Bela Flor Apothecary offers holistic healing

On a breezy spring day, Melanie Giffen pauses as she recalls the details of the path she’s taken in bringing her healing cannabinoid (CBD) oil products to her customers.

Teaming up with her husband, Brian Giffen, to formulate CBD products wasn’t the end goal either imagined at the start, but through a natural progression, they have founded Bela Flor Apothecary. Their skills naturally come together to deliver high quality CBD infused products in a variety of mediums. 

Melanie’s education in holistic arts began in 2005 when she first left Bethany Beach, Delaware to study shiatsu and healing with whole food at The Heartwood Institute in Garberville, California.

“I’ve always had that calling to enter the healing path.” Melanie recalls.

Since then, her education has encompassed a broad spectrum of practices including being a reiki practitioner, certified herbalist, aromatherapist and being certified in organic skincare formulation. 

“When I met Brian,” Melanie explains, “he was steeped in cannabis culture and had a clear reverence for the healing power of this plant. It was very inspiring to see his passion.”

Brian’s belief in the medicinal powers of cannabis had a big influence on Melanie’s view of the plant and the ways in which she would begin to incorporate it in her own formulation of products. 

In 2011, settled in Brown Valley, California, Brian was in the process of learning to distill and create essential oil of cannabis. As Melanie watched the long, arduous process of learning to take the tender cannabis flowers and make a high quality oil, her interest reached a peak.

“I wondered about what the effect of cannabinoids—what we now know as CBD—would be if you used them topically blended with the essential oil of hemp. No one was really doing that at the time, but I wanted to give it a try.”

As a result, Melanie went on to create body butter for her own use and loved it. The soothing effect of CBD and hemp essential oil on the skin felt amazing, and she knew she wanted to share this with others. 

Over the next two years, she continued to tweak the levels of essential oils, working through trial and error to nail the perfect scent profile, and craft a creamy, moisturizing balm.

With the birth of her first products, Moroccan Cedar and African Rose scented Body Butter + CBD, came the official opening of their business, Bela Flor Apothecary, named for the couple’s daughter. 

It happened to coincide with CBD’s own flourishing in the public eye, as people across the country were being introduced to the concept of topical CBD.

“I was also already formulating my pain salve, which really makes use of all my skills as an herbalist and aromatherapist.”

Things were really beginning to pick up steam for Bela Flor, and that was when they added CBD oil for internal use. 

“It’s been wonderful to see the evolution happening,” says Melanie. “The internal use of CBD is mainstream now, and the internal CBD oil, I feel, is one of the most beneficial holistic products on the market today.”

Boasting positive effects from stress reduction to digestive health to pain relief, the CBD products that the Giffens are creating are infused with hemp essential oil, which work with the CBD isolate to create a broad spectrum product, packed with beneficial terpenes. 

“One of the greatest gifts in doing this work,” Melanie says, “is being able to bring this wonderful, healing product to people who need it. It is a responsibility that both Brian and I feel called to answer.”

The Giffens are hard at work perfecting more sustainable products, and consulting with clients to find them the best CBD regimens for their individualized needs. Their family business, Bela Flor Apothecary, is accessible online at