The balm is green and possesses a vaguely herbal odor. When massaged on the hand, there’s a slight cooling effect – or perhaps it’s just this reporter’s imagination.

“When people come into the store and complain about plantar fasciitis, I tell them to rub this on their feet,” said Cassie Eaton, manager of Nature’s Secret CBD and Oils.

CBD stands for cannabidiol, a cannabis-derived substance that can be found in both hemp and marijuana plants. Unlike the compound THC, which is also found in both plants (though in very small quantities in hemp), CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it doesn’t create a “high” or affect brain function. Still, many who sell CBD-laced products claim it can be used to help alleviate anxiety as well as pain, inflammation and a host of other conditions.

At Nature’s Secret, products run from $5 (a CBD lollipop) to $300 (a solution infused with thousands of milligrams of CBD). Because Nature’s Secret isn’t a licensed cannabis dispensary and sells items with either no or only trace amounts of THC, customers can make purchases without a medical marijuana card. The store opened in January, and Eaton says customer demand has boomed in recent months: what was once being purchased by the business in a pack of 20 now must be ordered in a pack of 40 to stay in stock, and there’s a waitlist for several items.

Back at Nature’s Secret, Eaton described the New Mexico cannabis community as “a family, not a competition.” With a standard business license, the store continues to serve a diverse clientele, which she said includes military personnel, the parent of a young child with a seizure disorder, and people looking to calm their pets during a long car ride. Eaton said the store is rigorous about the quality of their inventory, is careful to not describe possible effects in terms of “cures”, and refers customers to licensed dispensaries as appropriate.

“We’re here to educate people, to help them learn more about their health,” she said. “Retail is not the most important thing we do.”


Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal

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