Jennifer Polak, founder of Canna Infuzions, had always harnessed an innate passion for helping people. She had worked as a respiratory therapist in critical care for more than a decade. Then, she faced her own wellness challenge, postpartum depression, and she found little relief from prescription anti-depressants. Eventually, she heard about cannabidiol (CBD), and she decided to give it a try.
“It really helped me,” Polak relates. “I had to share my experience with others.” That sharing included a Facebook page that advocates and informs people about cannabinoids. During that time, she had also been dabbling with herbal apothecary remedies to help treat her son’s eczema. “He had been prescribed a topical that contains a derivative of chemotherapy. That was a turn-off, so that’s how I stated making my own products.”
Those two experiences converged into Canna Infuzions, Polak’s e-commerce business that offers handcrafted CBD products including tinctures, salves, pain balms, teas and more. Polak crafts her CBD-infused items in a licensed commercial kitchen space in South Milwaukee. She has a processor’s license and a grower’s license, and she sources raw product from Wisconsin hemp farmers. In addition to online sales, Canna Infuzions products can be found at Hazy Days, Bayview Wellness, CBD Therapeutics of Wisconsin, Canni Hemp and Beyond Full Spectrum.
“I think a lot of people who are interested in CBD are looking for natural alternatives to conventional medicine,” Polak observes. Since launching the business in March 2018, she has been able to quit her respiratory therapist job and run Canna Infuzions full-time and hire two part-time employees. Her journey toward entrepreneurship, particularly in a fledgling industry, has not been the competitive, cutthroat experience sometimes associated with the business world.
“This is truly a grassroots family mentality,” Polak says of Wisconsin’s cannabis industry. “There’s not one day that goes by that I don’t get a message from a grower, a processor or a brick-and-mortar store. Polak says she’s part of a “family” that also works with the Wisconsin chapter of National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
RELATED: Tickets are now on sale for our first-ever WI Cannabis Expo to be held Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020 at the Wisconsin Center. The one-day expo will feature exhibitors and talks by experts in the cannabis, CBD and hemp industry. For more information, visit WICannabisExpo.com.
Canna Infuzions’ full-spectrum tinctures are made with CBD sourced from Dane County, Wis., and is also processed in Wisconsin. Her processor uses ethanol extraction, which grabs properties of the entire cannabis plant including phytonutrients and terpenes.
Other products include organically produced salve available in four varieties, all infused with herbs and essential oils. The “pain” formula contains capsaicin and arnica, which produces a warming effect. The “menthol” pain salve is cooling, with nutrient-rich hemp seed oil and arnica. The “healing” salve has tea tree oil and is formulated for skin issues such as eczema and psoriasis.
Polak developed the “soothing” pain salve during her time as a respiratory therapist while working with patients with neuropathy. She also has a CBD artisan tea line, made with locally manufactured Urbal Tea. She also offers some products like CBD gummies, pet treats and soft gels made by other companies because she doesn’t have the manufacturing capacity to make those items.
Polak has seen strides in societal acceptance of cannabis, particularly in the CBD arena. “More people understanding that there’s no high (with CBD) and there are medicinal benefits. I hear from parents considering CBD for their children and from people interested in purchasing it for their elderly parents.”
As for further cannabis legalization, Polak points to the 2018 advisory referendums as proof that Wisconsin is ready for all forms of cannabis. “I think Wisconsinites are disappointed that it [full legalization] hasn’t happened here yet. We’re surrounded by Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan—states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana—and our people here want it. I hope our state legislature is listening.”
For more information, visit cannainfuzionscbd.com. Information is this article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Consult a healthcare professional regarding the use of any treatment.