personal Testimonial
The former investigative journalist in me decided to look beyond the hype and research CBD products by using them in my own household in a quasi-controlled beta test. Reading about CBD’s anti-inflammatory qualities interested me because I have the aches and pains of a 40-plus-year-old who was uber athletic in her youth. I have also been a long-term insomniac, to the point that it has affected my overall physical health. The saying “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” is no longer an amusing quip, and I wanted a natural solution without succumbing to prescription sleep aids. Those who are in my inner circle have known about my husband’s physical challenges over the last two years. He has been a lifelong sufferer of migraine headaches and has been on nearly every over-the-counter as well as prescription medicine over the last 40-plus years. Three years ago, he suffered a grand mal seizure and stopped breathing. I was scheduled to be at an event but decided at the last minute to stay home that night and was able to resuscitate him.
Later, the doctors diagnosed the seizure as being migraine-induced. Fast forward, after two trials with antiseizure medicines and several petite seizures in between, my husband has found relief from the seizures with a prescription medicine and relief from the migraines that are thought to cause his specific type of seizure with 500 mg full-spectrum CBD oil. We communicate with his neurologist about everything he is taking to avoid any drug interactions. This is very important for people who are on prescription medicines to understand. You must have an open and honest discussion with your primary care and/or specialist physicians. This advice is applicable to anyone considering or currently using CBD products—tell your doctor, and even if he/she doesn’t subscribe to its benefits, let him/her know so as to avoid any future negative interactions.
Our Daily CBD Routine
One size does not fit all when it comes to gauging the “right” dosage. It depends on the concentration of CBD, the weight of the person, the person’s body chemistry and the severity of the condition being treated. What works for us may not be the solution for others, but here are the results of our “tests”:
CBD Test One:
Concentration: 3,000 mg CBD tincture, 60 ml, full-spectrum, mint-chocolate flavored. It’s a tolerable flavor.
My dosage: ½ of the dropper (this brand’s serving size suggested use is 1 ml (50 mg) as needed, but that was too strong for me).
Time: 1–1 ½ hours before bedtime.
Results: This brand reduced pain and helped with falling asleep. Since it was the first of three products, I was impressed with the results but had no baseline to compare it to.
My husband was taking the 10 mg CBD per softgel capsule—one capsule right before bed. He did not have as impressive or as consistent results with that first brand.
Duration of test: 30 days.
CBD Test Two:
In between the first and second tests, we went off all CBD products, cold turkey, for 30 days before starting with brand number two—1,500+ mg CBD tincture, 30 ml, full-spectrum and 15+ mg CBD oil per capsule. All our symptoms promptly returned, and it made for a long month without relief from any CBD product.
This one was “natural” flavored and tasted like I had eaten a hemp leaf, but I developed a tolerance for it.
My dosage: ½ of the dropper (this brand’s serving size is 15 drops, approximately 0.5 ml per serving).
Time: 1–1 ½ hours before bedtime.
Results: Compared to the first product, brand number two was noticeably effective. I fell asleep faster, and my pain symptoms were alleviated faster and longer through the night.
Duration of test: 30 days.
CBD Test Three
Concentration: 2,500 mg, CBD tincture, 30 ml, full-spectrum. Strawberry flavored. My favorite flavor so far.
My Dosage: ¼ of the dropper (this brand’s serving size is 1 full dropper, 1 ml per serving).
Time: 1–1 ½ hours before bedtime.
Results: I’ve never slept better. The alleviation of pain and inflammation is comparable to the second brand, but the taste and the immediate effects of this brand outperform the earlier two products that we tested. My husband had a wicked migraine with last week’s storms. He took ½ of the dropper, and within 10 minutes, he was perfectly fine.
Duration of test: 13 days out of 30.
While I am not claiming that CBD oil and CBD capelets have “cured” our ailments, I can testify that we have found substantial relief of our symptoms in two out of the three products we have tested. I am not a paid endorser of these brands and will not name them out of integrity for the purpose of this article, but what I can share is that of the products we have used, all three were made in and bottled/packaged in the U.S.—in Colorado, to be specific. I purchased two of the three online, and one of the products came from Carmel, Indiana. Again, before buying and/or using any CBD products, please consult your physician and do your research!
Two Local Medical Professional’s Perspective on CBD
Dr. Ashlie Olp of Olp Family Medicine
Dr. Ashlie Olp at Olp Family Medicine in Carmel graciously spent some time sharing with me her observations about her patients use of CBD and her research on why CBD may hypothetically work with the nervous and immune symptoms, though no concrete evidence has been published either for or against the use of CBD for medicinal purposes.
