When Ric Almack and Kathleen Wade moved to Lansing a few years ago, they fell in love with the area.

By RIMSIE McCONIGA
rmcconiga@leavenworthtimes.com
When Ric Almack and Kathleen Wade moved to Lansing a few years ago, they fell in love with the area. They felt so welcome and more at home than anywhere they had lived.
They were eager to be part of the community and wanted to open a business.

They also wanted to share the health benefits they had received from cannabis oil with others who were experiencing health problems.
When the opportunity came to open a store, they jumped at the chance and now the first such store in the area, Shaman Botanicals, 728 Shawnee St., has become a popular stop in downtown Leavenworth.
Many people are confused by the illegality of cannabis and the legal sale of hemp oil in Kansas. But Kathleen emphasizes that hemp oil is not the same product as cannabis oil, and although they are made from the same plant, they come from different parts of it. The oil is taken out of the plants by CO2 extraction and cold process. Most of the oil comes from the U.S. but some is also imported.

“These two products contain completely different biochemical molecules which have different effects on the body,” says Kathleen. “Hemp oil is a nutritional oil made out of hemp seeds. Hemp seeds are versatile and nutritious seeds offering health benefits. Cannabis oil, on the other hand, is an oil made from a specific part of the Cannabis Sativa plant which has higher concentrations of particular molecules, triggering responses in the human body.”

“Cannabis oil is usually classified into two products – CBD oil and THC oil,” says Ric. “CBD oil is the legal health supplement providing health benefits and extracting only the cannabinoids responsible for those biological effects – but without the mind-altering effects. THC oil, however, is the one with the biggest concentration of THC, hence offering the most potent ‘high’ for its users without too much focus on the health-inducing cannabinoids. We sell full spectrum CBD oil. We carry CBD hemp oil products, including tinctures, water soluble, capsules, lotions and external applications, and we make CBD bath bombs on site. We also handle custom essential oils including individual and blends which are all our own creations. We can customize the oils to your particular needs. In addition, we have organic soaps, natural sugar scrubs, soy lotion wood wick candles, bath bombs, honey beauty products and locally made artisan products.”

Ric and Kathleen had been in the estate tag sale business and had done personal property appraisals for about 30 years. When they decided to change their career path, it was partly due to contracting Lyme disease and trying to control it for 10 years.
“We were left in bad condition,” said Kathleen. “We have been taking CBD and are healthy and working. There is not really a course to take for opening a CBD business. Our course was the school of hard knocks. You have to educate yourself and continue doing so with this product as it is showing us new ways it works everyday. We can say CBD is what brought us back from Lyme's death knell.”

The herb has been used for thousands of years for physical ailments. A lot of people are still wary of trying it but Ric believes that the benefits will quickly convince doubters.
“Many people do not understand that medicine originated from natural supplements and has been altered from that natural substance to big pharmaceuticals today,” said Ric. “As a civilization, we have gone from natural to as far away as we could and we are seeing a surge in the trend of going back to our roots. Our customers and many other people are taking, and have taken CBD and have good, sound, real reports about CBD and no one has suggested it is addictive.”

Kathleen says people use CBD for a variety of reasons including acne, Alzheimer’s, pain relief, anti-psychotic, anxiety, arthritis, autoimmune issues and boosting the immune system, cigarette addiction, combatting cancer spread, Crohn's disease, depression, diabetes, digestive aid, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, fighting virus, glaucoma, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, muscle spasms, PTSD, seizures and much more.

And as more people become health conscious the demand for these products continues to rise.
“We have seen a growth in the last year and with the opioid problems seen in the country many people are trying to find ways to ease their problems without taking a drug which is addictive and sometimes more harmful than the cure,” says Ric.

While hemp oil is a dietary supplement made from industrial hemp and no prescription is required, Ric and Kathleen advise customers to consult their doctor before beginning any nutritional supplement program.
“The dosage for CBD is personal and can be titrated by each individual but we do give everyone the dosage suggested for their situation,” says Ric.
In addition to alleviating physical ailments, the oil also helps relieve anxiety and stress.

“Cannabinoid receptors, located throughout the body, are part of the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory,” says Ric. “Cannabinoid receptors are a class of cell membrane receptors in the G protein-coupled receptor superfamily.
“Starting off from the premise that stress is a major exacerbating factor in the development of depression and PTSD, Dr. Rachna Patel and her colleagues set out to investigate the neurochemicals involved in stress resilience, namely, the brain's ability to adapt to the negative effects of stress. Endocannabinoids are part of the so-called endogenous cannabinoid (or endocannabinoid) system, which consists of endocannabinoids and their receptors. The system is present throughout the human body, and it helps to regulate crucial aspects of our health, such as our immune and nervous systems. Endocannabinoids are lipids that act as a kind of a neurotransmitter. Mainly, they activate the CB1 and CB2 brain receptors. CB1 can be found in several brain areas, including the neocortex, the hippocampus, the amygdala, the cerebellum and the hypothalamus. These brain areas are known to be involved in emotional and behavioral reactions, homeostasis, learning, memory and decision-making.”
Rick and Kathleen believe that Kansas could greatly benefit from hemp growing.

“Industrial hemp is on a slow-burn toward titan crop status and will be the fastest growing segment of agricultural crops during the next 15 years,” says Matty Mangone-Miranda, GenCanna’s president and CEO. “What is hemp’s U.S. future? Just look at the facts. It’s used in everything. Right now, CBD gets the press, but there are almost 30,000 industrial products made from hemp.”

The couple is excited about their new business in Leavenworth and most of all feel joy in knowing they are helping their customers feel better and healthier.
“Our customers, the people who walk through the doors everyday, tell us how great the CBD has made their lives,” says Ric. “Especially for fibromyalgia, migraines, seizures and tremors, PTSD, diabetes, Parkinsons, mental health disorders and much more. We love being in a quintessential small town versus the big city.
“The friendliness, the welcoming, the politeness and the community mentality is why we moved here and we have not been disappointed in opening our business here too. There is a community camaraderie from both a rural town and the military that make it a nice place to call home.”