Audra Clevenger poses by some of the CBD products she has available. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
Audra Clevenger poses by some of the CBD products she has available. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
VAN WERT – CBD oil has become increasingly popular with an estimated 64 million Americans giving the hemp extract a try in the last two years, according to Consumer Reports. Americans have been turning to CBD, or cannabinoid, for a variety of physical and mental reasons. While CBD is sometimes extracted from the cannabis plant, it does not get users “high.”

Local CBD advocate Audra Clevenger sells CBD products to those looking for alternatives to painkillers and other medications. Clevenger is a certified Reiki healer and has a minister’s license. She is currently working on finishing the first leg of her Shaman mentorship.

“I like to look at CBD as a supplement, almost like a vitamin,” said Clevenger. “I started looking into CBD because I heard about a lot of people using it. The people who were using it were having a hard time accessing it, but also, once they gained access, it wasn’t often affordable.”

Clevenger works with two companies to supply CBD – Green Rose and Elixinol.

Green Rose is an isolate that does not contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), while Elixinol is a full spectrum product that has the legal amount of THC allowed in the product. When suggesting a product to someone, Clevenger always asks people why they want to take CBD and if they need to pass a drug test. This helps her guide people to the right product for them.

“There’s different kinds of CBD. A CBD isolate is manufactured with the hemp plant where it has the least amount of THC possible,” said Clevenger. “There is a legal limit of THC that is allowed. If you take a full-spectrum product, it has very, very little THC. A lot of brands say you won’t test positive on a drug test, but if you could lose your job, it’s pretty important not to take that just in case.”

While some CBD products do contain THC, they do not contain enough to make users “high” and are within the legal limit of THC allowed by law, which allows suppliers to legally sell the product.

“The plants are bred to have as little THC as possible in the plant,” said Clevenger of the cannabis plants from which CBD is extracted. “It is essentially a different plant in and of itself. Ideally, the CBD would have zero THC going into it.”

CBD is often taken to help curb seizures, calm anxiety, ease pain, insomnia. CBD has also become popular with pet owners who give CBD-specific treats to dogs to help with joint pain or to calm them down.

In 2018, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved the drug Epidiolex, a CBD product, for treatment of two epilepsy disorders. And in the 2018 Farm Bill, the United States government removed “hemp” from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act.

However, Clevenger warned that people should be aware of the quality of the CBD product that they are purchasing. She noted that it’s important to read labels and find a CBD product that is trusted.

“It’s important to educate yourself on what CBD really is and not just listening to hearsay,” said Clevenger. “It comes down to education and learning more.”

CBD can be taken into the body in a variety of ways, including by mouth as an oil or gummy, through inhalation or through a spray.

In addition to selling CBD products, Clevenger provides Reiki, crystal healing, sound healing, and other healing therapy sessions.