“I opened my practice in Carmel in November of 2017, and literally in the first month of my new practice, I had received dozens of questions from patients asking for my opinion of CBD,” Dr. Olp said. “I decided that I had better research it because if there were that many patients asking about it, then who knows how many were going to or were already using it. What I have found is that there isn’t a lot of super hard science out there about CBD.”
She attended a meeting on CBD put on by a CBD manufacturer, but went into it with the mindset that she wasn’t going to believe a word anyone said about CBD.
“I will be honest; I went with a huge chip on my shoulder,” Dr. Olp admitted. “One of the speakers was an old friend of mine from residency who was speaking about how he uses CBD in his practice. I called him after the meeting and challenged him. I told him that I wanted something from the NIH [National Institutes of Health], something that was coming from somebody who isn’t making a single dime off CBD. So, he sent me 800 pages of information from NIH, over email. I read it all. Most of the research was on the endocannabinoid system. We have an endocannabinoid system where we have natural cannabinoid receptors throughout our bodies in the central nervous and immune systems. It [endocannabinoid system] helps to regulate homeostasis. Our bodies use a lot of energy to keep everything in its internal environment the same, such as blood pressure, temperature, hydration status, etc. When something in our body is out of whack, it will use a lot of energy to get it back into homeostasis, and your endocannabinoid system is really involved in that job.”
Based on this knowledge, the prevailing theory is that CBD assists the endocannabinoid system in bringing the body back to a state of homeostasis.
Dr. Olp explained that while she has exercised due diligence and continues to research CBD with what is currently available, most of the research is anecdotal and is based off small group studies, unlike the 5,000-patient randomized, controlled trials that pharmaceutical drugs undergo ad nauseum before they are approved by the FDA.
“I read a lot of hypothesis on why CBD might work for things that take place in the nervous or immune systems because of the way the endocannabinoid system works,” Dr. Olp stated. “So, you can hypothesize on how CBD might work with anxiety, PTSD, depression, arthritis, chronic pain syndromes like migraines and IBS. There are some studies that suggest CBD can help with movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and MS.”
Dr. Olp emphasized that it is important to discuss with your doctors if you are considering or are using any CBD product, and that even if the doctor isn’t subscribing to the theories of the known and/or unknown benefits of CBD, you still need to have the conversation.
“Safety is my main concern because a lot of people want or are taking it,” Dr. Olp said. “When I started my research, the three main things were how does it work, why does it work and is it safe for my patients to take? I had to prove to myself, first, that it was safe. A lot of doctors will say that there is not enough information to say whether CBD works or not. We are an evidence-based medical society, and CBD is all pretty new in the world of medicine and science, and there’s a lot of things we just don’t know.”
Dr. Christopher Bojrab of Indiana Health Group
For additional expertise, this time from the standpoint of treatment with CBD for psychological disorders, we talked with Dr. Christopher “Chris” Bojrab, president of Indiana Health Group (IHG), the largest multidisciplinary behavioral health private practice in Carmel, Indiana. Indiana Health Group has over 50 highly trained multidisciplinary professionals who are able to provide a team approach for the treatment of almost all behavioral health issues in children, adolescents, adults and seniors. We discussed his opinion of CBD and on treating his patients with CBD oil and topical products.
Bojrab attended Wabash College and Indiana University School of Medicine. He was named Top Doctor by peers in “Indianapolis Monthly Magazine”and was awarded Distinguished Fellowship by the American Psychiatric Association. He is a board-certified psychiatrist who treats child, adolescent, adult and geriatric patients. His areas of interest include psychopharmacology, mood and anxiety disorders, ADHD, sleep disorders, pain syndromes and gambling addiction.
A skeptic right out of the gate, Bojrab didn’t subscribe to the growing popular opinion that CBD was beneficial to anyone, let alone his patients. However, since many of his patients were asking and/or taking CBD products, he decided to “dig into” some of the “research” that is out there.
“Unfortunately, in comparison to a pharmaceutical product, there’s not nearly the type or quality of research that there is for things that go through an FDA approval process,” Bojrab admitted.
“With that being said, if you look at the work that has been done, I was struck by a couple of things: What we do know about the endocannabinoid system now certainly lays the groundwork for a prior plausibility as to why these types of substances could have physiologic effects and could have at least some of the benefits that they are reported to have. It also looks like it is possible to get enough of this stuff [CBD] into people, depending on the type and the concentration, primarily the absorption that you see with these products, that it could reach reasonable physiologic levels where one might expect to see those effects.”
