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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

The Rules of CBD: Ask the Right Questions, Know the Product, and Buy from a Trusted Resource

Feb 26, 2020 01:55PM ● By Marilee Burrell


by Allison Gorman


Over just a few years, cannabidiol, or CBD, went from the sidelines to center stage in the world of natural medicine. There’s a lot of info out there, and a lot of products out there too. So we asked some local experts to help us navigate this new landscape in plant-based health.

Marcie Manfredonia


CBD Live Natural

Bedford, NY

Marcie Manfredonia, Founder


What’s your mission?

At CBD Live Natural, we strive to bring our customers to the best all-natural products. We want them to feel their best and know that there’s a solution to change their quality of life so that they can live naturally without prescription drugs. We have both a physical and online presence, with our flagship store located in Bedford Hills, and our website,


What should people know about CBD?

Although you can find CBD anywhere, we truly care about our customers’ questions and concerns and respond to inquiries the best we can. We believe it’s important to educate our customers on the products that we offer so they can choose the best product to fit their needs, along with their doctor’s approval. There are no dumb questions. We encourage our customers to ask for information to help them decide on the product that’s best for them.


What CBD products do you carry?

Our CBD products are 100 percent organic, vegan and GMP certified. We offer oils, gummies, pain-relief creams, vapes, capsules, edibles, bubble baths, face and body lotion, and bath salts. In addition to our original line, CBD Live Natural, we also carry other well-known brands like Charlotte’s Web, Re-Live, Giraffe Nuts, Happy Goose Hemp, CBD Living, CBDMedic and Bimble.


What are your top sellers?

Sublingual tinctures—CBD oils that are taken under the tongue, so they’re more quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. For localized pain, CBD cream is the preferred product because of how quickly it provides relief.


What’s new?

Recently we launched our men’s line, which includes beard oil, skin cream and candles.


Location: 25 Depot Plaza, Bedford Hills, NY. Info: 914.218.8357, More Info.



Mark Frieder


CBD Source NY

Mark Frieder, Owner


What’s your mission?

We curate a collection of quality CBD products and supply them to local retailers. We also provide products to consumers who live too far away to patronize our retailers.


What should people know about CBD?

There are a ton of CBD products on the market today, so it can be hard to decide which one’s right for you. Try to patronize local businesses—and ask questions. Ask about the hemp used in the CBD products; make sure it’s grown to be free of pesticides and heavy metals. Ask for a Certificate of Analysis, so you can see for yourself whether it’s a clean product. If you can’t get the COA from the manufacturer, move on. 


What products do you carry?

We stock tinctures and topicals, some of which are derived from New York State-grown hemp. We are very proud to sell products from Empire Hemp Co., a New York state-licensed manufacturer utilizing hemp grown in New York. We also have products from Utah and just introduced some tinctures from Hawaii. 


What are your top sellers? 

Tinctures. They’re a very direct way to ingest hemp extracts and help the whole body. Topicals work wonderfully when there is a specific area to treat. Most people like the fact that when they use a whole-body approach, they get other benefits they weren’t expecting.


What’s new? 

The new buzz is CBG, a cannabinoid that’s the precursor to all the other cannabinoids in the hemp plant. I’ve heard it called the stem cell of CBD. 


Info: 914.393.3518, More Info.



The Pharm Stand

Armonk, NY, and Ridgefield, CT

Rachael Hojnacki, Wellness Consultant


What’s your mission?

The Pharm Stand is a wellness boutique with two brick-and-mortar stores as well as an online store. We sell a range of CBD products, including tinctures and oils, edibles, pet products, beauty products and much more. I provide CBD education and product information to customers. When a customer comes into the store, we have a chat and go over their issues and needs, and then I direct them to the product that will hopefully help address their ailments. We provide every customer an individualized experience to get them the best relief.


What should people know about CBD?

That we at The Pharm Stand have found tremendous relief using CBD products from the companies we sell here. We want to educate the communities that we serve.


What products do you carry? 

We carry a wide range of products in each category—full spectrum, broad spectrum and CBD isolate. Finding the best fit depends on personal preference. We have tinctures and oils, a variety of topicals, gummies, honey, chocolates, teas, coffees, sprays, pet products and beauty products. Every company provides a Certificate of Authenticity that you can check out in store or through a QR code on the product box, ensuring the quality and accuracy of the product’s ingredients. Some products are local, and they all are national, derived from organically grown hemp.


What are your top sellers?

