WASILLA, Alaska (KTUU) - A Wasilla business is combining CBD with different mushroom varieties, providing what it calls a natural medicinal alternative to pharmaceuticals.
Anthony Dellapietro operates CBD retail stores in Alaska. His newest business, NuLyfe Labs, LLC, offers CBD products infused with extracts from different health foods.
"Right here, we have a variety of different mushroom extracts, and plant extracts: bamboo extract, Ashwagandha root, reishi mushrooms, shitake mushrooms," Dellapietro said, leaning over a showcase at his Wasilla store.
Dellapietro says his products can alleviate specific symptoms like chronic pain, anxiety, PTSD … utilizing natural ingredients. He says many assume the mushroom extracts he uses are of the “psychedelic” variety, which is not the case.
"What we're working with specifically are called adaptogenic mushrooms,” Dellapietro said. “They're natural, non-toxic foods that help normalize our body processes."
But it's not necessarily the mushrooms that have health experts' attention. Eliza Muze is the Marijuana Education Program manager with the Alaska Division of Public Health. She says CBD products are not yet regulated by the Food and Drug Administration -- meaning they can't know for certain what you're consuming.
"It's definitely a buyer-beware situation," Muze said. "There's really a lot that we don't know about CBD.”
Muze says retailers should provide a third-party test to confirm the ingredients they're marketing are actually being used in the product. The tests also look for illegal pesticides, mold, etc. Dellapietro says he does perform these tests on his products.
"We want to be ahead of the game, so that when people come and approach us and say 'How are you regulating this?' We've already taken our first steps," he said.
Renea Mcallister is a severe brain trauma survivor with symptoms of anxiety and chronic pain. She says she turned to Dellapietro's product after deciding pharmaceutical drugs were not the answer. That decision has changed her life.
"It takes that edge off. It gives me hope,” Mcallister said. “It picks up my spirits, my energy level … I wasn't getting any of these things from the medications that the pharmaceuticals were giving me. And here, we've got it. And I don't want to let it go."
Dellapietro says he's using his passion for natural remedies to help people, like Mcallister, who can't find solutions in pharmaceutical drugs.
"That's where I get it -- the gratification of helping others and seeing the change that it can bring," Dellapietro said. “And bringing awareness to not only buying a product, but understanding why that product works."
NuLyfe Labs, LLC will have a grand opening by March 5 at the latest, Dellapietro says. He and Mcallister, who is a beekeeper, have infused honey with CBD which will also be sold at the store. He’ll have a kitchen set up where people can watch the process of making his products.
Consumers can find more information about CBD here.
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