by Gisele Rinaldi Siebold
Helping people bring balance to their lives comes naturally to Mitchell Ebert, a health coach and advocate, and his business partner, Joe DaCrema, a reiki master and former nursing professor. DaCrema realized the healing properties of cannabidiol (CBD) when his wife, Marion, used hemp products to help ease the symptoms of her carpal tunnel syndrome. Ebert understood its benefits when it helped him manage his stress and improve his sleep.
The two soon realized that they weren’t alone—the hemp health movement is on the rise, as more and more people are using hemp products for relief from a variety of health conditions, including antibiotic-
resistant infections, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety attacks, diabetes, muscle spasms, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and chronic pain.
In the fall of 2015, DaCrema Botanicals was formed with the mission of making the highest-quality CBD products: natural, safe, with superior therapeutic value and without the side effects of industrial pharmaceuticals. The company is headquartered locally in Plymouth Meeting.
Cannabinoids occur naturally in hemp, a variety of cannabis that has traditionally been grown for its seeds and fiber. The fiber is used for industrial purposes, such as manufacturing clothing, paper, canvas and rope. The seeds are pressed to extract oil, and it’s the oil that possesses the healing properties.
“This botanical is an eco-friendly, renewable resource that has been around for thousands of years,” says Ebert. “The human body’s endocannabinoid system––a group of receptors located in the human brain and central nervous system––recognizes CBD and uses it, not to get high, but to supply the body with what it is lacking. It’s like eating broccoli and getting natural vitamin C from it.”
The CBD used in DaCrema Botanicals products is derived from contaminant-free, GMO-free and pesticide-free agricultural hemp seeds harvested in Eastern Europe. The oil is obtained using a critical carbon dioxide extraction process that does not involve harmful solvents. DaCrema’s topical salve, a healing balm that supports relief from muscle, joint and nerve pain, and accelerates skin and wound healing, is its most popular product. Its highly concentrated CBD drops are also popular for people seeking a holistic option for stress and anxiety.
“Education is key to reaching people that need us,” notes Ebert, “because when you start mentioning cannabis, people can get nervous.” He clarifies, “Industrial hemp and marijuana are both called cannabis sativa, but there are two species of the plant. The shared scientific name is very misleading, because marijuana contains THC, which is responsible for the ‘high’ that recreational users seek. Not all plants that contain cannabinoids contain THC—hemp contains high quantities of cannabinoids, particularly CBD, which contains the healing properties that the users of our products are seeking.”
DaCrema partners with the Hemp Heals Foundation, a nonprofit created by former Philadelphia Flyers player Riley Cote. The foundation aims to teach people about the power of nutrition and sustainable lifestyles and to demystify the hemp plant. One dollar from each purchase goes directly to support the foundation’s efforts.
DaCrema Botanicals products are available online and at many local retail locations. Ebert and DaCrema are now exploring partnerships with local chiropractors, acupuncturists and other alternative therapy providers interested in becoming vendors. In Ebert’s words, “The future of hemp is unlimited.”
Gisele Rinaldi Siebold is a contributing writer to Natural Awakenings. Connect with her at Gisele@NALancaster.com.