Our top-selling full-spectrum products are the Luce Farms 1500mg tincture and the Plant People Relief Balm. They both have a high milligram of CBD and are strong and potent, which is what some of our customers aim for in their products. Some of our other bestsellers are the Press Pause Muscle & Joint Cream (CBD isolate); the Joy Tinctures (broad spectrum); and Hath patches (CBD isolate). These are big sellers because they’re well priced and effective in providing anxiety and pain relief.


Anything new?

Our second store, in Ridgefield, will be opening up a back room for various events and workshops, coming soon.


Location: 15 Maple Ave., Armonk, NY, and 470 Main St., Ridgefield, CT. Info: 914.219.4360, More Info.




Synergy by Shira Adler

Shira Adler, CEO


What’s your mission?

As the founder of one of the first New York-based holistic wellness and CBD companies (established in 2011), we’re dedicated to modern alchemy—utilizing ancient plant-based wisdom for modern challenges.  My mission also includes serving the Hempire State and nationally, as a highly vetted industry pioneer, author (The ABCs of CBD: The Essential Guide), consultant, speaker, educator and CBD expert. I also serve as an elected director for the Hemp Industries Association New York chapter (, the industry’s oldest professional trade organization, launched in 1994 (


What should people know about CBD?

I urge consumers to read labels carefully and then research the company. Just because it’s a bigger brand, doesn’t mean its products are better. And just because it says it has CBD in its product, doesn’t mean it actually does. If you want to learn more, read The ABCs of CBD: The Essential Guide and watch the webinar “2020 NY Hemp Law Explained (NYS Assembly Bill A8977)” on


What products do you carry?

We have the only CBD-infused aromatherapy Synergy Spray series, designed to “bring balance back.” Our five Synergy Sprays—proprietary blends called Clear, Center, Nurture, Inspire and Smile—remain the foundation of our holistic regimen, which includes full-spectrum, high-milligram tinctures (1000mg, 1500mg, 3000mg); and Bliss Butter, a shea butter topical that’s infused with 10 essential oils and 500mg, full-spectrum CBD. We use only superior-quality, U.S.-grown hemp with less than 0.3 percent THC, full-spectrum cannabinoids, and organic high-vibrational-frequency essential oils that are meticulously crafted with exceptional purity, and third-party tested by one of the most trusted U.S. labs.  


What are your top sellers?

Our top-selling tincture is the 1500mg. Of the Synergy Sprays, it really depends on personal preference, but my top two favorites are Clear, which has sage in it—a great soul-cleaning spray—and Smile, which uplifts and stabilizes at the same time. After the tincture, the best overall seller is our topical Bliss Butter. 


 Anything new?

There are so many changes in the CBD world—new regulations, greater research and more brands being outed as “bad actors” in the hemp sphere—many of which will disappear due to non-federal compliance. For our company specifically, we’re in the middle of a brand refresh. Soon we’ll be redoing our websites and we recently scaled into a brand-new, also woman-run, GMP-certified, 25,000-square-foot manufacturing facility.    


Info: 914.861.5186, More Info.


CBD and Medical Marijuana in NY

Marijuana and hemp, from which most CBD products are derived, are biological “cousins.” Both medical marijuana and CBD products are legal in New York, and both are hugely popular for easing physical and psychological discomfort. Unlike CBD products, medical marijuana (which contains THC as well as CBD) requires a doctor’s prescription and must be supplied by a state-licensed dispensary.

Dr. Lynn Parodneck is a state-certified medical marijuana practitioner in Westchester who works in compliance with the New York State Compassionate Care Act. She says both THC and CBD contribute to the therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana.

“CBD is one of the active components of medical marijuana,” she says. “We balance it with THC to get the desired effects for patients. THC is helpful for combating nausea, muscle spasms, anorexia, opioid use disorder and severe pain. The combination of THC, CBD and terpenes is what gives medical marijuana its properties. We call this the entourage effect, leading to a superior result with less active ingredients.”

Patients come to Parodneck for consultation, symptom management and certification to use medical marijuana.  Part of her mission is teaching patients how to work with medical marijuana.

“The goal is comfort, not to get high,” she says.

Patients receiving certification must meet the New York State criteria to shop at a state-licensed dispensary. Qualifying conditions include cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury with spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, neuropathy, Huntingdon’s disease, chronic pain and PTSD.


Office hours and house calls by appointment. Info: 914.525.6536, More Info.

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