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Kasey Chavez and her fiancée, Jessica Gurule, are the owners of Central Jive, a teahouse on Old Town Plaza. At Central Jive patrons are treated to an assortment of tasty, all-natural herbal teas (hot or cold) that cater to a variety of needs—and they’re all infused with a healthy dose of CBD. We asked Kasey what it’s like to run such a novel tea shop.

The Rolling Paper: What inspired you to start a CBD Tea Company specifically?

Kasey Chavez: To be quite honest, it’s the teas. I’ve always been a firm believer in teas and herbs. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself an herbalist, but I’ve definitely had a passion for it. For years on end, I’ve been giving friends and families teas for just about everything.

We got really lucky because my fiancée Jessica’s cousin has a CBD farm, and I know CBD on a whole other level, because I am a CBD and hemp educator. So I know the benefits that CBD produces all on its own. But with CBD oil—it’s just that it usually has a really thick, nasty texture, or it leaves a really bad residue in your mouth—so we use the herb version of CBD instead. It’s a little different. But with the herb version, it’s at its most potent, and it really meshes with our teas well.

Is there any special benefits to drinking CBD in tea form as opposed to other methods?

You have to think about it hitting your bloodstream directly. Basically, when you’re using tinctures under the tongue or adding it to something, it usually takes at least an hour to three hours for it to actually hit your system. When it’s something that’s hitting your direct bloodstream, it usually takes about 30 minutes—maybe an hour at the most. So it’s definitely more of an instant relief, which is nice because our teas provide a really nice benefit. The CBD is a kind of double whammy for blood circulation and muscle and joint pain relief.

Does the CBD have a noticeable flavor at all?

No it doesn’t. When we first get our CBD, we buy it by the pound. We would get what you would call, like, the shake version of CBD, so it’s already broken down. We then extract that CBD taste, so that you don’t taste any CBD in our teas at all. You only taste the herbs in the tea. Everything’s plant-based, so you taste the dandelion root, and you taste the ginger, and you taste the turmeric. You taste those things. You’ll never taste CBD in any of our teas.

How is running a CBD company different from other ventures that you’ve been involved in?

I think owning the company, in general is … a lot. CBD, in particular, is very misunderstood, and it’s intimidating to people. So I think trying to get through to that right crowd and that right audience that you want to target is hard. It’s an everyday challenge to be completely honest. It involves educating people every single day on what CBD is and what it can do for you. It’s a constant lesson every single day. It’s almost taking a position as a teacher, walking into this place. And even though it’s just a CBD tea shop, there’s still so many things that you have to fall in line with, you know.

Do you have any advice for folks looking to enter the CBD industry?

Honestly, it was intimidating—even as a business owner. CBD is intimidating. There’s still not much information about it—even though it was legalized. I don’t think that there’s enough information about it to tell people exactly what it does and what it’s good for. Everything has its pros and cons. You know, the only cons about CBD that I really know about is the taste. Everything else about it is so beneficial.

So honestly—if someone’s thinking about it or wanting to do it—just do it. It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of things—a lot of details that you’ve got to pay attention to. We get people that even come in, and they say, “I have experienced THC, is CBD exactly like it?” Or, “Is CBD going to get me high?” There’s just so many questions and questions. So educate yourself before you go in. That way you feel comfortable, and you feel confident as the teacher that your students will go to.

There are still some legal uncertainties when it comes to operating CBD businesses. Do you think that the FDA will ease up on its restrictions anytime soon?

You can only hope. I genuinely hope that they do. I don’t know if they will. It would be really nice if they start seeing the different benefits of CBD uses, because, like I said, it can be used in so many different ways. It has so many different benefits just by itself. I think the people behind the desk—I can only hope with fingers crossed that they educate themselves on what it does and the different forms and uses of it. It’s not only your basic CBD oil tincture, put it into something, and that’s that. There’s just so many different options that are extremely beneficial that I don’t think a lot of people get the chance to learn about.

Central Jive is located in Historic Old Town at 928 San Felipe St. SW. For hours of operation, please visit their website at https://centraljive.wixsite.com/my-site

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