Roxanne Benton has a store that sells tools and supplies to people in the aromatherapy industry, so when her teenage son Bevan was diagnosed with ADHD a few years ago, Benton conferred with her close-knit group of friends about which oils they would suggest to help Bevan, in place of medicating him with pharmaceuticals. Their suggestions would eventually lead both mother and son on a transformative journey into the cannabis industry.
When Bevan was in junior high school, his Tourette’s kicked in with a vengeance. Combined with ADHD, Bevan was one unhappy kid.
Bevan’s doctor prescribed him Clonidine, a blood pressure medication, to “chill him out a bit,” Benton says. It didn’t do anything for his anxiety or to help him sleep. It certainly didn’t do anything for his tics or “glitches,” as he and his mom called them.
“Seeing your son twitch uncontrollably with such force — tantamount to whiplash — is horrifying,” says Benton. “I would do anything for him, take any pain I could for him. That’s what moms do.”
Since Benton had been using essential oils in her health and wellness routines, as well as her business, for over six years, she was friends with one of the essential oil industry’s leading chemists, John Taylor. He informed her about a CBD project he was working on in Kentucky.
Naturally, Benton trusted her friend Taylor and considered the idea of allowing Bevan to try some CBD oil. It took a few months, but in July 2016, Benton gave Bevan his first dose of CBD oil.
“CBD was really helpful. That’s for sure,” says Bevan. “The Clonidine didn’t help as much as it promised. It is a blood pressure medication, but I was on it for Tourette’s. After a while, my body got used to it, and I needed more and more of it for it to work. As I grew older, I got worse and worse. I felt sluggish, and tired all the time. Now I am completely medication free and just on CBD. The CBD helps my anxiety a lot. The day before a big test at school, I will take two drops of CBD, and I’ll be fine.”
Benton says that it felt like she had her boy back, “for the first time in a very long time.” She says he was still “glitching,” but not nearly as drastically.
In a phone interview years later, Bevan has a great sense of humor. He mimics an authentic-sounding Scottish accent, and says he wants to start a band, but his dysgraphia sometimes gets in the way of his guitar playing. He good-naturedly describes the trifecta of experiencing dysgraphia, in tandem with Tourette’s and ADHD, “like a Progressive bundle.”
Still, CBD oil has been helping him manage those symptoms. After seeing him a few times once he began taking CBD oil, Bevan’s therapist noticed that his demeanor had changed. He was paying more attention during his sessions, and he seemed to be more “present,” Benton says.
Benton hadn’t mentioned to her son’s therapist that he was taking CBD until the therapist remarked to her that her son was behaving differently.
“I told him about the whole story about my friend, the manufacturer of CBD in Kentucky and how we gave it to Bevan. His therapist said to keep it up!” she says.
Benton was so happy with Bevan’s progress — he is now 15 and a towering 6 feet tall — that she began to spread the news to her aromatherapy followers.
“I already had a small audience, and they were thirsty for knowledge about how this misunderstood plant, this natural product, could help so many with widely varied issues. So, I did what I do best – dug into research and started offering it to my customers.”
These days Benton is helping people realize that CBD is neither a snake oil nor a cure-all. “As I understand it, CBD mainly helps bring our bodies back to homeostasis, so our bodies can work more efficiently,” she says.
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