ELLSWORTH — Physical and mental health can be closely connected, and High Tide Holistics takes on both. Certified as a fitness trainer and near certification as a nutrition coach, Gary Runnells’ storefront at 42 Downeast Highway offers fitness supplements and his own line of cannabidiol, or CBD, products as “The New Wave of Wellness.”
Gary Runnells moved to the area in 2019 from Canaan to help build a CBD processing facility in Blue Hill. It opened in January of 2020, but 14 months later, with his wife, Holly, Runnells began branding their own CBD tinctures, salves and creams under High Tide Holistics. The store had a “very soft opening” in April, Runnells said.
CBD has become a popular treatment for everything from seizures and chronic pain to minor aches, skin conditions, anxiety, insomnia and depression. It does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, the cannabinoid that has a psychoactive effect, better known as getting high.
Runnells said CBD has helped he and Holly with sleep issues, and his infant son with a serious skin condition.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved only one CBD product to treat seizures associated with specific conditions.
For his High Tide Holistics line of CBD products, Runnells sources organic hemp and uses a CO2 extracting process to isolate the CBD. His full spectrum tincture, which contains multiple cannabis plant extracts, terpenes and other cannabinoids, is sourced from locally grown hemp. His CBD products come in all forms: tinctures of different strengths, gummy candies, creams and salves and beverages. The store also carries a line of CBD supplements for pets.
But there is one more cannabinoid that, while not as well known as CBD, Runnells thinks has worthwhile benefits: cannabigerol, or CBG. Like CBD, it is not psychoactive, and has been shown to help with pain and inflammation, and in killing the MRSA bacteria. So Runnells also carries CBG extracts, as well as CBD/CBG blends.
Runnells is also passionate about working out, so he added several lines of fitness supplements to High Tide Holistics.
“We realized we needed more,” Runnells said. “We weren’t going to be able to survive just off our CBD offerings.”
Nitrous oxide boosters, amino acids, branch chain amino acids and creatine powder help make for a fuller service store, and Runnells said his personal trainer certification goes hand in hand with the offerings.
“One protein isn’t the same as another,” he said. “I can navigate clients through the world of supplements.”
As a personal trainer, Runnells works with his clients at MXA Fitness in the Maine Coast Mall. And, with a 4- and 7-year-old at home, he and Holly stay busy. Next is certifying their own home kitchen for processing.
“We’re insanely careful with what we do,” he said.
High Tide Holistics is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 42 Downeast Highway, and also offers its CBD products online at hightideholistics.com.