Headshot of Alan Greenberg, Owner of CBD Garage, an online retailer of high-quality CBD hemp products.
CBD Garage logo. CBD Garage is a supporting member of the Leaf411 nurse hotline.

Medically reviewed by Katherine Golden, RN
Written by Denise Rustning

For many of us, our response to COVID-19 is an extension of work we were already doing before this virus hit—helping our communities, improving access to high-quality legal cannabis and CBD hemp products, and playing our part in building a sustainable, equitable industry.

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re proud of the steps that our Leaf411 supporting members are taking to ensure the safety of both employees and consumers as they continue to provide access to plant-based medicine. We really do believe that our members https://leaf411.org/member-directory/ are the best in the industry, and hope that you’ll consider supporting them when shopping. As a reminder, we vet all our members to ensure their products are fully compliant and lab-tested.

Today we’re talking with Alan Greenberg, founder of CBD Garage, an online retailer of high-quality, lab-tested Colorado-based CBD hemp products. Alan shares how he came to the CBD hemp space, products he’s most excited about, and some of the ways he’s working to ensure safe, affordable CBD hemp in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. This access is critical to people living in areas with stay-at-home orders, where most retail outlets selling high quality CBD hemp are closed.

From Nutrition to CBD Hemp

People come to CBD hemp from many different backgrounds. We asked Alan about his background as a nutritionist and how that connects to his work in the CBD hemp industry.

Alan explains, “I started out as a nutritionist. In 2017, I attended an event in Boulder, Colorado, called Functional Forum, which is a mini-medical conference put on by the Evolution of Medicine. During an afterhours gathering at the conference, I met a rep from Elixinol. I’d heard about CBD hemp oil, but I don’t come from the marijuana world, so I was kind of oblivious about what was going on with medical and recreational marijuana.”

“The Elixinol rep asked me, ‘Hey, have you heard of CBD hemp?’ She then started talking about the endocannabinoid system and the research done by Ethan Russo, a neuroscientist who’s one of the founders of the movement. I went home and read an article about endocannabinoid deficiency syndrome, which connected fibromyalgia, migraines and IBS.”

This knowledge led him to suggest CBD to a close family member who found that it provided relief. From there, Alan continued researching the endocannabinoid system, as well as reaching out to experts in the field who were successfully using CBD to treat patients and veterans.

“Nutritionists and functional medicine doctors have thousands of supplements available to them,” he says. “CBD is another tool in the tool bag, but this tool is completely different. CBD is really unique in the fact that it plugs into the endocannabinoid system. That’s where it really gets interesting.”

Like Dr. Dave Gordon and our own Leaf nurses, Alan recognizes that CBD provides another avenue of healing for people and works best in conjunction with other positive lifestyle changes.

“If you’re taking CBD and want to fully relieve your symptoms, as you feel better you should start thinking about moving more, finding stress relief or eating better. All these things are complementary to the use of CBD,” he says.

The CBD Garage Difference: High Quality CBD Hemp from Colorado Companies

With federal legalization of CBD hemp products containing less than 0.3% THC, thousands of new CBD manufacturers and retailers have entered the market. One of the biggest challenges in the marketplace is finding businesses and products you can trust. 

“CBD Garage is a curated seller of artisan crafted products from Colorado. I like to say that if you want to buy whiskey, you go to Tennessee. If you want to buy cheese, you go to Vermont or Wisconsin. If you want to buy cannabis, you go to Colorado.” 

Alan went on to explain how Colorado’s long history of cannabis has positively impacted CBD hemp in the state. Many of the cannabis cultivators and extractors have expanded to CBD hemp, bringing their knowledge of the plant and extraction processes.

“These are some of the early pioneers. They built their companies from scratch. And the fact that they’re still around says something about them. I have personal relationships with all these great growers and manufacturers of products here in Colorado where it started.” 

“At CBD Garage, we know where our product is coming from. We know who’s making it.”

I was just fortunate to be able to meet all these people all along the way and build up a collection of great manufacturers on our website. You’ll see products that are local to us that aren’t the big national brands. But these people are probably some of the best in the industry at making CBD hemp products.”

CBD Garage’s Catherine Greener and Alan Greenberg standing together outside with Justin Marvonek and Dan Moriaty from Sun Horse Energy.
CBD Garage’s Catherine Greener and Alan Greenberg (center) with Justin Marvonek (left) and Dan Moriaty (right) from Sun Horse Energy. Dan is a third generation herbalist, and is the owner and formulator at Sun Horse Energy.

The Promise of Other Adaptogens and Medicinal Plants

We asked Alan about the types of products he’s most excited about, and learned about how products are combining CBD with other adaptogens—herbs which have been used medicinally for thousands of years.

“For the immune system, I love Boulder Hemp products that combine CBD hemp oil with medicinal mushrooms,” he says.

“We also have products that combine CBD hemp with adaptogens. Adaptogens are a class of botanicals that help the body adapt to stress. Every time you reduce stress in the body, you help to charge your immune system. When you combine adaptogens with CBD, it’s a great compliment. Cannadapt from Sun Horse Energy has several great CBD hemp adaptogenic formulas, including one with Kava Kava. They also just released a new product called Lung Support. It is a combination of adaptogens with immune and lung support botanicals.” 

“Also, Quicksilver Scientific has their CBD Synergies line which combines a lot of their existing nutraceuticals and botanicals.”

