PITTSFIELD — Which is your CBD store of choice?
Jim Bronson makes that decision easy for Berkshirites, now that he’s opened Your CBD Store in the Elm Street Shops.
If you’ve been a frequenter of Jiminy Peak or the Berkshire Craft Beer Festival, you probably recognize Bronson, a longtime executive at the former and an organizer of the latter.
When his corporate job fell victim to the coronavirus pandemic, Bronson was beset with anxiety and trouble sleeping, not knowing what the future held for him and his family. He turned to CBD to help calm his mind and with his sleep.
Bronson was stocking up on CBD products at a store in Pennsylvania while on vacation, and that’s when the inspiration hit him: “Pittsfield needs this.”
Your CBD Store, which opened Oct. 14, touts a wide array of organic and domestically grown hemp derivatives, from edibles like gummies, pills and tinctures to raw hemp products, and topical creams and ointments.
How do we know that CBD, or cannabidiol, an active chemical compound found in hemp and cannabis plants, works?
OK’d for treating some seizures
While not yet fully endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration for medical applications, the federal agency has approved Epidiolex, a purified form of CBD, for the safe and effective treatment of particularly grievous seizures associated with a pair of genetic syndromes.
Moreover, with an explosion in popularity, governments and universities here and abroad are beginning to study the chemical compound even more, with early studies indicating its usefulness for curbing drug addiction, easing pain from arthritis, a palliative for psychosis and more.
For Bronson, he just knows it works for him, his friends and his family … even his own mother for her sore knees. He uses it regularly, for relaxation and help with sleeping.
It’s no cure-all, Bronson admits, but he’s seen and heard it working for many people.
“It won’t turn you into a Tibetan monk, but it certainly helps me. Let’s say it helps take the edge off,” says Bronson.
There are many ways to administer the CBD, like vape cartridges, water soluble pills, vegan edibles or bath balms, or blended with lidocaine in a roll-on, such that anyone can find their preferred method of intake. Most popular are the tinctures, in which CBD is suspended in MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) coconut oil, a new water soluble supplement that mixes into your favorite beverage, and the award winning topical cream.
This is not cannabis, mind you, so beyond the lack of THC, the mind-altering chemical found in marijuana plants, an experience shopping at Your CBD is going to be different than a dispensary, in ways that feel good for the shopper: There’s no hefty 20 percent tax, no long lines, and all kinds of payment are accepted, unlike some dispensaries where customers are forced to pay cash.
“We’re not marijuana. We take credit cards, you don’t need a prescription, and we’re very knowledgeable and can help you understand CBD and what it can do for you,” says Bronson.
Bronson has been using CBD products for about two years and enjoyed what it’s done for him.
All of Your CBD Store’s products are produced by its parent company and is formulated by its scientists; full organic is coming soon, says Bronson.
All of the hemp — a sister plant to cannabis — is grown in the U.S., primarily in Colorado, with company chemists based in Florida, says Bronson.
All the terpenes
A big difference between Your CBD products and others is that the company uses all the terpenes from the plant; these are the organic compounds that give the hemp its telltale smell, and which also have other therapeutic properties, according to research featured in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, a clinical journal.
Bronson notes that, with its increasing popularity, CBD is a term that is quickly becoming ubiquitous. But, he warns, you need to make sure your source is reputable.
“You’re finding hemp in all kinds of places. There’s a reason you don’t eat gas station sushi. You can find the products there, but it isn’t going to be the real deal,” he says.
The two types of CBD products sold at Your CBD Store are broad spectrum, which uses ethanol extraction, and full spectrum, which uses carbon dioxide as the extracting agent; with the full spectrum, there is 3/10s of 1 percent of THC that will show in an analysis of this kind of CBD product, but it’s not at a level to cause any kind of impairment.
“It’s like alcohol in vanilla extract; it’s not like you’re drinking when you use it,” notes Bronson.
Everything is clear and understandable
Product transparency is important to Bronson and Your CBD Store, and that’s why every product label can be scanned on the spot with a smartphone, revealing all ingredients.
Also, unlike a dispensary, there’s no ID needed to visit Your CBD Store, although you do need to be 18 to enter.
There are always specials running daily, weekly, and by the season, as well as permanent discounts for first responders, active or retired military, and educators.
Bronson invites everyone to his newly opened store to hang out and enjoy some music for a little bit (please come masked for COVID-19 safety), try some of the daily free samples or to visit his website at CBDinNewEngland.com.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 12 noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.