After 10 years of active duty in the United States Marine Corps and two tours in Iraq, Grant Carstensen came home with more than he had bargained for. As with many veterans coming home after long tours serving his country, he was diagnosed with PTSD.
As he was dealing with his own struggle, he began to look for other ways for help, and he found out about CBD, cannabidiol. In 2016, Grant made the leap and founded Citizen CBD to provide quality CBD products that can benefit more veterans and patients like him.
Carstensen told us in our conversation:
"When I was self-medicating I was basically trying to focus on myself getting better. But once I got out of the Marine Corps, I saw people who are near and dear to me go through different situations. As you may know, Marines tend to gravitate towards each other and you’ll see kids or young adults who were 23-24 and they’re turning to hard drugs and alcoholism. That's when I tried to talk to them and say ‘You should check this out’."
Citizen CBD was created out of a vision to help other veterans and people obtain relief outside of the often abused opioids and other harmful drugs.
“I always knew I wanted to start a business I just didn't know what business. What I ended up doing was focusing on what kind of business would be more helpful to people like me. I knew that CBD was working for me, and it could work for others too.”
Helping veterans is something that Citizen CBD has always strived for and has done wonders for the community.
“Our slogan is ‘a new kind of better’ and that's something we really believe in. That relief doesn't have to come from the traditional way of getting better. It's a new way of thinking about this great plant and a new way of healing yourself.”
The benefits of CBD to one’s body have been proven time and time again. Unfortunately, given that CBD is extracted from a little plant called cannabis, people tend to have a negative view about CBD and CBD products. Citizen CBD is trying to change that.
“At Citizen, we are really trying to expand this industry into a “normal” option for everybody from moms, to baby boomers, to athletes, or people suffering from PTSD. Something that can be for everybody.”
To Carstensen, Citizen CBD above all is for the people.
When asked about the feedback he has received from some of his customers, Carstensen said:
We have a gentleman who was one of our first customers, he is a Vietnam Veteran and the only thing he ever wanted to do was get on the golf course again. I received great news about three months ago when he told me he was able to get out there and hit the ball again. He had major arthritis in his hands which caused inflammation making him unable to golf anymore. And now he is, so that is awesome!
Citizen CBD has three main goals that set them apart from other companies. The first is quality. Citizen CBD only provides the highest quality CBD products. All their products are third-party tested, to ensure consistently crisp, clean, and effective products.
The second is the philanthropic side of their company. 10% of all the profits they make are donated to helping wounded veterans.
“We usually choose a foundation to focus on and give donations to and at the moment that foundation is the ‘We Defy Foundation’ that can be found on our website.”
The We Defy Foundation is a foundation “to improve the lives of mentally and physically disabled combat veterans.”
Lastly, Citizen CBD strives to provide the best customer service. Carstensen wants to invest in the customer experience to make sure that the customers are pleased with not just the products, but also with the service.
Carstensen said about his philosophy about customer service:
We treat people like people and not like customers. We understand that the majority of these people are coming to us because there's something wrong with them or something wrong with a family member they love. We listen to them, and we try to take care of them and have done special things for special people that may not have been able to afford what they were looking for. We work with people, they are not just numbers.
Citizen CBD not only helps bring relief to our brave man and woman returning home from combat but also helps those who are looking for a better alternative.
“We are trying to really establish a strong foundation based on loyalty and people are not going to be loyal to a company that is just looking to stuff cash in their pockets. We are a people-oriented company and that is our driver.”
Citizen CBD helps bring CBD into a brighter light and to reduce the stigma surrounding finding relief with CBD and other cannabis products. We at Slyng wish Carstensen and his team at Citizen CBD the best, and we want to support them in their mission to help people. We know that serving your country doesn’t stop when one’s active duty ends, it is just a new beginning.
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