The Need for CBD Education Continues to Grow

Despite growing acceptance of CBD hemp products, there’s still a lot of misinformation out there. Every day, we get questions on the Leaf411 hotline that reinforce the need for balanced, scientifically-based education on both CBD hemp and marijuana products sold in legal dispensaries. 

On the CBD hemp front, CBD Garage provides robust education on CBD and the endocannabinoid system to the public. This includes an education section on the website and phone and chat support available to both customers and to people who have CBD questions but haven’t bought products from the website. They also partner with Leaf411 to provide guidance and answers to customers’ specific medical questions.

“Every product is a little bit different,” Alan says. “Depending on who manufactures the product, if they’re getting their cannabis from the same source or growing it themselves, everybody grows their plants differently. Everyone has a different genetic mix of the different hemp plants. Companies have different extraction techniques, whether it’s liquid infusion or alcohol extraction or CO2 extraction. These factors create different profiles for products.”

As a result, a product may not work for everyone the same way. You may need to try different products before finding what works best for you.

Education around different types of CBD hemp products and finding the best dose are also areas where Alan sees a need.

“There’s no magical dose. There are general protocols that we use, but everybody’s a little bit different. ‘Do I take CBD three times a day? Do I take CBD at night? Do I like a broad spectrum without THC? Am I better off with the THC in a full spectrum product?’”

“I suggest to people to keep track of what you’re using. Start with some guidelines and then work from there. When you’re starting out, you have to be patient.”

Alan explains that while some people experience positive effects on their first day of using CBD hemp, it may take longer for others.

“I had an uncle who tried CBD on a daily basis. He told me that he didn’t feel anything for two weeks and all of a sudden—bam—it kicked in. He was on the treadmill walking and didn’t even notice he passed the point where he couldn’t previously walk because his legs hurt.”

“Your benefit after a month is going to be different than your benefit after three months or after a year, because your body changes.”

Partnering with Leaf411 to Provide Medically-Sound Education

Alan recognizes that the voice of trained medical professionals is also invaluable, which led him to partner with Leaf411 as a supporting member.

“I’m not a licensed medical professional, nor are a lot of people selling CBD hemp oil. We can help people through general use of CBD as an adult, but specific medical questions are outside our scope of practice. Leaf411 provides licensed medical professionals who can answer those really detailed questions,” he says.

“For anyone under 21 or 18 who is considering using CBD, they should talk to a medical professional first, because children are much different than adults. If somebody is calling for their child, I always encourage them to talk to Leaf411. You need a licensed healthcare practitioner to talk to who has the experience and education to understand what’s going on (with your child).”

CBD Garage offers a list of resources including the free Leaf411 hotline as well as private practitioners who provide cannabis consultations for a fee.

Close up of showing hands with rubber cleaning gloves on, spraying disinfectant and cleaning metal table top.

How CBD Garage is Keeping Customers Safe During the COVID-19

Many of us are under stay-at-home orders. As a result, online ordering has surged in certain categories, including groceries, medicine and supplements. 

But how do you know if the companies you’re ordering from are using safe handling practices? 

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that, “The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.” 

Even with that reassurance, many online businesses are taking extra disinfection steps. We asked Alan what extra precautions CBD Garage is taking to reduce risk of infection. 

“At CBD Garage, we’ve always kept a clean environment. We’re doing more disinfecting of all the surfaces, the mouse, the keyboard and the tables now. Also, we’ve begun wearing gloves while packing orders—that’s new.”

“One thing great about us is we don’t use a fulfillment center. We pack every order ourselves. You don’t have to worry about who’s packing your items. We have the same people processing orders every day, following the same protocols. It’s a very controlled environment.”

You can learn more about the precautions that CBD Garage is taking at this link.

Extending CBD Hemp Discounts to All CBD Garage Customers

When we talked to Alan, he recognized that many people are facing financial difficulties that could lead to tough decisions around medications and wellness products, including CBD hemp.

“We understand that people are going through some serious financial hardships these days,” he says.

In response, he opened up the paid membership-based Buyer’s Club so that it’s now available as a free benefit for all customers, with no joining fees, monthly fees or renewal charges. Buyer’s Club members get a 25% discount on everything in the CBD Garage store.

Buyer’s Club members also receive 25% off supplements sold on the Fullscript and Wellevate online stores, if you link to those sellers through the CBD Garage links (more info in the “Support” section here).

Graphic showing computer screen with words “25% Off” and CBD Garage logo. Discount available through CBD Garage Buyers Club.
3/31 Correction: The Buyer's Club discount being extended to all customers is for 20% off all products, not 25% as originally reported.

Leaf411 Can Help With Your Questions

At Leaf411, we’re thrilled to have members like CBD Garage who share our ethos of professionalism, kindness, and commitment to CBD hemp consumers. 

While CBD Garage offers education on CBD hemp products, we know not all businesses are able to do that right now. 

In some cases, businesses are closed. In other cases, they may be working under very restrictive conditions that limit interaction with customers, meaning that questions don’t get answered.

Leaf411 can help! Whether you have questions about CBD hemp products, legal marijuana sold at dispensaries, or even about COVID-19, our fully-licensed registered nurses (RNs) have the education and experience to provide balanced information and guidance. Call us for free at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411).

The Leaf411 cannabis nurse hotline provides free, anonymous education and directional support to the general public about the safe use of legal cannabis. We partner with select business members who meet our rigorous standards to extend our education and outreach efforts.