Metro Detroiters turn to CBD for relief during the pandemic

Posted at 6:06 PM, Apr 16, 2021

(WXYZ) — The pandemic has certainly taken its toll, not just physically, but mentally.

More and more metro Detroiters are reporting anxiety, depression, and insomnia at elevated levels.

There’s one silver lining. It’s giving a boost to some local businesses providing an alternative remedy.

As a fashion and lifestyle blogger, Jessica Mosley spends a lot of her time in front of a camera. But behind the scenes, it’s not always quite as glamorous.

For years, she’s struggled with knee pain. But it’s the stress brought on in the last year, that really began taking a toll.

“Everything about the pandemic was fueling my anxiety,” she says. “Just being in the house and having so much uncertainty and having anxiety about potentially getting COVID.”

And Jessica is far from alone. Non-profit group Mental Health America cites a 94 percent increase in those reporting anxiety between January and September of last year -- along with a 62 percent rise in those reporting symptoms of depression.

For some, it has meant turning to prescription drugs. But for Jessica?

“I didn’t really want to put anything in my body that wasn’t natural,” she says.

Avoiding the unnatural meant turning to the unconventional the brave new world of CBD.

“It helps calm me down, it helps me sleep better,” Mosley says.

She credits her piece of mind, to Peace Lilly - a product that was derived from hemp in Oregon but born right here in metro Detroit.

“I offer the oil which you’re supposed to put under your tongue,” says Najifa Choudhury.

Choudhury, aka Dr. Peace Lilly, is a local pharmacist. She packages prescriptions by day, and CBD oils and creams by night.

Two years ago, she launched her business as a passion project, her sales relying heavily on in-person customer engagement, so when the pandemic hit, “My heart just sank, I was like what am I going to do now.”

But the panic soon turned into relief.

“It was really shocking though to see my sales increasing every month,” she says.

And for Najifa, the success has been clear. Whether purchased in person at stores like this one, or online, Peace lily’s sales have quadrupled in the last year.

“One of our top issues that folks are coming in with right now are sleep-related,” says Arianna Welsh, co-owner of metro Detroit CBD retailer Mother Earth Natural Health, which is also seeing the uptick in demand.

“Some folks have trouble falling asleep, others have trouble staying asleep,” she says.

Health experts say more people than ever before, are fighting what’s now being coined “coronasomnia.” And it’s pushing them to explore natural aids for sleep.

Despite rising popularity, CBD is still a generally self-regulated industry. So how do you know what to buy?

“A lot of it is making sure you’re an educated consumer,” says Welsh.

Arianna and Najifa both say you need to look for some baseline standards. Any product you buy should be clear about how much CBD it contains, be third-party tested and verified, and be USA-made.

Experts also say you should avoid buying CBD products at convenience stores and gas stations. Because while it might be more affordable…

“It’s most likely not going to have a therapeutic effect, says Welsh.

And remember, if you’re interested in CBD products but aren’t quite sure if it’s a good fit for you, make sure to do some research and of course, reach out to a medical provider.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.