A supply without the high

The Toledo Hemp Center clears a clouded debate with a legal alternative

by Athena Cocoves

Heated debate concerning the efficacy of medical marijuana typically focuses on balancing the medical benefits versus the recreation aspect. One local businessman, however,is shifting the dialogue.

Kevin Spitler, of the Toledo Hemp Center, provides an alternative to medical marijuana and pain pills. 5 years ago, he opened the hemp dispensary, offering products derived from hemp that are rich in CBD, a chemical found in cannabis.

Welcome to the neighborhood

When the Center first opened, Spitler admits that many locals were confused.

“Once people learned that it was legal and didn’t get you high, we were welcomed,” said Spitzer.

The Center’s hemp-based products do not include THC, the component of the plant that “gets you high.” Instead, the products contain varying amounts of CBD, one of the over 85 cannabinoids found in cannabis.

Like THC, CBD works with the body’s already existing cannabinoid receptor system to regulate appetite, pain-sensation, mood and memory. Unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive properties, which means that it will not impair judgment, motor skills, or provide ‘recreational’ benefit.

On the inside

When you enter the Center, you are met by smiling faces, excited to explain the huge variety of products the store  displays. Offering everything from hemp-infused flapjack mix, to lip balms, vapor products, chocolates, gummy squares, infused water, juice and oils, the Center provides many possible routes to consume CBD.

“Everyone has a cannabinoid deficit because of prohibition,” said Spitler, “so taking these products as a supplement is a great preventative method.”

Some of the most common problems that Spitzer helps treat through the CBD products are gastrointestinal issues, migraines, chronic pain, and lung cancer.

Using vapor products, similar to e-cigs but without nicotine, CBD is quickly absorbed in damaged areas.  A local medical clinic “has sent lung cancer patients here to get CBD through their lung passages,” said Spitler.

Also frequently referred are patients with migraines. Topical oils can be applied near the temples for quick absorption to ease pain.

A new focus

One of Spitler’s most recent focuses is aiding those addicted to prescription drugs or heroin. Also, Spitler suggests those suffering an injury can begin treatment first with a CBD alternative, before beginning a course of prescription medicine.

“We’re living in a society which is being prescribed a lot of pills, and the heroin problem is related to that,” said Spitler. “If I can help your pain without a pill, it will stop the whole process [leading to addiction].”

Spitler encourages those curious to come to the shop and learn, providing samples to interested people, allowing them to experience the benefits.

Toledo Hemp Center, 1415 W. Sylvania Ave. 10am-6pm, Tuesday-Friday. 11am-4pm, Saturday. 419-724-9588. toledohempcenter.com

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