By: Hayley Hill
You hear the term “CBD” everywhere. If you’re too busy to dial in like me, you wonder: what’s the big deal?
Why does this seem so confusing? Meet Aaron VanHauter and Chad Bartz, two super friendly Eastern Shore family guys hailing from the corporate world who just happened to stumble on to the next best thing. Here, they break it down in the simplest of terms over a cool glass of fresh strawberry and CBD-infused lemonade.
By Hayley Hill
Photos Rebecca Foose
For starters, I wonder: what exactly is CBD? “CBD stands for cannabidiol, a naturally occurring ingredient from the cannabis plant that can be extracted to be used in different formulas for people and animals,” Aaron explains. “They work naturally with our body’s own endocannabinoid systems as a natural option to treat ailments ranging from inflammation and anxiety to epilepsy and insomnia. Studies have shown that 90 percent of Americans who have tried CBD products have found them to be successful in helping manage their ailments,” he adds. Okay… now we’re getting somewhere.
From there my questions just keep coming. Can I drive? Yes! Can I get addicted? No! Will I get high? No! Will it make me sleepy? No! Lastly, is it an overhyped, celebrity-endorsed load of nonsense lapped up by millennials who don’t know any better? No! As it turns out, there’s actual science behind the CBD business.
For Aaron and Chad, it all started when Aaron (who also owns the Mobile digital marketing agency ADvantage Digital) was invited to Tampa to present to owners of CBD stores across the country. “After four days of listening to doctors speaking about the scientific research and benefits of CBD combined with testimonials from cancer patients and those suffering from pain and inflammation, I knew this was something that could improve people’s lives in my hometown,” Aaron says. “Very rarely in life do we have an opportunity to help other people, and I came back from the trip so excited about what I had learned and told Chad.” personal experiences with our products. We are now the top-rated CBD store on Google in Alabama,” Chad adds. After spending 10 years in corporate America with Ford Motor and Coca-Cola, Chad started his journey as an entrepreneur and has since owned five different businesses in South Alabama. He developed a friendship with Aaron through advertising some of his companies. “After Aaron approached me about opening a store, I was all in, and we spent a long time traveling and researching CBD and the effects it has on people’s health and lifestyle,” Chad explains. “I enjoy developing new businesses and am especially excited about our new CBD store. This is the first business I have been a part of that actually changes people’s lives – CBD is a game changer for people,” he adds, noting family members who have used CBD for years.
Thoroughly researching companies to find the best CBD products in the country, the duo knows there is a lot of confusion surrounding the CDB topic in general. “It’s important to know that hemp and marijuana are from the same family of plants known as cannabis. However, Marijuana contains THC, which is a psychoactive ingredient that produces a ‘high.’ Our products are derived from the hemp plant and are completely TCH-free, which means they are legal and there are no psychoactive effects. Also, they are not addictive,” Aaron shares.
“We wanted to take an approach that educates people on the various products we offer and how and what they help,” Chad says. “We spend time getting to know our clients, so when leaving with our product, they know what they are taking and what their expected results will be. We have created an environment where our clients feel comfortable with us, instilling confidence in them that they are making the right decision to use CBD to get relief from what ails them,” he says. “Our facilities are modeled to mimic a spa environment and our clients have given us wonderful feedback based on their own
When pressed for specifics on the uses of CBD, Chad shares, “When you purchase from a reputable company who knows what works best for your individual issues, CBD can help in so many ways and allows clients to limit pharmaceuticals. We now have doctors, nurses, chiropractors, and pharmacists recommending Simply CBD based on our deep knowledge level.” And with products that help with the side effects of cancer, diabetes, stress, and anxiety, as well as a beauty line for health and a youthful glow, who wouldn’t want to give CBD a shot? “CBD comes in many different formulas and products – from gummies to vapes to tinctures – and we help tailor that to our customers’ needs,” Chad says. “We also offer a line of pet products to help animals who suffer from pain or anxiety. Our own family members and elderly dogs are thriving on our products,” he adds.
It is also important to understand that CBD is a supplement, not a pharmaceutical. “It works with our body’s natural endocannabinoid system to help our bodies reduce inflammation, sleep more soundly, reduce seizures and anxiety, and manage pain,” Aaron says. “It also contains antioxidants, which are proven to reduce the effects of aging. One great thing about CBD is that you might take it to help with insomnia, but it will have other positive effects. It has a broad-spectrum capability that traditional medications such as sleep aids or pain relievers do not,” he adds.
But not all CBD products are created equal. “With so many products from so many companies, it’s hard to keep your arms around the quality,” Chad says. “That’s not an issue for us. We know what’s in our products and we know where they come from.” Chad notes that the same cannot be said for many of the other products on the market. “All of our products are third party tested to validate that cannabidiol levels and affirm that there is no THC by Botanacor, one of the largest third-party testing companies in the country,”
Chad adds. “All of our products have a certificate of authorization to validate them and the hemp used on our products is grown organically and packaged in Colorado, limiting the handling,” he explains.
Sharing a passion for plants and wellness, Aaron and Chad have also partnered with Jennifer Bush, the local creator of the Dropout Hippie beauty line. Available at Simply CBD, these small batch, plant-based skin care products are made from natural ingredients like botanical oils, herbs, and butters that provide maximum moisture and antiaging components.
With their Mobile location set to open in mid-October in the Yester Oaks Shopping Center, the team will be able to share their knowledge and superior product with both sides of the Bay. And with my endless questioning put to rest, I walk away with a yummy gummy in my mouth, only to feel noticeably less anxious about how I will untangle the notes from this interview. Yay! What’s next? A CBD-infused bath bomb to soothe sore muscles. Watch out, world!
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