Cover Photo: Sharon Wilkinson, manager at American Shaman on 133rd and State Line, weaned herself from 12 prescription drugs with the help of CBD products. Photo by Sue Loudon
CBD stores provide experience, knowledge and product purity
By Sue Loudon
Kansas City is the corporate headquarters of American Shaman, the largest franchise seller of CBD stores, according to Sharon Wilkinson, who helps run the business along with other family members. There are 46 American Shaman locations in the metro area and more than 800 in some 30 states, she says.
Marijuana in any form has been illegal for the last 70 years. Cannabidiols or CBD has only been available here for about five years. Sales started out slow, but interest has rapidly grown.
“When we first opened, people would barely peak in the door and ask, ‘Are you legal?’” remembers Wilkinson, who says she was able to wean herself from 12 prescription drugs for arthritis, fibromyalgia, stress and various age-related conditions by using CDB products.
The business is entirely legal.Two chemical compounds found in hemp oil—CBD and terpene—are thought to have anti-inflammatory and other medicinal effects with little or no THC, the ingredient in marijuana that makes you “high.”
“We all have endocannabinoids in our body systems,” says Wilkinson. “All we’re doing is supplementing what our bodies are already making. We don’t add anything that is addictive or harmful, so there are no side effects.”
In addition to stores, American Shaman has a hemp oil extraction facility in Montana and a testing lab and a factory in Kansas City on Southwest Boulevard. There the product is placed in a titanium tank and hit with ultrasound until it breaks down into small molecules for easier absorption. The business also uses an independent lab to test for purity, Wilkinson says.
She is the mother of Vince Sanders, who founded American Shaman. Her brother–Sander’s uncle–was the inspiration. Dennis Van Tuyl was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and given less than four months to live. After much research, Sanders did his first CBD extraction and gave it to his uncle. After 30 days on CBD oil his uncle’s condition had stabilized. After 60 days the cancer was gone from his brain and bones and had shrunk from his right lung, giving him a longer and more comfortable life.
“One customer of mine thought the way people got better on our products was just the placebo effect,” Wilkinson says. “He told me his dog had trouble getting around, so I told him to try our product on his dog and see if it helped. There’s no placebo effect on dogs, and his dog got better.”
Margaret Clark, an area seamstress, is another customer. She started having roblems with arthritis in her hands, developing bumps on her fingers which made them stiff and sore.
“I started using anti-inflammatory topical cream hemp oil and I’m much better. I’m so much better sometimes I forget to use it,” Clark says.
The pharmaceutical industry already produces a synthetic product with a similar purpose, says Wilkinson. But she’s proud of the fact that American Shaman’s offerings are natural and that their hemp is grown organically in Kentucky and Montana. She cautions customers to buy only products that have been independently tested, saying that a recent test of products sold on Amazon showed that six of seven had no CBD in them at all.
“What concerns us is that there are now over 1,700 companies in business,” she says. “Be careful what you buy.”