LYNNWOOD — The new weed store at the mall won’t get you high, but might help you get by.
What’s up with that?
Alchemy Health and Wellness CBD specializes in cannabidiol from the hemp plant.
The Alderwood mall store is among the growing number of venues touting CBD for pain, insomnia, anxiety and skincare. CBD, short for cannabidiol, has only a trace amount of THC, its cannabis cousin that gets you stoned and gives you the munchies.
“We’re not a pot shop,” Alchemy co-owner Dan Sloy said.
The shop has 75 products — bath bombs, capsules, candies, tinctures for pets and sex lubes. You can put the flower buds in a pipe and smoke it or bake brownies.
“Our pain sticks are the most popular seller,” Alchemy co-owner Jill Humphrey said. “I probably went through 13 different terrible batches of those to get the consistency right.”
A small lavender-scented pain stick is $14.99. A 10-pack of sour neon gummy worms is $9.99. A bottle of CBD infused olive oil will set you back $50.
Sloy and Humphrey make the products under their brand label SOLA, for Science of Life Alchemy.
Their first Alchemy CBD store opened in spring of 2018 in a Marysville strip mall on State Avenue, with a second shop on Evergreen Way in Everett opening a year ago.
The Lynnwood mall is their third Alchemy site. It is located next to the American Girl doll store, in the space formerly occupied by Lovesac modular furniture, in the wing bombarded by the seductive aroma of Cinnabon rolls.
“We wanted to have that educational interaction with our customers, take away the taboo,” Humphrey said.
Bartell, CVS and Super Supplements stores sell CBD products, as do a number of pet shops. Recreational cannabis stores carry a line of CBD goods, with and without THC. CBD merchandise is widely available online, infused in workout clothes and bedsheets.
Celebs are riding the wave. Mike Tyson launched a CBD-laced beverage called DWiiNK. Kourtney Kardashian has a CBD serum for skincare. Even Martha Stewart started living the CBD life.
The market is rife with scammers. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns some CBD products are being marketed with unproven medical claims and unknown quality.
Humphrey, 41, started making CBD capsules for treatment of pain and inflammation for her father in 2015 when he was getting cancer treatments.
“I saw a need for it, and it morphed into what it is today,” she said.
Store co-owner Jill Humphrey (left) helps a customer at Alchemy Health and Wellness CBD in Alderwood mall. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Humphrey previously worked in banking and as a paralegal for an attorney specializing in cannabis. The Lake Stevens mom competed in a national bodybuilding contest in December, placing first, second and third in bikini divisions.
Sloy, 47, of Snohomish, worked on tug boats and in medical marijuana as a liaison between producers and the retailers. He operated Dabb’n Dan’s i502 Solutions, a medical weed delivery service, and as a CBD broker.
He visits hemp farmers in Oklahoma to select the hemp to take to a CBD production facility. “I purchase the hemp and buy back the CBD,” Sloy said.
The duo partnered to open a store after the passing of the Farm Bill in 2018, when industrial hemp became a legal commodity in all 50 states. Products with no more than 0.3 percent THC are no longer controlled substances under federal law.
According to the FDA, the scientific research behind medical benefits of CBD is at various stages and that anecdotal evidence shows that it helps some people. The FDA approved a CBD drug for the treatment of seizures associated with rare and severe forms of epilepsy in children as young as 2 years old.
The FDA states dangers have not been extensively studied, but that CBD can potentially cause serious side effects from drug interactions and liver injury.
In a press release, Beatriz Carlini, a University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Institute research scientist, said people should consult their doctor before using it.
“It’s not a magic solution for everything,” she said. “Some people adjust well. Some people won’t adjust as well. So it’s a case-by-case basis and it’s very important that people are educated and health care providers are educated.”
Teresa “Flying Eagle” Baird of Granite Falls says CBD helps her multiple sclerosis.
“I use CBD to relax my muscles. It takes away the pain and I get more mobility,” Baird said.
At Alchemy, items are priced by potency. The most potent is for horses, not humans.
“Equine tinctures, to help your horse with Cushing’s disease, is 10,000 milligrams. It’s super strong,” Sloy said. “I have a lady who bought it for her horse and used it for her arthritis. You can rub it on your skin.”
Better not spill it: a 4-ounce bottle is $249.
For cats, there’s a 300 milligram salmon-flavored tincture for $27.99.
Sloy said they taste-test the animal products.
“The dog cookies, we eat them,” he said.
Some, well, you’ll just have to test for yourself. A 4-ounce bottle of Passion Personal Lubricant with 300 milligrams of CBD is $19.99.
Alchemy supplies CBD to Ron Gordon of Snohomish for his business, Ron’s Balms.
Gordon, 65, a retired carpenter and maintenance worker, was featured in What’s Up With That in 2018, whipping up a batch of balms sold mostly online.
He started making salves for his own pain relief. His chiropractor gave him the recipe.
“There are connotations with marijuana being a bad thing,” he said. “We are finding many things that are very positive.”
He cooks it up at the Snohomish Senior Center kitchen.
If you believe everything you see, you might think churches have gotten into the CBD game.
A group that markets itself as “California’s weed nuns” sells a line of CBD products made by Sisters of the Valley. The women, who dress in habits and robes, even have a 2021 pinup calendar of them harvesting buds in various very clothed poses for $29.99.
You can’t find that at the mall.
Andrea Brown: firstname.lastname@example.org; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.