After witnessing enough benefits and improvements as a result of CBD treatments through his own patients, Bojrab started carrying a brand of CBD in his practice a couple of years ago.
Carmel’s Agrozen Life Sciences Is a Manufacturer of CBD Products
On the forefront of the growth of CBD in Carmel and Zionsville has been Agrozen Life Sciences who actually manufactures CBD products. Agrozen Life Sciences, located in Carmel, Indiana, was founded by Carmel residents Brian Schroeder and his son, Austin. Recently, we interviewed Schroder in a story that appeared in Carmel Monthly.
The father-and-son team is signing on authorized dealers to represent and sell their company’s products, and as they move further into the growing/producing side of their venture, they will offer capital investment opportunities to purchase the necessary processing equipment so they will be able to grow, process, formulate, test, manufacture, distribute and sell Agrozen products—all from within the state of Indiana. Until such time, Agrozen uses raw materials from hemp farmers in Kentucky and Colorado for their product line.
Stores Dedicated to CBD in Carmel and Zionsville
With the legalization of CBD in Indiana, a number of stores carrying high-quality CDB in Carmel and Zionsville have recently opened. Three of the best stores carrying CBD in Carmel and Zionsville are CBDAdvantage, CBD American Shaman and Naturely CBD.
Naturely CBD, recently opened on Michigan Road on the Carmel/Zionsville border. We interviewed Naturely CBD president, Michael Parson who shared that his store is unique not only because of the quality of products that he sells but also because of the entire customer experience and aesthetics of the store. No patchouli aromas filling the air and tie-dye-clad salespeople at Naturely CBD. “When you walk into our store, I want people to understand why these products are here,” he said. “These products are not only here to create a profit. They’re quality products that we’ve taken the time to educate ourselves on and have made sure that they’re the best we could put on these shelves. There are other brands and products out there, and in time, we will vet those. The brands that we’ve selected have been selected because we visited the companies, physically talked with the owners and reps and deal with them directly.”
Naturely sells a wide range of CBD products such as tincture oils (in different flavors), capsules, topical treatments, and THC-free, vegan and animal-cruelty-free beauty care and health care products, Naturely CBD sells many other incredible products, such as their Edibles/gummies and also products for your pets.
Another store that opened in Carmel is CBD American Shaman Indy. According to American Shaman’s, Kerry Hinkle, a district manager, American Shaman’s water-soluble products are what separates them from other CBD and hemp product stores and brands. Hinkle emphasized that at this point in time, water-soluble products are not available in most other area stores, making their stores unique in the local market and leaders in CBD product development and offerings.
CBD American Shaman, a franchise, was started out of Kansas, and its products are grown in Kentucky, processed and manufactured in Kansas and distributed throughout the U.S. The products are made of 100% organic non-GMO hemp and are third-party tested for purity and insecticides. The company uses carbon dioxide oil-extraction technology. The primary reason is to create a pure, clean, quality oil that is safe to produce with little to no post-processing, unlike toxic solvents that may require many hours to purge the solvent trapped in the oil.
To recap, before you buy CBD in Carmel or Zionsville do your research on the products, and then discuss your findings and interest with your doctors before taking any CBD products, but most importantly, don’t take what you read from any CBD advertisement or article (including mine) as evidence-based facts. Nobody has earned a medical degree or won a Nobel Prize from what they’ve read on the internet.
Michael Gick recently opened up a new CBD store in downtown Zionsville, 213 South Main Street, named CBD Advantage. Gick has been an educator and coach for most of his life. He has seen first-hand the emotional problems that many of us are suffering from and has been a CBD advocate for a long time.
Gick stated, “When I first got into this [CBD] industry, I knew that there are products out there—products that have been around for centuries—that have been helping people. I knew that I had to stand up for this [industry], put everything I have on the line, and help educate people about the benefits of industrial hemp products. Whether or not you buy from CBD Advantage, you’re going to leave my store with the knowledge you need to purchase the right CBD products for you.”
Gick paused and then added, “I love the fact that just in the time that I’ve been involved with the [CBD] industry, the stigma of CBD has been breaking down and people are becoming more educated. We are just now scratching the surface of what CBD products can do, and it’s exciting for us to be a part of it.”
Gick and his nephew, Chase Gick, who is also a shareholder of CBD Advantage, are prudent about entering any collaborative agreements. They are looking for the best partnerships and products possible for their growing business and are in no hurry to make any commitments that might compromise their stringent standards.
Gick added, “We have some incredible people working behind the scenes who are helping us build CBD Advantage with regard to consulting to help us make sure we are growing at the speed of ‘right’ and making the best decisions for our company.”