When it comes to health care news, the headlines haven’t been the most encouraging to the many Americans who are suffering with bad health.

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control reported these alarming headlines:

— The death rate from drug overdoses increased by 82 percent between 2007 to 2017.

— Health care spending was nearly $3 trillion in 2017.

— Eleven percent of Americans said they took five or more prescriptions within 30 days in 2016.

That has driven many Americans to seek affordable alternatives for what ails them, so they have hope for a better life.

One of those alternatives is CBD oil.

According to healthline.com, cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural remedy that’s becoming popular with the public. It’s used for many common ailments, including chronic pain and anxiety.

CBD is one of over 100 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in cannabis or marijuana plants. It is not psychoactive, but can provide relief from pain and other symptoms without the mind-altering effects of marijuana or certain pharmaceutical drugs.

CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant, then diluting it with a carrier oil like coconut oil.

Over the last year, in Grand Island, several businesses have opened that sell CBD products. Recently, Rhonda Evans opened RKE — Natural Wellness at 1201 South Locust St., Suite 3.

While Evans’ store has only been open for about a week, she said people are seeing her business sign, and word-of-mouth has generated a lot of traffic and interest in the products she sells.

Evans said she buys her products from friends who live in Greeley, Colo. Their CBD product is labeled Natural Wellness. Rachelle and David Tabor operate Natural Wellness in Greeley.

And like many other people who are turning to CBD oil, Evans’ interest began when she tried to find ways to ease the chronic pain she and her husband suffer.

“My friends in Greeley, Colo., asked me to try it,” Evans said. “My husband is disabled and has health problems. I have severe arthritis and severe pain, and they asked me to try their product.”

Evans said after her husband tried the Natural Wellness CBD oil, “He went off a lot of his medications. For me, I do not have to have my cortisone shots or have to take opioids anymore. I just take the CBD products.”

That turnaround in their health turned Evans into a “big promoter of CBD to help other people find relief for their pain and anxiety.”

Evans’ story is typical of the many people who have found relief through CBD oil. They want to tell their story to others so they can find the same escape from pain and anxiety that burden their everyday lives.

When visiting the Natural Wellness website, the Tabors also tell their story of how CBD oil helped Rachelle improve her quality of life by treating her many autoimmune disease problems.

As CBD oil divorces itself from the stigma attached to it by psychoactive effects of marijuana, much research is ongoing about its health benefits. Evans and others who sell CBD oil inform their customers about that ongoing research.

But they also tell them about the many testimonials they have received from their customers who found relief from their pain and anxiety.

But there are still many misconceptions and misinformation. Evans and others will tell their customers that CBD oil is not a substitute from seeing their physician, but rather an alternative treatment.

Evans said Natural Wellness uses only premium hemp that is hydroponically grown in Colorado and CO2 is extracted. Its carrier oil is 100% organic coconut fat, along with the product flavorings.

Evans emphasizes that their CBDIsolate has no THC or the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and that all products are third-party tested.

And like any responsible CBD vendors, Natural Wellness has a disclaimer that their product has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any disease. Evans tells her customers to consult their physician before using the product.

Evans said she opened her store earlier this month, and the public reaction so far has been “really good.”

She said many of her initial customers still have many questions and may buy a small bottle of the product to try it out.

Store hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Evans said her store has a Facebook page, and she can be contacted by calling (402) 405-6330.

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