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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Tips for Buying CBD: Legal Hemp Products Are Welcome Tools for Treating Symptoms

Jun 29, 2018 01:31AM ● By Kazaray Taylor

In recent years there has been growing demand for products made with the oil or extract from CBD (cannabidiol). CBD is a chemical compound naturally occurring in cannabis and hemp — two plant iterations of the same species. Emerging research indicates that CBD reduces depression and anxiety and may be as effective as anti-anxiety pharmaceuticals and antidepressants on the market. Research also shows that CBD reduces pain, inflammation and epileptic seizures, and may help with addiction. 

CBD has a growing legion of fans, despite its high price tag. It takes a lot of hemp to produce a little CBD, and if the company is doing things right, the price also includes the cost of testing. Toxins in the soil are absorbed by growing hemp plants and concentrated during the CBD extraction process. So when it comes to CBD, organic hemp is preferred.

New York law requires that over-the-counter CBD products be derived from industrial hemp, which contains less than 0.3 percent of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in CBD’s biological cousin, marijuana. The industry is not regulated, so in order to get safe, high-quality CBD, buy it from a trusted source so you’ll know what you’re getting.

Recently Natural Awakenings asked three local experts for their tips on shopping for CDB products.

Flying Off the Shelves

Nagi Wissa, a registered pharmacist and owner of Lake Mahopac Pharmacy, says CBD oil is a hot item these days. It’s so popular that he’s been out of stock for two months and is scrambling to get it back on the shelves.

“It’s a huge science now,” he says. “Everyone’s talking about it.”

He says the reason for its surging popularity is that it reduces pain and inflammation and eases cancer-related symptoms such as nausea.” His store sells CBD oils, creams and pills, none of which cause euphoric effects. The different formulations serve different purposes, he says.

“Depending on the ailment, when people come in, we make a suitable recommendation,” he says. “If someone has elbow pain, for example, we’d would steer them towards a cream.”

A Broad-Spectrum Treatment

Shira Adler, the local author of The ABCs of CBD: The Essential Guide for Parents (and regular folks too), says that because of its nature, CBD helps relieve a broad variety of symptoms.

“The endocannabinoid receptor system, which is how all mammals are wired to receive CBD and the rest of the cannabinoid family, creates homeostasis in the body,” she says. “The endocannabinoid system basically regulates all of our other systems. Since the underlying symptomology of every challenge, issue, ailment and state of disease is inflammation, if nothing else, consider CBD your best ally to address inflammation.”

As a CBD educator, advocate, and entrepreneur, Adler speaks locally and nationally about CBD and the hemp and cannabis industries from a holistic perspective. Through her business, Shira Synergy, she sells CBD oil and other products, which together form a holistic CBD wellness system. Her CBD tinctures range from 1,000 to 3,000 mg. per bottle. She also sells CBD Body Butter and Shira Synergy Aromatherapy Sprays, CBD-infused proprietary blends of essential oils (Clear, Center, Nurture, Inspire, Smile). “Many more products coming,” she says.

Right now, there are a few really good companies that sell CBD products, and many not-so-good ones, she notes, adding, “The fact is, not all CBD is equal, or even legal.” She recommends learning the basics before buying any CBD product.

In general, she says, you get what you pay for. “Sure, you can grab a lower-dose CBD product in a one-milliliter bottle (the standard size) of CBD for not a lot, but then you’re not getting a lot of CBD. It could be highly diluted, mixed with too high of the MCT (one of the usual carrier bases), or in a delivery method that doesn't really get into your system to do what CBD is designed to do to support your vibrant wellness.” 

A Happy Customer

Like many people who sell CBD products, Marcie Manfredonia Siciliano, owner of Custom Candle, in Bedford Hills, got into the CBD business because she was a happy customer. She had suffered from chronic pain, fibromyalgia, inflammation and anxiety for years, and felt she was running out of options, until the day she discovered CBD.

“From the moment I was introduced to CBD, it changed my quality of life drastically,” she says.  “The hype is real.” Now she sells CBD in her Bedford Hills store.

“There are many brands on the market, but the most well-known and sought-after companies manufacturing CBD products are Charlotte’s Web and Healthy Hemp,” she says. “The forms vary from liquid drops and edibles to creams, candles and diffusers.”

Custom Candle now carries a wide selection of CBD products, including gummies, edibles, creams, lotions, candles, diffusers and more.

What does the future of CBD look like?

“Where we are now … with CBD and the entire cannabis-hemp industry is just the beginning,” Adler says. 

Lake Mahopac Pharmacy ( is located at 559 Rte. 6, Mahopac, NY. Shira Adler ( can be reached at 888.392.5242, and her book, The ABCs of CBD, is available on Amazon. Custom Candle Co ( is located at 25 Depot Plaza, Bedford Hills, NY.