A chat with local surfboard maker Liam Becker as he catches the CBD wave with his new business Apis Mercantile

By Lorne Chambers | Editor

Last month The Folly Current wrote about local surfer and business owner Liam Becker being honored with the Good Neighbor Award from the City of Charleston for helping save a man from drowning. The man had gotten caught up in a deadly riptide and Becker selflessly sprung into action to save him. Just a few weeks ago, Becker again was up to doing good, helping out with Surfers Healing, an event he has been closely involved in for several years.

With his new business Apis Mercantile, Becker is hoping to help people, but in a slightly different way. While his surfboard building business Shred Season continues to grow, his new venture is tapping into the rise of CBD products, which are now legally available in South Carolina. CBD or cannabidiol is one of the phytocannabinoids associated with the plant genus Cannabis. It should be clear that what Becker and his business partner are doing with CBD is not to be confused with marijuana, which while legal recreationally in nine states and legal for medical usage in 30 states, it remains illegal in South Carolina for any use, medical or otherwise. CBD comes from the same plant, but lacks the primary psychoactive chemical of marijuana.

Sourced from an approved Colorado grower, the CBD used in Apis Mercantile products contains less than .3 percent Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the actual psychoactive chemical in cannabis. So therefore it’s totally legal and there’s plenty of science to suggest that it has many health benefits, effecting appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory.

Apis Mercantile honey can be purchased in or around Folly Beach at Bert’s Market, Bohemian Bull, and Treasure Island Beach Store. Customers can also purchase directly from their website at www.apismercantile.com, which has a treasure-trove of information on the benefits of CBD and about the hemp industry in general

With two businesses to run, volunteering to do, lives to save, and waves to catch, Becker is a hard man to pin down these days. But The Folly Current recently had a chance to catch up with the busy entrepreneur and talk about his new venture. Here is what he had to say:

FOLLY CURRENT: How did you get involved in the CBD business?
LIAM BECKER: A couple of friends and I have been interested in CBD for a few years now, and decided to get serious about starting our own company at the end of 2017.  Speaking with long-term CBD users, cannabis advocates, hemp farmers, and extraction labs helped us to gain a firm understanding of cannabidiol and really inspired us to dive in head-first into the rapidly-expanding industry.

FC:  Why honey?
LB: During college, my business partner and I kept honeybees in our backyard.  Honey has been used for centuries in cultures all over to world for its healing benefits.  The Egyptians included honey in many of their medicines, and Hippocrates, often referred to as “the Father of Medicine,” was a fervent believer of honey as a healing agent.  The numerous benefits of hive ingredients, from honey to beeswax and propolis, seemed like a great match for CBD.  We were really interested in creating a product that allowed our customers to easily incorporate CBD into their daily routines.  Honey can be used as a sugar substitute, a energy-boosting snack, and in countless recipes; It was a match made in heaven, really.

FC: What are some of the benefits of CBD?
LB: There are a lot of claims out there about CBD.  Epidiolex, the first FDA approved CBD medication, is prescribed for seizures and cancer pain, so most medical research is focused on those applications; however, many CBD users report symptomatic relief for a variety of ailments.  Because of the legal status of cannabis in the US, there has not been significant medical research in this field.  Hopefully, as laws become more progressive, there will be ample medical research opportunities for us to better understand the Endocannabinoid System.

FC: What are some of the myths that you would like to dispel about CBD?
LB: Whenever we set up a booth at an event with other CBD vendors, it worries me to see the fantastic claims that some companies will make to sell their product.  There needs to be a greater regulation of medical claims, and more of an effort to educate the consumer in an informed and honest manner.

FC: How has it been going so far locally?
LB: Things have been going really well in the Charleston area!  We like to do pop-up events in the area and have made a few appearances at Bohemian Bull.  The Folly community has been really receptive to our products and incredibly supportive.  We are all very fortunate to live in the place that we do!

FC: What is your long-term vision for Apis Mercantile?
LB: Long-term, we definitely hope to expand our product line.  This week, we will be launching a full-spectrum sublingual tincture we are really excited about.  It contains propolis, which has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial qualities, so its packed with great ingredients.  We also hope to get into topical solutions and have been working on a salve.  The real fun, though, has been growing something that I am passionate about with some great friends.  Ultimately, we’re just hoping to keep growing the hive and spreading good vibes!

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